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PW 1785 The role of local government units in advancing speed policy advocacy in the philippines
  1. Mary Grace Anne S Rosales-Sto Domingo,
  2. Sophia Monica V San Luis
  1. ImagineLaw, Pasig, Philippines


As early as 1964, the Philippines have had national speed limits compliant with internationally accepted best practice and World Health Organization recommendations. However, in a self-assessment reported to the WHO, the national government rated its speed enforcement a mere 5 out of 10.

ImagineLaw, a local civil society organization, conducted an institutional and legal assessment of local speed limit setting and enforcement through a policy gap analysis of national and local laws. The findings reveal that the failure of cities, municipalities, and other local government units (LGUs) to set and enforce safer speeds was the biggest factor in low speed enforcement in the country.

The study shows that LGUs are more aware of the actual road conditions and use, and are thus in the best position to set and enforce speed limits. LGUs are also more invested in speed management, as local officials have personal connections with the people who are affected by speed-related crashes. However, the study reveals that the lack of clear legal guidelines on road classification prevent LGUs from effectively setting and enforcing speed limits.

To address these gaps, ImagineLaw advocated for the issuance of a joint memorandum circular by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to provide clear guidelines on road classification and speed limit setting by LGUs. Under the joint memorandum circular, LGUs are enjoined to adopt the comprehensive template speed limit ordinance developed by the DOTr, DPWH, and DILG with the assistance of ImagineLaw.

At present, ImagineLaw is working with pilot LGUs in enacting comprehensive speed limit ordinances or road safety codes that include key provisions on speed management.

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