For almost two years, the number coding scheme has been suspended to improve physical distancing measures. The suspension allowed motorists to get around Metro Manila without worrying about getting flagged down by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) or by local traffic enforcers.

It returned last December 2021 after the MMDA announced it will be using a modified version of the said scheme. Instead of it taking effect from 7:00 AM until 8:00 PM Monday to Friday, the modified version is only applied between the hours of 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM during the weekdays. Moreover, it only covers private vehicles.

This meant motorists who need to get to work in the morning will have no problem using a number coding vehicle. However, they will have to wait until 8:00 PM in the evening in order to avoid violating the number coding scheme.

But as active cases continue to go down, the MMDA has recommended to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to place Metro Manila under Alert Level 1 beginning March 1, 2022. With it, more restrictions will be eased in order to allow businesses and other establishments to operate normally.

However, relaxing the restrictions means more people will be out on the road. To counter this, the MMDA is looking at possibly implementing a number coding scheme in the morning.

According to MMDA Officer-in-Charge and General Manager Atty. Romando Artes, the agency is studying the possibility of implementing a modified Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) during rush hour in the morning.

MMDA mulls extra ‘coding’ during morning rush hour image

“We are studying to widen the coverage of our modified number coding scheme from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM. I have met with the district heads of our Traffic Discipline Office. Based on their assessment, from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, light traffic situation is observed on major thoroughfares,” said Artes.

However, Artes mentioned that the MMDA does not want to impose the number coding scheme for the whole day due to lack of public transportation. If the MMDA ever approves this measure, the modified number coding scheme will only be in effect from 7:00 - 9:00 AM in the morning, and 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM in the evening.

This will give motorists window hours to get to their destinations without fear of getting flagged down for violating the UVVRP. This is actually quite similar to what the MMDA used to impose back in the day.

Before, motorists with number-coding vehicles were free to drive around the metro between the hours of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. However, assuming the MMDA actually uses the modified scheme during morning rush hour, the window hours will be longer as it will take effect from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

There's no exact date yet as to when the MMDA plans to implement this as they are still looking at its feasibility.

Do you think having number coding during morning rush hour will help alleviate some of the weekday traffic? And could having window hours also help those that need to get to their destinations during light-traffic situations? Let us know in the comments.