MMDA reimplements number coding scheme in Metro Manila
August 18, 2022
Photo source: Philippine News Agency
It must have been great to drive freely around the streets of Metro Manila, unbothered by the number coding scheme. Sadly, those days are over.
In January 2020, the World Health Organization announced the outbreak of COVID-19; a COVID-19 pandemic was declared shortly after. Since the virus is easily transmitted from person-to-person the government implemented a strict community quarantine. No transports were available for the public and Filipinos were forced to travel by their own means. So, the Metro Manila Development Authority or MMDA suspended the number coding scheme for all private vehicle owners to lessen physical social-interactions in public areas.
Before the pandemic, the Unified Vehicle Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or most known as the number coding was strictly implemented within Metro Manila, majority of the cities enforced morning and afternoon number coding policy. Vehicles with license plates ending in 1 and 2 are prohibited during Monday, 3 and 4 on Tuesdays, 5 and 6 on Wednesdays, 7 and 8 on Thursdays, 9 and 0 on Fridays, from 7AM to 10AM and 3PM to 8PM in some cities. However, whole day, from 7AM to 7PM number coding scheme was implemented in Makati City.
The UVVRP was then modified in 2021 to just the afternoon rush hours in most cities in Metro Manila. While for Makati, vehicles with 2 or more passengers are exempted from the coding scheme.
Now that the number of COVID-19 cases dropped, restrictions reduced to a minimum, and with majority of the country vaccinated against the virus, people’s lives went back to almost normal. PUVs went back to full capacity and without the number coding scheme, traffic worsened especially during morning and afternoon rush hours. We may need the number coding back and it is back.
Less cars means less traffic, but this also means congested commuters in terminals; this includes car owners who have vehicles that the number coding cover per day. Government marked vehicles, PUVs, trucks, ambulances, media vehicles, and delivery vehicles carrying essential goods are exempted. This would probably be a huge transition for private car owners and regular commuters as well. For the first days of the reimplementation, it has been a common alibi for private car owners who were pulled over by the MMDA enforcers that they were not aware nor were they “informed” of the number coding scheme.
Time is money and taking PUVs would probably take more time now that the number coding scheme is reimplemented. Thus, much more time and money to be taken away from violators as they must pay and attend seminars each time.