2024 Guide to Number Coding

First things first, what is the number coding scheme anyway? The Number Coding Scheme, formally referred to as the Unified Vehicle Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP), is an initiative overseen by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). It regulates the movement of both private and public utility vehicles on weekdays (Monday to Friday) by restricting their access to roads according to the last digit of their license plates.

First introduced back in 1995, on an experimental basis primarily focusing on public utility vehicles (PUVs), the Number Coding Scheme later extended its coverage to include all vehicles operating along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). The scheme is not enforced during weekends and holidays. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UVVRP was briefly suspended from March 13, 2020, to November 30, 2021.

Effective August 15, 2022, the MMDA declared an expansion of the Number Coding scheme, incorporating morning and evening coding hours from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM, and 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Monday through Friday, except for holidays and weekends.

During the designated window hours, coded vehicles are permitted to travel between 10:01 AM and 4:59 PM and from 8:01 PM until 6:59 AM the following day. This scheme is the one we follow as of June 2024.

Coding Number Guideline

It’s easy to know when your car is not allowed on certain roads in Metro Manila by remembering the last digit of its plate number. If your car has a license plate ending in 1 and 2 it is restricted from traveling on certain roads every Monday. Likewise, vehicles ending in 3 and 4 face the same restriction every Tuesday, while those ending in 5 and 6 are affected every Wednesday. Thursdays apply to vehicles ending in 7 and 8, and Fridays to those ending in 9 and 0. You get the idea.

As of 2023, the expanded number coding scheme in the National Capital Region (NCR) is enforced during morning rush hours (7 AM to 10 AM) and afternoon to evening peak times (5 PM to 8 PM) on weekdays from Monday to Friday.

However, some areas like Makati City will implement the full coding scheme of 7 AM to 7 PM without window hours. If you're planning on heading to Metro Manila in a car with an active coding day, do your due diligence and check if the areas you'll pass by will have window hours.

Going from our last point we mentioned that Makati City does not implement “Window hours”, what is it? Does it mean you can drive on a coding day as long as you don’t fall in the specified hours?

Yes, you definitely can. Window hours are from 10:01 AM to 4:59 PM to be precise in areas that do not have any special restrictions.  While "Window hours" allow drivers to travel within their cities without risking infractions. However, Radial Roads, Circumferential Roads, and National Roads are not included in the window hours system. It is important to check the window hours schedule for the specific locations you plan to pass through.

According to the MMDA, the number coding scheme applies to all major roads under its jurisdiction. This includes the following thoroughfares:

  • EDSA
  • C5
  • Recto Avenue
  • Quirino Avenue
  • Araneta Avenue
  • C6
  • Roxas Boulevard
  • Taft Avenue
  • Shaw Boulevard
  • Ortigas Avenue
  • Magsaysay Boulevard
  • Aurora Boulevard
  • Quezon Avenue
  • Bonifacio Avenue
  • Rizal Avenue
  • Del Pan
  • Marcos Highway

Some areas in specific municipalities do not enforce the Number Coding Scheme. Other roads where the Number Coding Scheme does not apply are tollways operated by private entities. Here are the areas in question:

  • NAIA Expressway
  • Skyway System
  • South Luzon Expressway
  • Domestic Road
  • Ninoy Aquino Avenue
  • MIA Road
  • Sales Road
  • Parts of Airport Road
  • Some parts of Buendia
  • Tollway extensions (i.e NLEX Harbor Link)
PUVs inline image

The following are vehicles that are exempted from the number coding scheme

  • Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs - including tricycles)
  • Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS)
  • Motorcycles
  • 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 legitimate LTO Certification and special EV and Hybrid vehicle plates.

Note that the list does not apply to Makati City. Exemptions in Makati City apply only to vehicles carrying senior citizen BluCard holders, emergency vehicles, vehicles on “official functions”, and electric vehicles.

As mentioned above, electric vehicles or EVs and hybrid vehicles are exempted from the UVVRP. This is because of Republic Act No. 11697, also known as the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA). Under this law, electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles are now exempt from the coding scheme. To qualify for this exemption, the certificates of registration for these vehicles must explicitly state that the model is a hybrid. 

