MMDA: Proposed new coding scheme only for EDSA

The proposed scheme will only be for private vehicles because they are 'more flexible to go elsewhere'

File photo by AFP

MANILA, Philippines – After receiving negative reactions from the public to the proposed new number coding scheme for vehicles, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) clarified on Thursday, July 11, that the proposal will cover the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) and applicable only to private vehicles.

The new scheme – called EDSA Road Space Rationing Program – is expected to reduce by 40% the volume of private vehicles passing through EDSA during peak hours, Tina Velasco from the Office of the Chairman told Rappler in a phone interview.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino announced the proposed scheme last Wednesday, July 10. It will be for private vehicles that are “more flexible to go elsewhere.”

Under the EDSA Road Space Rationing Program, private vehicles will not be allowed to pass through EDSA (from Mall of Asia in Pasay City to Monumento in Kalookan) during peak hours (7-10 am and 5-8 pm).

Day License plates ending in
Mondays 1, 2, 3, 4
Tuesdays 5, 6, 7, 8
Wednesdays 9, 0, 1, 2
Thursdays 3, 4, 5, 6
Fridays 7, 8, 9, 0

They can, however, pass through intersections, like Ortigas Avenue, Shaw Boulevard, and Ayala Avenue.

Velasco said the proposed scheme encourages “inclusive mobility”: private vehicles “can sacrifice” while waiting for the improvement of public transportation and other efforts of the government to ease the traffic situation in Metro Manila. 

“That’s why the Chairman said [while waiting for] public transportation to shape up – in cooperation with the LTO (Land Transportation Office) and DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) – let us not be close-minded [to the proposal],” she added.

She said around 69 percent of vehicles plying EDSA are privately-owned, while 31 percent are used for public transportation.

“[It’s about] changing your driving habit to twice a week…. Magbigayan lang tayo [and let’s] give it a shot,” Velasco said.

(It’s about changing your driving habit to twice a week…. Let’s just give way to one another and give it a shot.)

Velasco said they are still carefully examining the proposal. In fact, they are asking the LTO for a breakdown of the plate numbers of private vehicles. 

After due process and consultations with different stakeholders, they hope to present the proposal to the Metro Manila Council’s Special Traffic Committee next month.

Velasco said the scheme being proposed is not an entirely new concept. It was inspired by practices in Mexico City; Santiago, Chile; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Ecuador. – 

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