Number coding window on EDSA, C-5 to be scrapped

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - To help ease congestion on city roads, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to start a no-window-hour policy on the highways of EDSA and C-5 later this month under the number-coding scheme.?

MMDA general manager Thomas Orbos said in a press conference yesterday the new regulation was discussed by the Metro Manila Council composed of mayors of all cities and the lone municipality of the National Capital Region.?

He said the no-window-hour policy would be formalized by next week and take effect 15 days after the notice is published on Monday.?

At present, a number coding scheme is in place, banning vehicles from plying the roads of Metro Manila from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on a certain day of the week, depending on the last digit of a vehicle’s license plate.

But under the present scheme, vehicles that are supposed to be banned from the roads are allowed to go out during the window hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., except in Makati City.

Orbos said the no-window-hour policy is expected to help decongest traffic, especially along EDSA and C-5, where traffic is at its worst.?

“We expect about an 18-20 percent reduction in vehicles when this (no-window-hour policy) is implemented,” he said.?

Orbos said the MMDA is also getting the cooperation of malls and other commercial establishments, such as supermarkets, in helping ease road congestion.?

He said the MMDA is set to meet with malls and supermarkets’ representatives today to discuss how they can work together.?

The MMDA wants malls and supermarkets to inform the agency when they are set to hold sale events, which attract a lot of people and often lead to traffic jams.

 “We want them to inform us at least a week (before the sale),”  Orbos said.?

Metro Manila has been tagged as having the worst road traffic on earth.?

The Japan International Cooperation Agency has estimated the country’s traffic gridlock could cost the economy P6 billion per day by 2030, if nothing is done to fix the problem.?

To address the country’s traffic woes, Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade has asked for emergency powers from Congress.?

Through the emergency powers, which may be in place for two years, the national government would be allowed to implement a unified traffic scheme, open private subdivisions to traffic, as well as allow the takeover of certain properties necessary for traffic or other transportation requirements.?

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