Top 7 Road And Traffic Signs In Philippines You Must Know

Pedestrians not following road and traffic signs in Philippines.

Attention, fellow drayber (driver) and mananawid (pedestrians)! Did you know that in 2022 alone, about 58,000 road accidents were reported in NCR (National Capital Region) in the Philippines?

Because of this, we should remember that irresponsible drivers (and even pedestrians) are out there who don’t know about road and traffic signs in Philippines.

So, as turista (tourist) and responsible members of society, we must ensure the safety of everyone around us by following the law.

If you’re feeling rusty about your knowledge of mga pananda sa trapiko sa Pilipinas, or road traffic signs in the Philippines, this article is for you! Let’s practice some Tagalog vocabulary related to sign roads.

What Are Road And Traffic Signs?

These signs are more than just cool symbols and shapes – they’re the guardians of the road, keeping drivers and pedestrians safe and on track.

From telling you which way to go to warning you of potential hazards, road signs are essential to ensuring a smooth and safe driving experience.

In the Philippines, traffic signs are designed to be easily understood and digested by road users.

They’re created with simplicity and striking visuals in mind, so there’s no room for confusion or misinterpretation.

To make them even more accessible, signs in the Philippines are often written in large letters or displayed as images or symbols.

And for our kababayans (fellow Filipinos) who prefer to read Tagalog, many signs are translated into their native tongue or local Filipino dialects.

This makes road signs easy for everyone, regardless of their language or dialect.

An orange traffic light in the middle of the road in Philippines.

Importance Of Road And Traffic Signs In The Philippines

First and foremost, warning road signs are all about kaligtasan or safety. They’re placed strategically in congested and accident-prone areas to warn drivers and pedestrians of potential hazards.

Whether it’s a sharp turn up ahead or a pedestrian crossing, road signs help keep everyone safe by alerting them to possible dangers.

But it’s not just about panganib (danger) – road signs also help to facilitate efficient traffic flows.

By clearly indicating the rules of the road, signs can prevent pagkalito or confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page regarding driving etiquette.

For drivers, road signs can serve as paalala (reminders) to be more mindful and responsible on the road. And for pedestrians, signs can guide them to safe areas for walking and crossing.

And let’s not forget the legal side – learning the road signs is a requirement for getting a driver’s license in the Philippines.

In fact, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) written exam has a dedicated section just for road signs.

7 Types Of Road And Traffic Signs In The Philippines

If you plan to travel to the Philippines, you’ll encounter a variety of road and traffic signs in the country. You should be familiar with them for a safer and more enjoyable paglalakbay (travels).

These signs are grouped into seven categories, so let’s get to know them!

Warning and regulatory signs in the Philippines.

1. Warning Signs

Before you hit the gas pedal, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the warning signs on the road.

These road and traffic signs in Philippines warn motorists and pedestrians about the potential hazards ahead, such as steep slopes or bumps in the road.

Some signs even give you a heads-up that the area you’re in may be prone to landslides and flooding.

Examples of warning signs you might encounter on the road are SLIPPERY WHEN WET, RAILROAD CROSSING, SLOW DOWN PED XING AHEAD, and VERTICAL CLEARANCE.

Here are the different types of warning signs you might come across:

  • Horizontal signs: These include pavement markings like lane lines, center lines, and crosswalks.
  • Intersection signs: Provide information about upcoming intersections, such as stop signs, yield signs, or traffic lights.
  • Advance warning/traffic control device signs: Give drivers advance notice of potential hazards ahead, like sharp turns, steep hills, or road closures. They also provide guidance on traffic control devices like roundabouts or speed bumps.
  • Road width signs: Indicate the width of the road and can be used to warn drivers of narrow lanes or bridges.
  • Road obstacle signs: Warn drivers of obstacles on the street, like potholes, speed bumps, or debris.
  • Pedestrian signs: Provide information for pedestrians, like crosswalks, sidewalks, or pedestrian crossings.
  • Railway level crossing signs: Indicate the presence of a railway crossing and provide information if the intersection has gates or flashing lights.
  • Supplementary signs: Provide additional information to drivers, like speed limits, parking restrictions, or directions to nearby landmarks.
  • Other warning signs: Warn drivers of other potential hazards on the road, like animal crossings, falling rocks, or steep grades.

2. Regulatory Signs

These signs are your friendly reminders of mga batas trapiko or traffic laws in the Philippines. They include classic favorites like the GIVE WAY, STOP, NO ENTRY, and speed limit signs.

Remember, following these street signs is necessary, as violating them can result in penalties and sanctions.

Here are the types of Regulatory Traffic Signs in the Philippines:

  • Priority signs: The STOP, GIVE WAY and LEFT TURNER MUST GIVE WAY signs.
  • Directional signs: The ONE WAY, KEEP RIGHT, NO TURN, and more.
  • Restriction/Prohibitive signs: NO ENTRY, NO PEDESTRIAN CROSSING, NO MOTORCYCLES, and others.
  • Speed signs: Speed limits (maximum and minimum speed).
  • Parking and stopping signs: NO LOADING AND UNLOADING ANYTIME, NO STOPPING ANYTIME, and others.
  • Miscellaneous signs: These are reminders like FASTEN SEATBELT, NO BLOWING OF HORNS, BIKE LANE AHEAD, and more.
Traffic instruction road signs.

