Brace yourselves. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to re-tweak the modified number-coding scheme, more formally known as the Unified Vehicle Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP), and implement a new one on May 16.

EDSA and various parts of Metro Manila have started to experience gridlocks and bottlenecks due to the number of vehicles on the road after authorities lifted safety restrictions and more people resumed face-to-face work. The current modified number-coding scheme only reduces vehicular volume by 20%.

The proposal sent to the 17 mayors of the Metro Manila Council will double the number of ‘coding’ days for vehicles, which will lead to a 40% reduction in the volume of traffic, according to the MMDA. The scheme will be in effect from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Monday to Friday and will affect the following vehicles:

-Vehicle plates ending in 1, 2 – Monday and Wednesday

-Vehicle plates ending in 3, 4 – Monday and Thursday

-Vehicle plates ending in 5, 6 – Tuesday and Thursday

-Vehicle plates ending in 7, 8 – Tuesday and Friday

-Vehicle plates ending in 9, 0 – Wednesday and Friday

Contrary to earlier reports, the morning rush hour will not be affected. This simply means motorists with coding vehicles can still go to their destinations without fear of being apprehended (except in Makati). The number-coding scheme exempts public utility vehicles such as buses, jeepneys, taxis, TNVS vehicles like Grab, and motorcycles.

MMDA: New ‘coding’ scheme out mid-May image

“From moderate to heavy, ini-expect po natin iyong mga pangunahing lansangan natin will be light to moderate lamang at magpapabilis po ng daloy ng trapik. Magagamit ninyo pa po iyong oras na iyan na instead na na-stuck kayo sa trapik, makakagawa pa po kayo ng errands or makakapag-overtime sa trabaho,” said MMDA Chairman Romando Artes .

[From moderate to heavy, we are expecting our major roads to have light to moderate congestion and a faster flow of traffic. You’ll be able to use that time instead of being stuck in traffic, you’ll be able to do errands or work overtime]

The MMDA expects the proposal to be approved after the Holy Week. The target implementation date was moved from May 1 to May 16 to better prepare for the start of the new school year.  

Senator Joel Villanueva agrees with the move but wants other mobility services to improve for a more holistic approach to solving traffic.

“Better public transportation services and alternatives should be offered if we are to reduce traffic congestion. How can we solve traffic if people cannot ride vehicles?” said Senator Villanueva.

What other solutions can you suggest to the government aside from more ‘coding’?