Decoding Metro Manila's number coding scheme

Decoding Metro Manila's number coding scheme

Metro Manila drivers of past and present are familiar with the term "number coding."

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • When is the number coding policy effective?

    It is effective from Monday to Friday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for private vehicles, except on holidays.
  • Which roads in Metro Manila have number coding in effect?

    Roads covered by the number coding include EDSA, C5, C6, South Luzon Expressway, Shaw Boulevard, Roxas Boulevard, Ortigas Avenue, and Marcos Highway.
  • What is the number coding scheme?

    Formally known as the Modified Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP), the rule prohibits private motor vehicles from travelling on metro roads during certain weekdays, which correspond with the final number of a vehicle's plate number. 

    Going by UVVRP rule, cars whose plate numbers end with 1 and 2 are prohibited to travel during Mondays. The same logic applies until Fridays, which prohibit cars with plate numbers ending with 9 and 0. 

    Civic RS Close rear

     

    Enforced by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA),  the number coding aims to lower the number of cars on the road and ease congestion.

    The rule was briefly suspended at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Some time last year, the number coding was reinstated, this time the rule applies from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. along major roads, from Monday to Friday expect holidays.  

    MMDA's infographic explains the revised number coding scheme in detail. 

    Which roads in Metro Manila have number coding in effect?

    Roads covered by the number coding include EDSA, C5, C6, South Luzon Expressway, Shaw Boulevard, Roxas Boulevard, Ortigas Avenue, and Marcos Highway.

    Who are exempted from the number coding? How can I apply for the exemption? 

    As the number coding applies to private vehicles, transport network vehicle service (TNVS) units, public utility vehicles (PUVs), commercial vehicles transporting essential goods, and utility vehicles like garbage trucks are exempted from the rule. 

    Motorcycles are also exempted, as are vehicles carrying senior citizens in Makati City, as long as the senior citizens present their Blu Card from the city. 

    Speaking of senior citizens, they may apply for exemption at the MMDA along with persons with disabilities (PWDs) and business owners. 

    Suzuki S-Presso front head on

    In its website, MMDA said it requires coding exemption applicants to submit the following documents: 

    1. Letter of request.
    2. Photocopy of vehicle’s OR/CR.
    3. Senior citizen's card.
    4. Medical certificate (for PWDs).

    Applications are done at the Office of the Chairman of the MMDA, at the agency's Main Building located at EDSA cor. Orense Street in Guadalupe, Makati City.

    As for fees, private citizens and business owners need to pay P1,000  for their application. 

    Once approved, motorists can be exempted from the number coding either between January 1 to June 30, or July 1 to December 31.

    Recent developments on the number coding rule

    MMDA reconsidered bringing back the whole-day number coding rule as Metro Manila is placed under Alert Level 1. However, the agency decided not to push through after it found that the traffic volume does not call for the expanded rule.

    EDSA traffic Photo by Kap Maceda Aguila

    “Traffic is concentrated during these hours (7 a.m to 9 a.m and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.). The time stuck in traffic is just short. It eases immediately. This is why we are not seeing any reason to expand the number coding scheme,” MMDA Chairman Romando Artes was quoted as saying in a report.

    In a recent Facebook post, MMDA also advised the public to disregard a number coding scheme infographic that once circulated on social media, which said the whole-day coding policy is in effect. 

    MMDA number coding

    The agency clarified that the viral infographic is outdated and the number coding policy still stands from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.. 

    For its part, Makati City resumed on March 16 its own number coding scheme that is effective from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m..

    Makati City number coding

    Whether the number coding rule is effective, though, is still up for debate. What we do know, however, that number coding is here to stay.

    Photos and images from Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Makati City, Roy Robles, and Kap Maceda Aguila  

     

     

     

     

     

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