The Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program, also known as the number coding scheme, has been suspended since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. After over a year and a half, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is reportedly gearing up to enforce the system anew.
According to the MMDA, the mayors of Metro Manila have unanimously decided to approve a proposal to reinforce the number coding scheme in the nation's capital. The decision comes as COVID-19 cases have continued to drop over the past weeks.
With the return of the number coding scheme, designated motorists will not be allowed to traverse Metro Manila's main thoroughfares from Monday to Friday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. It's a modified version of the pre-pandemic system wherein the hours took up most of the workday.
The current system, which the MMDA plans to enforce as soon as this week, will cover the "evening rush hour," or the period in which traffic is most dense. Motorists will have to plan out their trips and commutes, particularly if they pass through expressways like the Skyway Stage 3.
The returning number coding scheme covers most cars, but there are some exceptions. Public utility vehicles benefit from exemption from the system. That includes jeepneys, buses, tricycles, and transport network vehicle services (TNVS). Those exempted from the scheme include motorcycles, fuel trucks, garbage trucks, and vehicles with essential or perishable goods inside.
With the number coding scheme coming back this week, vehicle owners will be facing quite the change. The pandemic forced many to adapt to traffic changes, but a post-pandemic future will bring even more adjustments.
As with anything, the keys are preparation and knowledge. At the very least, the MMDA's latest move could signal that we're finally close to experiencing some semblance of normality. We'll have to see how the number coding scheme affects us in the next few days.