Yesterday (February 18), the Metro Manila Council of mayors voted (nine in favor, eight opposed) to ease restrictions in the National Capital Region next month, meaning for March, Metro Manila will switch from GCQ to MGCQ (Modified General Community Quarantine). It was done to boost economic and commercial activities, although still subject to approval from the IATF (Interagency Task Force) and President Duterte.

If approved, restrictions will be eased in the capital to allow more businesses to operate (Cinemas, Arcades, Gyms, etc.). This, in turn, would allow more movement of people in and around the metro, which could cause an increase in traffic on the roads.

The good news is, during a press conference yesterday MMDA Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos when asked whether number coding will be re-implemented under MGCQ said they see no reason yet to do so. He stressed though that the MMDA will be closely monitoring the traffic and it could change if the situation worsens.

“Sa tingin ko hindi po muna eh. Kasi mukhang okay naman pero I will observe dahil MGCQ, sinasabihan po ng ating traffic engineering na tignan maigi ang daloy ng sasakyan dahil baka biglang mag-traffic," said Abalos.

(In my opinion it shouldn’t return yet. Because things are still okay but I will observe once MGCQ is implemented. I’ll talk to our traffic engineering to monitor for possible vehicular traffic).”.

It seems number coding will stay suspended until further notice. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn't let our guard down once MGCQ is approved. Remember, only take essential trips and follow safety guidelines at all times to stop, or at the very least, slow down the infection rate of the virus.