What is the Number Coding scheme?
The Unified Vehicle Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP), or simply known as the Number Coding Scheme, is a program implemented by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) that restricts both private and public utility vehicles from traversing the roads based on the last digit of the vehicle's license plate. This scheme is enforced during weekdays (Monday to Friday).
The Number Coding Scheme was first implemented in 1995 as an experimental basis that initially targets public utility vehicles (PUV). The program later included all vehicles plying Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). During weekends and holidays, the number coding scheme is not implemented. The said system has been updated multiple times before the government agency came up with the latest version we use today.
Is the Number Coding in effect now?
As of August 15, 2022, the MMDA Announced that the Number Coding scheme will include morning and evening coding hours, 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM, and 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, but excluding holidays and weekends.
The designated window hours for coded cars are between 10:01 AM to 4:59 PM and 8:01 PM until 6:59 AM of the next day.
What is the purpose of the Number Coding scheme?
The UVVRP or Number Coding Scheme aims to lessen the traffic congestion in the Philippines by banning vehicles that travel on public roads depending on their license plate. This program is based on Section 1 of Memorandum Regulation No. 96-005. As of 201. As of August 2022, the number coding scheme now starts from 7 AM to 10 AM and then resumes from 5 PM to 8 PM with the time in between these hours being considered as "window hours" without coding.
What are the Number Coding days?
As a driver or even as a car owner, it’s best to know your vehicle’s plate number, especially its last digit to avoid using it on the imposed number coding days. Plate numbers that end with 1 and 2 are not allowed to travel on certain roads every Monday. The same policy applies on plate numbers 3 and 4 every Tuesday, 5 and 6 every Wednesday, 7 and 8 every Thursday, and 9 and 0 every Friday.
At what time are the Number Coding hours?
Based on UVVRP, the standard coding scheme period is from 7 AM to 8 PM, however, in August of 2022, the MMDA has made the coding hours from 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM. There are, however, special areas such as Makati City that still stick with the traditional 7 AM to 7 PM coding scheme.
What are window hours?
‘Window hours’ gives drivers the immediate grant to go through their cities without fear of infractions. Radial Roads, Circumferential Roads, and National Roads, on the other hand, are not supported by the window hours system. Although there are no window hours on the following roads as mentioned, drivers can cut through these roads by taking secondary routes. Do take note that this would require you to check the window hours schedule of the respective location you are to pass through.
In August of 2022, the MMDA announced that it would be switching up the coding hours once again as the situation in most areas has stabilized from the pandemic. Window hours are now from 10:01 AM to 4:59 PM to be precise in areas that do not have any special restrictions.
Are there any cities in Metro Manila without Number Coding window hours?
Makati is the only city that does not follow the Number Coding window hours. The rest of cities within Metro Manila follow the standard coding scheme with a window period of between 10:01AM to 4:59PM.
What vehicles are exempt from Number Coding?
The following are vehicles that are exempted from the number coding scheme
- Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs - including tricycles
- Transport Network Vehicle Services
- Garbage, fuel, and Fire trucks
- Marked government vehicles and marked Media Vehicles
- Motor vehicles carrying essential or perishable goods
- Doctors with valid and updated PRC Licenses
- Electric and Hybrid Vehicles with LTO certification
Note that the list does not apply for Makati City
What are the penalties for being caught by a traffic enforcer when violating Number Coding?
If ever caught violating the number coding scheme rules or UVVRP, you’ll need to pay a standard fine of P300. The said penalty shall be settled within seven days or else, you’ll have to face additional fines when you renew your driver’s license which means more of a hassle on your part.
Rules in Alabang
Muntinlupa City does not have a number coding scheme except for the following roads that use the MMDA's coding scheme.
- Ayala-Alabang National Road
- Alabang-Zapote Road corner Buencamino and North Gate
In case you violate the rule, you will have a fine of P500 on the first offense, P750 on the second offense, and P1,000 on the third and succeeding offenses. Do note that these penalties and coding schemes were prior to the pandemic as such some rules may have changed.
Rules in Makati City
Known as Metro Manila's Central Business District, Makati City has no window hours which means that the number coding rule applies from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. A standard fine of P300 will be imposed on violators. Makati City, however, does exempt vehicles carrying senior citizen Blu Card holders as drivers or passengers and those under official functions and medical emergencies as stated in the Makati code.
Rules in Quezon City
Quezon City now follows the MMDA's coding scheme of 7 AM to 10 AM and 5 PM to 8 PM with window hours from 10:01 AM to 4:59 PM.
Rules in Pasig City
As Pasig City is part of Metro Manila, it follows the MMDA's coding scheme of 7 AM to 10 AM and 5 PM to 8 PM with window hours from 10:01 AM to 4:59 PM.
Rules in Pasay City
If you're living in Pasay and your vehicle is coding, be reminded that this city has a number coding scheme from7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM coding period with a window period of 10 AM to 4 PM. However, this coding doesn’t apply to thoroughfares such as Domestic Road, Ninoy Aquino Avenue, MIA Road, Sales Road, parts of Airport Road, and parts of Buendia (Gil Puyat).
Rules in Paranaque City
In Paranaque City, they follow the standardized coding scheme set up by the MMDA. This means that there is coding between 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM coding period with a window period of 10 AM to 4 PM. This follows the implementation of the coding scheme that was brought back in August of 2022.
