THE NUMBER coding scheme has been lifted this week starting April 12, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced Monday.
The agency said this is in consideration of the observance of Holy Week when people usually travel to their hometowns or holiday destinations.
In the past two years, mobility restrictions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic were in effect.
“We are suspending the number coding scheme on Tuesday and Wednesday to provide the public unhampered mobility by allowing them to use their vehicles going to the provinces,” MMDA Chairman Romando S. Artes said during an inspection at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange on Monday.
Mr. Artes, along with transport officials, noted the already higher than usual passenger volume at the transport hub.
Formally called the Modified Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program, the number coding scheme bans vehicles with plates ending in 1 and 2 from roads on Mondays, 3 and 4 on Tuesdays, 5 and 6 on Wednesdays, 7 and 8 on Thursdays, 9 and 0 on Fridays from 5-8 p.m.
It is automatically lifted during official holidays.
Meanwhile, Senator Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva on Monday called on MMDA to consult economic managers on the proposed expansion of the number coding scheme to ensure businesses and workers will not be negatively affected.
“People want to go back to work as we are reopening the economy,” Mr. Villanueva, chair of the Senate Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development Committee, said in a statement.
MMDA, following multi-stakeholder consultations last month, said last week that it is planning to expand the coding scheme hours, currently in effect from 5-8 p.m., to include morning rush hours.
Several other recommendations on easing vehicular flow in the capital region are also under consideration.
The senator also called on businesses and government offices to fully implement the law on telecommuting or work-from-home to help decongest roads. — Marifi S. Jara and Alyssa Nicole O. Tan