Stricter ‘coding’ starting Oct. 25
*Editor’s note: The Inquirer mistakenly uploaded an old infographic about the MMDA’s number coding scheme. We apologize for the confusion this has caused the public.*
Starting Oct. 25, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is no longer allowing the so-called “window hours” under the number coding scheme, for motorists taking Edsa and C5 Road.
The window hours refer to the five-hour period—from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.—when motorists covered by the scheme on a particular day can still pass without being apprehended for a violation.
“[The public] may get angry at us but we have to do it… This is not a punishment,” said MMDA general manager Tim Orbos on Thursday as he appealed for a little more “sacrifice” to make Metro Manila’s daily traffic congestion more bearable.
Orbos spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a presentation made by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on its accomplishments during the first 100 days of the Duterte administration.
By removing the window hours, Orbos said, the current vehicular volume on the two major thoroughfares is expected to drop by as much as 20 percent. Depending on its results, the new policy may continue even after the holidays, he added.
Recent MMDA data showed that on Edsa alone, 7,500 vehicles pass per hour per direction, well beyond its carrying capacity of 6,000 vehicles.
Wanted: 13,700 traffic aides
Also during the DOTr presentation, the head of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) of the Philippine National Police said the government would need an additional 13,700 traffic aides to effectively manage traffic in the capital.
PNP-HPG head Chief Supt. Antonio Gardiola said there are currently around 2,300 traffic enforcers, mostly from the MMDA, being deployed. Of the total, only 1,034 are posted along Edsa, the 17 Mabuhay Lanes and the various arterial roads.
According to Gardiola, he had already sought the assistance of the various local governments to allow their respective traffic management groups and volunteer groups to be placed under the operational control of the Interagency Council on Traffic (I-Act), the superbody created by the Duterte administration to coordinate traffic-related measures.
This means that the local enforcers would get their orders from I-Act to ensure smoother traffic flow.
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