The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority “lifted…until further notice” the scheme starting at 8 a.m., MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago said.
STAR/ File
Metro Manila coding scheme lifted indefinitely due to COVID-19
Ghio Ong (The Philippine Star) - March 14, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The unified vehicular volume reduction program (UVVRP) in Metro Manila, better known as the number coding scheme, was lifted indefinitely starting yesterday due to the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority “lifted…until further notice” the scheme starting at 8 a.m., MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago said.

The suspension is applicable to all types of vehicles, private or public, she added.

The suspension would cover the period when Metro Manila would undergo a month-long community quarantine as declared by President Duterte on Thursday night “while the guidelines is being drafted,” she explained, referring to the guidelines on the community quarantine.

The quarantine measure would be in effect as government raised the Code Red Alert to Sublevel 2.

The MMDA decided to impose this “for public mobility to continue and do what they have to do,” said its general manager Jose Arturo Garcia.

The number coding scheme prohibits vehicles with plate numbers from plying major roads: 1 and 2 on Mondays, 3 and 4 on Tuesdays, 5 and 6 on Wednesdays, 7 and 8 on Thursdays and 9 and 0 on Fridays.

Summer film fest scrapped

The MMDA also declared that the first summer edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) would no longer push through “in light of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and health emergency.”

The summer MMFF, which was supposed to start on April 11 and last 11 days, was supposed to feature eight film entries. Quezon City was supposed to host the Parade of Stars for the film fest.

Social distancing

Also yesterday, the Makati City government suspended the provision of free movies for senior citizens at malls in the city as part of social distancing measures.

The Taguig City government, on the other hand, distributed anti-COVID kits to the city’s elderly residents.

In a statement yesterday, it said government personnel who conducted house visitations distributed the kits, which included soap, face masks, vitamin C supplements and manuals containing information on disinfection and hygiene.

LRT-1 to limit passengers

The Light Rail Manila Corp., which operates the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), would limit passengers on the platform by 50 percent, said LRMC communications head Jacqueline Gorospe.

She cited as an example the LRT-1’s Monumento station platform, where the number of passengers would be limited to 100 from the usual 200 at any given time.

The LRMC would enforce this crowd reduction measure during peak hours, or from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Gorospe added.

 The company encouraged passengers to wear face masks and to ride the LRT-1 trains during off-peak hours when travel could not be avoided.

 It also advised senior citizens and those who do not feel well to refrain from riding the LRT-1 trains.

 Other train systems like the LRT Line 2, the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) have yet to issue guidelines on social distancing.  – With Jaime Laude

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