MMDA wants number coding scheme back

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star
MMDA wants number coding scheme back
File photo shows vehicles crawling along EDSA in Mandaluyong City on Oct. 27. The volume of vehicles in Metro Manila is back to pre-pandemic levels, according to the MMDA.
Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — With traffic jams in the National Capital Region back to pre-pandemic levels, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is eyeing to resume the implementation of the number coding scheme during the afternoon rush hour, MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos announced yesterday.

Abalos said he would recommend to Metro Manila mayors the lifting of the suspension of the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program.

“This week, I will present to the mayors the study of our Technical Traffic Division recommending the resumption of the number coding scheme. Gawin muna nating hapon, subukan natin,” Abalos told reporters.

He said the afternoon rush hour period is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Abalos said mayors in the metropolis who comprised the Metro Manila Council, the policy-making body of the MMDA, would decide on the proposal.

Once implemented again, Abalos said the number coding scheme would cover only private vehicles.

Medical frontliners and drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs) will be exempted, he said.

“Exempted ang PUVs dahil hindi pa nagno-normalize ang public transport,” Abalos said, noting the long lines of passengers, most of them workers en route to and from their jobs, during rush hours.

PUVs are allowed to operate at 70 percent passenger capacity as Metro Manila remains under the less strict Alert Level 2.

Although the number of vehicles along major thoroughfares in the metropolis is approaching pre-pandemic levels, Abalos said the public transport system has not returned to normal.

MMDA data showed that the average daily number of vehicles plying Metro Manila’s thoroughfares has reached 403,000 compared to 405,000 vehicles in January 2020 or before the COVID-19 pandemic.



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