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Road Board embarks on a major, nationwide road-mapping project

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The Philippine Road Board, in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, has embarked on a major road mapping project which aims to update the country’s road network inventory in order to help the local government units thru the Locational Referencing System. Locational Referencing System (LRS) is the conduct of Road Inventory Survey in all provinces and cities nationwide.

“The mapping project, known as the Establishment of the Provincial and City Locational Referencing System and Conduct of Road Inventory Survey was conceptualized and proposed by the DILG to the Road Board and subsequently funded by the latter in 2014. We are looking at a target completion date in the last quarter of 2017,” RB-SLRF Project Manager Ruby Socorro Romero said.

The mapping system uses a two-pronged approach. In one, actual teams pass through the roads and take surveys and pictures. This is carried out to gather a detailed information on sites where data cannot be automatically collected. The second approach uses an automated system mounted on the vehicles. The automated system uses 6 vehicles that travel through the roads and take 360-degree photos every 6 meters.

“We thought in the beginning, the project would be easy and swift. However, during the actual progression of the project, we found out that it wasn’t that simple as there were a lot of challenges encountered in the course of accomplishing this project such as security concerns in the site, weather conditions and terrain of roads among others.”

According to joint venture project manager, Virgilio Santos, LGU executives have responded positively about this. “They were excited because they can finally have a robust road inventory” he said.

The Road Board is hoping that the completed road inventory would help the government, as well as the private sector who needs data about roads. “LGUs will be able to know which road would be a priority for investment. They can identify which roads are in need of repair or rehabilitation, and for road construction. Then now have a very good tool which can be used to plan out how they can manage their local roads.”

“The road inventory is a very important tool on road management as any management procedure starts with a good inventory.”

Aside from having a robust road inventory, the Road Board also hopes that the project could be used in disaster management and mitigation. Since the road mapping project is placed on a map, it can be overlaid on the Mines and Geosciences Bureau’s (MGB) Hazard Maps. “At the same time, LGUs can identify alternative routes which can be taken to evacuate people living in areas or deliver relief goods in disaster-stricken locations,” Romero said.

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