Number Coding was meant as a temporary solution to alleviate the volume of vehicles in and around Metro Manila's roads. Fast forward and it has actually become permanent. As its real name implies - Unified Vehicle Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP), it is a means of limiting the use of private vehicles based on the last number of their license plates.
In the years since its inception, it has undergone some changes - some forms of exceptions and special rules - and its these said changes that we seek to highlight in this article. So, without further ado, here's your guide to the MMDA's UVVRP, AKA, Number Coding.
Let's begin with the basics: what is Coding's basis of implementation? As we mentioned, it will be applicable to all private vehicles based on the last digit/number of their license plate (or plate number as we've grown accustomed to calling it). More properly referred to as an odd-even scheme, two numbers are not allowed to ply the roads every day, from Monday to Friday. For Monday, numbers 1 and 2 are "coded", on Tuesday are numbers 3 and 4, Wednesdays have 5 and 6, and so on and so forth.
Coding Hours, as confirmed by the MMDA, run from 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday.
This is the easy part. Remember that we also mentioned how certain exceptions and rules have also been implemented since its inception? Scroll down to see what they are.
Per the infographic above, and following confirmation from the MMDA, the roads listed thusly do not have window hours and cannot be used from 7:00AM - 8:00PM.
Window Hours: defined as hours in the day (Monday to Friday) wherein cars that are supposed to be "coded" can actually use public roads, with certain exceptions.
Metro Manila is composed of 16 cities and 1 municipality; as can be surmised, each has its own "business district" and the in- and outflux of vehicles can only be limited so much, given the workforce. It's this thought that brought about the said Window Hours. For cities that have a high influx of vehicles, or because of the simple fact that their "territory" may serve as an artery to other cities, local governments have imposed times that Coding is not applicable.
In a nutshell, only Paranaque and Pasig have Window Hours from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Those who have NO Coding, on the other hand, are Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Pateros, and Taguig. Again, easy to remember, right?
Here's where things start getting shaken up.
Let's start with the complications in and around the City of Pasig. Now, take note that all interior roads of the city do not have Coding, except the roads that you see in the infographic above.
This just means that portions of C5, Shaw Boulevard, Marcos Hi-Way, and Ortigas Avenue / Extension that are considered to be within the jurisdiction of Pasig cannot be used from 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM. Window Hours are not applicable on the stretches of roads indicated above.
As for the cities of Paranaque and Muntinlupa, the same principles apply as those of Pasig, somewhat. During Window Hours, the list of above roads can be used by coded vehicles. Take note that, again, Window Hours only run from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM, so plan your routes accordingly. Getting caught in a jam when the Window is lifted does not exempt you from Coding.
Muntinlupa does have an exception, though. If you do find yourself along Commerce Avenue or Alabang-Zapote Road before or past Window Hours, enforcers can let you pass without issuing you a violation ticket, but only if you can present stickers of AAVA and school stickers or proof that you are a resident or that you are employed in the City of Muntinlupa.
Cavite Number Coding Guide
While Cavite is not under the jurisdiction of the MMDA, its local government saw fit to implement Number Coding as well. Coding Hours include a Window from 10:00AM - 3:00PM, while total lock-out runs from 7:00AM - 10:00AM, and 3:00PM - 7:00PM.
As with the other, above-mentioned cities, Cavite also has a list of roads that cannot be used even during Window Hours, namely: Aguinaldo Highway, Governor's Drive, Molino-Salawag-Paliparan Road, and Molino Boulevard. All other streets and roads of Cavite can be used during Window Hours.
Baguio City Number Coding Guide
While there are no Window Hours implemented, the surrounding/perimeter roads around Baguio are exempted. You can find the list of roads that you can freely traverse in and around Baguio the whole day in the infographic above. All other roads not in the list are included in the Coding scheme, and cannot be used from 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM.
While Number Coding really is strictly for private vehicles, there are certain vehicles that are totally exempted from its implementation.
Public utility vehicles such as buses, jeepneys, and taxis, emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks, government vehicles (those with red plates), duly licensed and identified vehicles of medical practitioners (no, those small oval "MD" plates that you screw onto your bumpers don't count if you are not really a licensed physician), and motorcycles can run freely without having to worry about being apprehended for Coding.
And there you have it, folks, your ultimate cheat sheet for Number Coding in the Philippines. As of posting, this is what we have gathered from the MMDA and various other local governments regarding their implementation of the UVVRP.
While certain amendments may come in from time to time, trust that we will be updating this article as well with all the added information.
Use this guide wisely and properly, and have fun driving, everyone!