The Bantay Lansangan (Road Watch ) Experience: Improving the Philippine Road Sector through Vigilant Monitoring and Volunteerism

Bantay Lansangan (Road Watch) was a 30-month project aimed at monitoring and advocating reforms in the Philippine road sector. Started in November 2007, Bantay Lansangan was a multi-sector partnership of 23 organizations that mobilize the active participation of government, private sector, citizen groups, NGOs, and development partners to act collectively and strategically in monitoring the performance of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in its function of providing quality road sector services to the public.

The Bantay Lansangan membership includes representative organizations from road users, governance advocates, media, road service providers, national road asset managers, government partners, regulators and enforcers, centers of expertise, and development partners.

Public infrastructure is a vital component of local service delivery, a key thematic area of ANSA-EAP. This makes it important to study and document Bantay Lansangan as an approach to road sector reform that centers on constructive engagement between citizen groups and government.

This is a documentation of Bantay Lansangan. The paper looks at the project’s conceptual design, operational framework, relationship between its secretariat and local partners, modes of partnership, and terms of engagement among partners, among others.  The case study includes stories that describe the model and the experiences of local Bantay Lansangan partners in Iloilo, Kalinga, and Abra provinces. These stories help to illustrate the emerging experiences and insights of key Bantay Lansangan stakeholders.

This paper should be seen as an initial attempt to advance the agenda and capacity of citizen groups to monitor road construction projects and strengthen citizen group capacities in engaging government for good governance. Written in cooperation with Transparency and Accountability Network, Inc. (TAN), which provides secretariat support to Bantay Lansangan, this documentation is written in a compelling narrative style that depicts a holistic portrayal of Bantay Lansangan’s experiences and results. The narrative describes Bantay Lansangan’s processes, main actors, chronology, including perceived strengths and weaknesses,  key issues and concerns as identified as such by project actors.

The narrative is based on actual experience and information. It has been written in a highly readable style suitable for a general audience and integrates and summarizes key information about Bantay Lansangan. The narrative is complete to the extent that it serves as the eyes and ears of a third party partner of TAN and Bantay Lansangan who wants to appreciate what happened and is happening with Bantay Lansangan.

The narrative includes key background information about the stakeholders, phases in the program's process, significant events and incidents, early indicators of both failures and successes, and key quotes from actors, emerging insights and lessons. When read, the narrative depicts the experiences of the main stakeholders of Bantay Lansangan.

The narrative does not end with a synthesis or concluding analysis. Instead, it ends by outlining observable, evidence-based trends and patterns that characterize the Bantay Lansangan experience so far, and by suggesting areas for further inquiry. Click here to get PDF

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