Rules in Mandaluyong City
As of August of 2022, Mandaluyong City now follows the MMDA's coding scheme. This means that there is coding from 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM with a window period of 10 AM to 4 PM.
Rules in Manila City
Manila is a vast city composed of several areas where vehicles can pass through. As such, there are certain locations that implement the number coding scheme without window hours, while other Manila roads are set to follow the 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM coding period with a window period of 10 AM to 4 PM.
Rules in Valenzuela City
The number coding scheme is implemented in Valenzuela City which starts from 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM coding period with a window period of 10:01 AM to 4:59 PM as of August of 2022 with the MMDA's reimplementation of its coding scheme.
This program takes effect on these roads:
- MacArthur Highway
- Maysan – Paso De Blas – Bagbaguin Road
- Karuhatan – Gen. T. De Leon Road
- Gov. I. Santiago Road (Malinta to Tatawid)
- Mindanao Avenue (Barangay Ugong)
- East and West NLEX Service Road
- T. Santiago Road
- Sapang Bakaw (Lawang Bato) - Punturin – Bignay Road
Rules in Taguig City
The city of Taguig is partially exempted from the coding scheme. That said, there are still some selected areas that implement the coding scheme. Specifically national roads within its boundaries, including East Service Road, and Manuel L. Quezon Avenue.
Rules in San Juan City
The City of San Juan is currently practicing the number coding scheme scheduled from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Along with its respective timeframe, restricted vehicles are allowed to roam during window hours which commence from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We have yet to receive information from the city if they have adopted the implementation of the 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM coding period with a window period of 10 AM to 4 PM.
Rules in Caloocan City
In Caloocan City, motorists observe its number coding scheme that runs from the usual 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM coding period. While other roads within the vicinity of Caloocan are granted with the 10 AM to 4 PM window hour system, Samson Road has been left exempted. This means restricted vehicles are not allowed to traverse the said area throughout the entire number coding scheme period. Do note that these penalties and coding schemes were prior to the pandemic as such some rules may have changed.
Is there Number Coding outside of Metro Manila?
In order to constantly regulate vehicular activities in different areas, the UVVRP has also been stretched throughout different locations outside of Metro Manila. This includes Baguio, Cavite, Cabanatuan, and Dagupan, with all cities following the same daily conduction sticker or license plate restriction.
Baguio or commonly known by many as the city of pines, actually has selected areas that are limited to restrictions, these places are mainly composed of tourist areas such as Session Road, Burnham Park, and Baguio City Market in general. The coding period is from 7 AM to 7 PM similar to what is happening in the National Capital Region (NCR).
That said, the number coding scheme is implemented along the Central Business District which it is crowded due to offices, businesses, and big schools situated within the area. Its coding scheme period commences during weekdays, specifically from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Notably, the number coding in Baguio is lifted during holidays, festivals, and summer vacation months in order to accommodate more tourists. Violators will then have to pay a fine of P500.
Cavite City has also been practicing the UVVRP, with its number coding scheme being implemented during weekdays from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on major thoroughfares within the territorial jurisdiction of the province:
- Aguinaldo Highway (Bacoor to Dasmarinas-Silang boundary)
- Governor's Drive (Carmona to Trece Martires City - Tanza boundary)
- Molino-Salawag-Paliparan Road (Zapote, Bacoor to Paliparan, Dasmarinas)
- Molino Boulevard
- Daang Hari Road (Aguinaldo Highway, Imus to Molino, Bacoor)
Window hours usually last from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Above all its number coding policies, violators will then have to pay a fine of P300.
Are there likely to be any changes to Number Coding in the future?
In most circumstances, change is inevitable. A principle that does apply to the UVVRP. Constant efforts are raised in order to properly regulate the flow of vehicular traffic. Just to recall, Pasig’s odd-even number coding scheme was discontinued by Mayor Vico Sotto, as it is believed to be an unfair system.
Changes commenced as Pasig began to lean back towards the usual number coding scheme, believing that there are better solutions for the city’s vehicular traffic which would then require them to engage in further studies in order to formulate strategic solutions.
Window hours are undoubtedly a blessing for many local motorists, given the instant grant of freedom for restricted vehicles to roam around roads for a limited amount of time. However, MMDA General Manager, Jojo Garcia, requested for a standardized 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. no window coding scheme. This would prohibit restricted vehicles from plying the road throughout the entire coding period. Currently, Radial Roads, Circumferential Roads, and National Roads are not already supported by the window system.
With a number of strategic solutions being proposed and applied today, certain changes in the number coding scheme will surely occur in the near future.
In response to the traffic situation returning to normal after the pandemic the MMDA as of August 2022 has decided to revert the coding scheme back to normal on a 7 AM to 10 AM and 5 PM to 8 PM basis.
Metro Manila Number Coding Scheme during the pandemic
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) suspended the number coding scheme in Metro Manila due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has since reinstated the program which started on August 15, 2022.
Makati City, however, has its own modified number coding scheme that follows the same coding format used by the MMDA in Metro Manila, the only difference is that the LGU exempts vehicles with two or more people from being apprehended. Aside from that, there are also certain types of vehicles that are exempted from Makati’s modified number coding scheme:
- Fire trucks
- Police patrol
- Military vehicles on official functions
- Diplomatic vehicles with diplomatic plates
- Government vehicles with government plates in official use
- Official media vehicles with marking
- Tow trucks accredited in Makati
- Vehicles used by medical practitioners in an emergency
- Vehicles with Senior Citizen Blu Card holders