3. Traffic Instruction Signs

These signs are meant to complement regulatory signs and help implement traffic rules. They give specific instructions to motorists and pedestrians alike, so pay attention.

Here are the types of Traffic Instruction Signs in the Philippines:

  • Supplementary signs: These include reminders like USE OVERPASS, USE PEDESTRIAN CROSSING, and TRUCKS USE LOW GEAR.
  • Movement instruction signs: Watch out for these signs like REDUCE SPEED, TURN LEFT WITH CARE, GIVE WAY TO PEDESTRIANS, ROAD CLOSED, and more.

4. Road Work Signs

You’ve probably seen these yellow or orange signs with black letters along the road.

These are important because they inform motorists that construction or excavation work is ongoing. And let’s face it; nobody wants to drive into a work zone without warning.

These signs inform you of the ongoing work and warn you of potential dangers within the area, such as deep holes or falling debris.

Sometimes, road work signs may also prompt you to slow down or even change your route. This ensures that you and other motorists stay safe while passing the work zone.

5. Informative Signs

These signs point to specific locations and tell you how far away the next town or city is. They can also help you locate essential roadside services like gas stations, restaurants, and restrooms.

Some examples of guide/informative signs include: 

  • Advance direction signs: Show the direction to take for a particular destination or to the next town/city.
  • Intersection direction signs: Provide guidance to drivers for which lane to take to reach their destination or turn.
  • Reassurance direction signs: Indicate that a driver is on the correct road.
  • Street name signs: Indicate the name of the street or road.
  • Town names: Show the name of a town or city, often used in conjunction with other direction signs.
  • Geographical feature signs: Indicate nearby geographical features, such as mountains or bodies of water.
  • Service signs: Provide information on available services along the road, such as gas stations, restrooms, or hospitals.
  • Tourist destination signs: Indicate tourist spots or attractions, like the Pagsanjan Falls or Taal Lake.
An example of expressway traffic instruction signs.

6. Expressway Signs

If you’re planning a road trip and traveling on an expressway in the Philippines, watch out for the different types of expressway signs.

These signs not only provide advanced information to drivers, but they also ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

  • Expressway approach signs: Alert drivers that an expressway is coming up, usually on regular roads leading up to the expressway.
  • Advance exit signs: Indicate the upcoming exit on the expressway, allowing drivers to move to the right lane and prepare to exit safely.
  • Exit direction signs: Help drivers choose the right exit, especially if multiple exits are available in the same location.
  • Expressway regulatory and road traffic signs: Provide reminders such as speed limits, restrictions, and prohibitions, and indicate what types of vehicles are allowed on the expressway.

7. Hazard Markers

These markers are used to inform drivers about upcoming changes in road direction or the presence of an obstruction on the road. Here are the types of hazard markers in the Philippines:

  • Two-way hazard markers: Indicate that the road ahead is about to change direction.
  • Width markers: Warn drivers of narrowing vehicle width clearance.
  • Obstruction markers: Signal that there is road closure ahead.

Helpful Road And Traffic Signs Vocabulary In the Philippines

Before you get behind the wheel and explore the Philippines, you should learn Tagalog and familiarize yourself with some of the road and traffic signs you’ll encounter along the way.

EnglishTagalogPronunciationSound
Give WayMagbigay-Daanmahg-bee-gahy dah-ahn
Keep RightManatili Sa Kananmah-nah-tee-lee sah kah-nahn
No Blowing Of HornsBawal Bumusinabah-wahl boo-moo-see-nah
No EntryBawal Pumasokbah-wahl poo-mah-sohk
No ParkingBawal Mag-Parkbah-wahl mahg pahrk
No Pedestrian CrossingBawal Tumawidbah-wahl too-mah-weed
No Stopping AnytimeBawal Huminto Kahit Kailanbah-wahl hoo-min-toh kah-heet kahy-lahn
No TurningBawal Lumikobah-wahl loo-mee-koh
No U-TurnBawal Mag-U-Turnbah-wahl mahg-yoo-turn
Pedestrian CrossingTawiran Ng Mga Naglalakadtah-wee-rahn ng mga nahg-lah-lah-kahd
Road NarrowsMakipot Na Kalsadamah-kee-poh-t nah kahl-sah-dah
Road Works AheadMay Nagtatrabaho Sa Kalsadamahy nahg-tah-trah-bah-hoh sah kahl-sah-dah
RoundaboutRotundaroh-tuhn-dah
Slippery RoadMadulas Na Kalsadamah-doo-lahs nah kahl-sah-dah
Speed LimitLimitasyon Ng Bilislee-mee-tah-syon ng bee-lees
StopHumintohoo-min-toh

By taking the time to understand this helpful vocabulary, you’ll be better equipped to conquer the roads safely and efficiently.

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, being aware of the meaning of these signs can make all the difference in ensuring a smooth and stress-free driving experience.

Learn Road And Traffic Signs In Philippines With Ling App

Learn Tagalog with Ling App now!

Want to ensure safety on the roads in the Philippines? Then you need to know and follow the road and traffic signs. By doing so, we can prevent accidents and keep the traffic flowing smoothly.

And guess what? The Ling app can help you learn the language used in traffic signs with its easy-to-use interface and fun activities.

Download the Ling app today on App Store or Google Play to deepen your understanding of road and traffic signs in the Philippines. After all, safe driving starts with understanding the road signs, doesn’t it?

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