Coding in effect from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

We hope you all have had a good and refreshing break and are set to get back to work. Of course, some have had too good a time with parties (and quarantine breaches). But if we were to all be honest with ourselves, many didn't observe the minimum guidelines for this ever-extending pandemic; with or without connections.

And that's why Metro Manila is greeting the new year with Alert Level 3 instead of going down to a more relaxed Alert Level 1.

With the new Alert Level means more restrictions. The government is reducing the maximum capacity at venues and social events, higher education face-to-face classes, recreational venues, tourist attractions, religious gatherings, so on and so forth. It also means face-to-face classes at the basic level are not allowed, along with a closure of certain entertainment businesses and indoor sports.

But the question from many motorists is simple: will coding be lifted?

The answer from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is no. Coding stays under Alert Level 3 in its evening-only form from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

At the onset of the pandemic last year, the MMDA suspended coding because public transport was saddled with restrictions on capacity given the need for social distancing. That made mobility even more important, which is why PMDs (Personal Mobility Devices) such as bicycles, motorized scooters, and the like are important, and why the Department of Transportation prioritized adding bike lanes.

In December, the MMDA re-implemented coding in the evening with the approval of the mayors of Metro Manila. This was to help alleviate the traffic situation given the “holiday rush” in the run-up to Christmas. Of course, the exception is (the Republic of) Makati which has had coding in its full form because of the volume of cars entering the CBD.

So be advised: coding is still in effect in the evening. If your plate ends in 1 or 2 you're coding on Monday, 3 or 4 on Tuesday, 5 or 6 on Wednesday, 7 or 8 on Thursday, 9 or 10 on Friday.