Hybrid Plate

Not all hybrid vehicles are created equal, some “hybrid vehicles” employ a technology called a “mild-hybrid” system. Mild hybrids typically feature an internal combustion engine (ICE) paired with a small battery and an auxiliary electric motor and generator in a parallel hybrid configuration. While this setup does not enable electric-only propulsion, it is said to provide additional benefits like increased fuel efficiency and a bit more power.

It’s because mild-hybrid vehicles cannot propel themselves using electricity alone that they are not exempt from the Coding Scheme. Your car will only be exempt from the Coding Scheme if it is recognized by the Department of Energy (DOE). Check with the DOE’s list of recognized EVs and Hybrids before making a purchase on a car that you believe is Coding exempt.

MMDA Enforcers

We all know we shouldn’t do it, but how big of a fine will you face if you get caught violating the Number Coding Scheme? 

If you are caught violating the number coding scheme rules or UVVRP, you will need to pay a standard fine of P300 to P500 depending on where you got penalized. This penalty must be settled within seven days; otherwise, you will incur additional fines when renewing your driver's license, causing further inconvenience.

You can pay the fine for your number coding scheme violation through various MMDA-approved channels, including Landbank, SM Bills Payment, and Bayad Center. Additionally, Bayad Center partners like GCash, PayMaya, and GrabPay can be used to settle MMDA fines.

Back in 2023, the MMDA also introduced handheld ticketing devices that can also facilitate payment of fines on the spot. 

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. Check with the social media pages of LGUs, they will usually provide prompt answers to these kinds of queries.

Metro Manila's Central Business District, Makati City enforces the number coding rule from 7 AM to 7 PM without window hours. Violators will face a standard fine of P300. However, Makati City exempts vehicles carrying senior citizen Blu Card holders, whether they are drivers or passengers, as well as vehicles on official functions or medical emergencies, as specified in the Makati code.

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. 

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. 

Pasay City follows the number coding scheme from 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM coding period with a window period of 10 AM to 4 PM. However, 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).

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.

As of August 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.

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. Take note of which areas the coding scheme is implemented before heading to Manila.

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 

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.

The City of San Juan is currently practicing the number coding scheme scheduled from 7 AM to 7 PM. Along with its respective timeframe, restricted vehicles are allowed to roam during window hours which commence from 10 AM to 3 PM. 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.

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 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. 

Metro Manila is not the only area suffering from traffic congestion, as such, the UVVRP has been extended to areas outside Metro Manila, including Baguio, Cabanatuan, and Dagupan. All these cities adhere to the same daily conduction sticker or license plate restriction.

Baguio, also known as the City of Pines, enforces restrictions in selected areas, primarily tourist spots such as Session Road, Burnham Park, and the Baguio City Market. The coding period in Baguio is from 7 AM to 7 PM, mirroring the schedule in the National Capital Region (NCR).

In the Central Business District of Baguio, where offices, businesses, and major schools are located, the number coding scheme is implemented on weekdays from 7 AM to 7 PM. Violators are subject to a fine of P500.

The province of Cavite used to practice the Unified Vehicular Reduction System (UVRS), with its number coding scheme in effect on weekdays from 6 AM to 7 PM on major thoroughfares within the province's jurisdiction. However, under Provincial Ordinance 283-2020, the number coding scheme is suspended until further notice.

The Number Coding Scheme has undergone many changes since it was first introduced in 1995, so don’t assume it will remain in its current form forever. Back in 2022, the MMDA has been studying ways to further reduce the number of cars on the road by suggesting two new formats of the UVVRP which will ban vehicles for two days in a week.

The initial choice is an odd-even scheme, prohibiting vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers (1,3,5,7,9) on Mondays and Thursdays, and those ending in even numbers (2,4,6,8,0) on Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesdays are designated as no-coding days, permitting all vehicles to utilize public roads.

The next option aimed at reducing traffic by 40 percent, is more complicated. Under this proposal, vehicles with plates ending in 1,2,3,4 are restricted every Monday, 5,6,7,8 every Tuesday, 9,0,1,2 every Wednesday, 3,4,5,6 every Thursday, and 7,8,9,0 every Friday.

As of now, two years later, both of these methods have not implemented, with criticism directed at the two-day vehicle ban and the overly complicated scheme. The MMDA has not provided any further updates to changing up the Coding Scheme recently, but it's best to still be on the lookout for future developments.

Latest Features

View More Articles

Popular Articles