Old ‘number coding’ stays until Santa comes to town – MMDA
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila’s Unified Vehicle Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP), better known as “number coding” scheme, will remain in effect until vehicular traffic worsens as it usually does during the Christmas season.
“As long as we can withhold it, we will withhold its implementation,” Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Don Artes said in an online press briefing on Wednesday.
“We just want to be prepared for the worst. It’s better that we already have the approval of the [Metro Manila Council, or MMC] now. If we delay it and our policy is implemented late, it is possible that we will have another ‘carmageddon’ in Metro Manila,” he said.
In the meantime, the current UVVRP—which is only enforced from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays unless it is a holiday—shall remain in force.
Artes said the agency will officially announce in advance when the new MMDA Regulation No. 23-003, which changes the UVVRP, will take effect.
Under the new regulation, number coding will be in force in all major roads in Metro Manila for 12 uninterrupted hours from Monday to Friday, except holidays, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with no more “window” hours.
According to Artes, the MMDA will conduct another traffic situation study after the All Souls’ Day holiday between Nov. 6 and 12.
Citing the MMDA’s study, Artes said that, on average, there are 4,000 vehicles traversing Edsa at any given time, while there are 2,000 vehicles on C-5 Road (officially C.P. Garcia Avenue) at any given time.
“Based on our study, [removing the window period of the number coding scheme] would reduce the volume of vehicles on these roads by 20 percent. This is a significant reduction,” he noted.
The new scheme and two other MMDA regulations aimed at improving traffic had been approved since Oct. 6 by the MMC composed of the 17 mayors. It was also already published in a newspaper on Oct. 21, which caused confusion among the public in the past several days.
But, Artes said, the MMDA would withhold submitting a copy to the Office of the National Administrative Register at the University of the Philippines Law Center, which is also required for the policy to take effect.
Once it takes effect, the new number coding scheme will be implemented on Metro Manila’s five circumferential roads (Recto Avenue, Quirino Avenue, Araneta Avenue, Edsa, and C.P. Garcia Avenue) and 10 radial roads (Roxas Boulevard, Taft Avenue, South Luzon Expressway, Shaw Boulevard, Ortigas Avenue, Magsaysay-Aurora Boulevard, Quezon Avenue-Commonwealth Avenue, A. Bonifacio Avenue, Rizal Avenue and the radial road from Anda Circle to Samson Road).
It will also be implemented on Alabang-Zapote Road in Muntinlupa and Las Piñas; Samson Road and A. Mabini Street in Caloocan; Marcos Highway; and MacArthur Highway.