The number coding scheme remains suspended in the National Capital Region, except in Makati City where a modified scheme is being enforced.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority stood firm on its decision not to re-implement the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program, saying traffic is still manageable even if the volume along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue is reaching the pre-pandemic level.
“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?,” MMDA chairman Benjamin Abalos asked.
He cited the possibility that once the number coding is re-enforced, people might resort to carpooling and compromise their health and safety.
“Our cars are our personal bubble when we travel,” the MMDA chief said.
Abalos said there are still adjustments to the operations of public utility vehicles while Metro Manila is under a stricter quarantine status.
The MMDA’s number coding system was devised to keep vehicles out of major thoroughfares on certain days based on the last digit of the license plate.
The agency suspended the policy since the government carried out a community quarantine in Metro Manila amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.
The number coding system corresponds to 1 and 2 for Monday, 3 and 4 for Tuesday, 5 and 6 for Wednesday, 7 and 8 for Thursday, and 9 and 0 for Friday.
Under the scheme, which aims to ease the volume of traffic on Metro Manila’s streets, vehicles are banned from major roads from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., depending on the last digit of their car registration plates.
In Makati, local government officials said the modified number coding is strictly being implemented in the city, except weekends and holidays.
City chief information officer Romulo Salgado Jr. said vehicles with two or more passengers are exempted from the policy and will not be apprehended.
Makati started implementing the policy after the NCR was placed under the general community quarantine in June last year.