Philippines/Mapping conventions/Roads

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As of 2020:

Official classification Route shields and numbers Tagging example Implies Description and comments Photo
Philippines road sign GE2-1A.svg
AH26 (E2) sign.svg
E1 (Philippines).svg
Limited-access highways, including most of the existing expressway network. Access from interchanges only, small-powered motorcycles (engine displacement below 400cc) and non-motorized traffic not allowed, and minimum speed limit of 60 kph. Speed limits always posted. JfBulacan9897ChapelMarilaoLiasfvf 22.JPG
surface=paved Major roads between large cities (with populations of 100,000+), non-controlled-access expressways, and expressway-like roads. The most important roads that are not limited-access, with high traffic volumes and higher speed limits. May have partial grade separation (interchanges, overpasses, underpasses, U-turns) for at least two major junctions, especially on urban roadways. 04180jfChurches Buildings West North Avenue Roads Edsa Barangays Quezon Cityfvf 07.JPG0036jfWelcome Barangays San Juan Pedro Lapsing Tarlac Moncada Highwayfvf 20.JPG
National roads
AH26 (N1) sign.svg
N2 (Philippines).svg
N54 (Philippines).svg

Primary: 1-99

N120 (Philippines).svg

Secondary: 100-999

Tertiary: none

Philippine highway marker.jpg

Most of these highways are marked with standard kilometer posts (as shown in the photo above, and on DPWH Department Order 31., s. 2019), with distances measured from a Kilometer Zero (especially the one at Rizal Park in Manila).

name=Aguinaldo Highway
Major highways within regions. Connect smaller cities and large municipalities with a poblacion/town center with 5,000+ inhabitants.

In urban areas, any major thoroughfare failing trunk status. Normally, 3-digit national roads, with at least 2 lanes. May be divided.

GilPuyatLRTjf1278 07.JPG
name=E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue
Smaller highways, usually the link to a small rural town center, or the unnumbered alternate route between cities and towns served by the numbered highway network. Usually, but not always, national tertiary or provincial roads with two lanes. May be unpaved.

In urban areas, minor arteries that provide access to at least 3 barangays or districts, and is heavily used by through traffic. May be divided, with a center island.

JfBulacan9897ChapelMarilaoLiasfvf 38.JPG

09188jfPura Victoria Tarlac Farm National Roadfvf 03.JPG

Local roads (provincial, city/municipal, barangay, and other roads) none
highway=tertiary Most roads connecting barangays that do not fit secondary, and collector roads within an urban barangay or district. Speed limits limited to 20-30 kph, and on-street parking usually allowed with restrictions. 0275jfSan Pablo Libutad Mexico Pampanga Roads Quezon San Simonfvf 03.JPG
highway=unclassified Non-residential local roads/streets below tertiary, e.g. local streets within a commercial district, roads inside industrial parks, roads between remote sitios or puroks within the same barangay.

Not for roads where the classification is unknown (see highway=road)

highway=residential Typical roads within a barangay or any residential area. 09827jfBaluga Schools Halls Maestrang Kikay Talavera Ecijafvf 05.JPG
highway=track Roads only passable to 4x4 vehicles, and tracks through agricultural, forestry, or mining/quarrying areas or uncultivated land. Not for most unpaved roads, which must be classified according to their overall characteristics and importance (plus surface=unpaved) Example
highway=service Private driveways, parking area roads, alleys, minor irrigation roads, and other access roads, usually unnamed.
highway=living_street Streets where vehicles are recommended to travel at the same pace as pedestrians due to road width no wider than 2.5 m. Deprecated and discourage (see Talk:Tag:highway=living street. Most roads currently tagged as such should be retagged with the appropriate highway=* tag, plus width=* or narrow=yes as appropriate.
highway=pedestrian Streets where all motor vehicles cannot enter (generally intentionally due to obstructions such as bollards), and pedestrian squares in older cities and town centers. Example

Trunk and primary may not be appropriate for the main road network between towns in small island or archipelago provinces, and such are given special exceptions noted on the relevant region and province pages.

