MANILA, Philippines – What roads matter to you? What is the state of roads in your community? Are leaders spending efficiently on roads?
To address these questions and highlight the value of roads to the development of key sectors in communities, Rappler, together with its civic engagement arm, MovePH, held a Rappler Talk and simultaneous Twitter conversation on Thursday, December 4.
The Philippine road network spans a total of 216,016 kilometers (km), according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). However, only a little over a quarter (27.87%) of this total network has been paved.
Some 155,800 km of roads, or almost three-quarters of the entire road network, remain unpaved or are little more than dirt roads.
Road planning and identification
Lagging behind its ASEAN neighbors, the country has a long way to go in terms of improving its road networks. In the 2015-2016 Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum, the Philippines ranked 90th out of 140 countries in terms of overall infrastructure.
During the #OpenRoads conversation, netizens agreed that in order to improve the country’s ranking, the government needs to go back to the drawing table and make sure money is spent on roads that matter.
Developed roads improve community access to basic services. For many, including farmers, fishermen, and vendors, the state of roads in their area directly has an impact on their livelihood.
Netizens raised instances where roads seem poorly planned or prioritized.
We ran Reach, Rappler’s data analytics tool, to provide a visualization of the community discussion.
In a span of two hours, the #OpenRoads conversation reached 63 million impressions on Twitter, producing over 364 posts and 74 unique authors.
Here’s an overview of the online discussion:
Beyond the online conversation, the next challenge is to spur action on the ground.
During the Rappler Talk with World Bank senior economist Kai Kaiser, he said there are two things people need to look out for: “Are roads getting done and are they connecting up?”
According to Kaiser, a concrete action the public can take is to help plot road projects on a visual map.
Netizens took on this challenge during the conversation and tweeted photos of the roads that matter to them.
Check out what they shared here:
Join the #OpenRoads movement
What roads matter to you? Take the first step in improving roads in the Philippines by sharing the status of roads in your area on social media. Follow these steps:
Snap a photo of the road that matters to you
Tell us why this road matters. Use #OpenRoads
Turn on your precise location setting
Post on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Make sure your post is PUBLIC.
Posts on Twitter with location settings are automatically plotted on the #OpenRoads section of the Agos Alert Map. The aim – help strengthen accountability of government offices responsible for road projects and infrastructure.
Together, let’s fuel the on ground movement for #OpenRoads and help build better roads and communities. – Rappler.com
What roads need to be properly maintained or built in order to promote development in poor communities within the country? Let us know. Take photos, turn on precise location and tweet using #OpenRoads!
Learn more about how you can help improve road conditions in the Philippines: