When San Miguel Corporation (SMC) started collecting fees on Skyway 3 last July 12, traffic along EDSA, C5, and other major roadways became heavier once again. With it, does this mean that the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or "coding" will make its return in Metro Manila?
According to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the number coding scheme remains suspended until further notice. MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos adds that there is no need to impose the number coding scheme yet as there are still many factors to consider.
Abalos reiterated that public transportation is still not yet on normal operations. Subsequently, the capacity of PUVs is still limited to 50%. Not to mention there is also a relative lack of PUVs as compared to before the pandemic hit.
“If we implement the number coding scheme now, can our public transport accommodate passengers given the minimum health protocols such as social distancing needed to be implemented?” asked Abalos.
But what is perhaps the ultimate reason the MMDA is wary of bringing back the number coding scheme is that people might resort to carpooling. While it may help reduce the number of vehicles on the road, it might compromise the health of the driver and the passengers. This, in turn, could result in more possible spreading of the disease.
Abalos also pointed out that motorists relying on cars will be forced to use public transportation and would therefore add to the number of commuters lining up for PUVs.
“This will be hazardous to the health of the majority,” added Abalos.
As more vehicles go back to using EDSA (as well as C5) as a free alternative to Skyway3, the MMDA suggests motorists use the Mabuhay Lanes and other alternate routes to get to their destinations.
“I am asking for the public's understanding and utmost cooperation as the government is still addressing the issue of transportation. Mabuhay Lanes serve as alternate routes for motorists who want more options going to their destination,” said Abalos.
Do you believe that bringing back number coding will result in fewer vehicles in the metro? Or will it cause people to carpool, which could compromise their health amid the pandemic?