There is no agreed way to handle bypass/diversion roads of major highways, but the classification of the section being bypassed may be moved to the newer road where practical, especially on trunk or primary routes.


The major reasons for the need to design and adopt a new classification scheme is to better align the scheme with the road typology used in OpenStreetMap, takes government classification into consideration as an additional factor in determining classification, and reduce the bias of the system toward an urban context, where it results to primary being used on local streets practically considered as spurs or alternate routes of a trunk road, and secondary is rarely used for rural areas.

The official classification system, as adopted by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in 2014, are as follows:

  • Expressway - Limited-access highways, often with tolls
  • National Road
    • National Primary - Roads that connect two or more major cities (with populations 100,000+). Assigned 1 to 2-digit route numbers.
    • National Secondary - Roads that complement the primary routes to connect other smaller cities, municipalities, major seaports and ferry terminals, major airports, and major national infrastructure. Assigned 3-digit route numbers.
    • National Tertiary - Roads maintained by the DPWH which are local in importance. No route numbers assigned.
  • Provincial Road - Roads that connect cities and municipalities without using national roads, and roads connecting major provincial infrastructure.
  • City/Municipal Road - Roads maintained by city or municipal governments. Primary local streets at the poblacion (city or town center, downtown area, or central business district), and roads between barangays not served by national or provincial roads
  • Barangay Road - All other local roads within a barangay.

Other classifications are:

  • Unclassified roads - Roads not yet assigned any official classification.
  • Private road - Roads maintained by private entities.

It is possible to condense them into just three major classifications: expressways, national roads, and local roads, nevertheless, the new official classifications remains incompatible with the OSM classification system on some aspects, so it's important to consider functional characteristics to determine the correct highway tag.


  • Street name suffixes: Road or street names tagged on the main name=* tag should be preferably the full name used on street signs or addresses on business signs. It is fairly common to drop the suffixes to reduce clutter and follow what locals say, however the best advice as said above is to map the full name as used on signs (and let the renderer abbreviate them).
  • National/provincial roads with no distinctive names: It is fairly common to refer to major national roads generically as "National Road" or "National Highway" where there is no established local name. It is fine to tag the generic name as the main name if there is established local usage (e.g. through common usage on addresses, street signs, and local orientation).
  • Names in local languages: Less common, but do exist. Street names in Tagalog will generally have Kalye ("Street") or Daan ("Road") (or even rarer, like Abenida, ) prefixed, while roads in Visayan-speaking areas (and also in Kapampangan or Ilocano) typically have the prefix Dalan, which can either theoretically translate to "Road" or "Street". If the posted name is in a local language, keep it as it is on the name=*.


Speed limits

There is an ongoing proposal on tagging legally implied speed limits, but there is no consensus whether to use either source:maxspeed=* or maxspeed:type=*, so it remains a choice of editors how to tag the legal form of an implied speed limit (those covered in the Land Transportation and Traffic Code or RA 4136). Nonetheless, source:maxspeed=* is still useful to tag the source of the speed limit aside from the legal form (e.g. signage, local knowledge, survey, or a local traffic ordinance).

Since there is a poor distinction between urban and rural roads, it is suggested roads, especially major ones, have legally implied speeds explicitly tagged.

Named junctions

In some places, named junctions are often used for local orientation. Most commonly such junctions are often named from the a locality or other reference point (usually a barangay, city/municipality, city district, or nearest kilometer marker, ), followed with descriptors like "Junction/Crossing" (e.g. Calamba Crossing, Palapala Junction). In regions where Visayan languages (e.g. Cebuano, Hiligaynon/Ilonggo) are spoken locally, junction names often have the descriptor coming before the locality name (e.g. Crossing Panacan, Crossing Talomo, Crossing Ulas, in Davao City), but that naming scheme also occur outside Visayan-speaking regions, but to a lesser extent.

Named junctions are tagged junction=yes, where it could be placed on the junction node, or on a separate polygon on more complex situations. In some cases, the junction name became an established name for the surrounding area, that one might consider tagging it on a place node, especially where the name is of a sitio/purok.

Mapping of numbered routes

Main article: Philippines/Numbered route relations