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The Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP), commonly called number coding or color coding, is a road space rationing program in the Philippines that aims to reduce traffic congestion, in particular during peak hours, by restricting the types of vehicles that can use major public roads based on the final digit of the vehicle's license plate. First implemented in 1995 in Metro Manila, the similar programs has also been implemented in the cities of Baguio, Cabanatuan, and Dagupan and the province of Cavite.

History

The Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program was the culmination of two plans devised in the mid-1990s to help resolve the issue of heavy traffic congestion in Metro Manila, which by then was the subject of much complaint among motorists, by restricting the number of vehicles on the road. Although it was first implemented in 1995, the UVVRP in its current form dates back to 1996.

The traffic situation in Metro Manila and initial impetus (1995)

The original UVVRP was conceived by Col. Romeo Maganto, who served as the executive director of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority's traffic management office.[1] First implemented in October 1995 on an experimental basis, to address the traffic congestion caused by the construction of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA),[2] it initially targeted public utility vehicles, later expanding to all vehicles plying EDSA, where traffic congestion in Metro Manila was at its heaviest.[1] Vehicles covered under the original UVVRP were banned from EDSA for the entire day based on the last digit of a vehicle's license plate, similar to the current UVVRP.[3]

On November 6, 1995, upon the urging of public transport groups, Maganto expanded the UVVRP to include all vehicles on most Metro Manila roads in an attempt to prevent rat running, which caused private vehicular traffic to use secondary roads alongside jeepneys. By this time, of the estimated 1.1 million motor vehicles then plying city roads, around 70 percent of those vehicles — which numbered around 800,000 — were private vehicles, and the MMDA was under pressure to resolve Metro Manila's worsening traffic problems. The worsening traffic on secondary roads forced Maganto to implement a blanket ban on private vehicles as well, with the ban being implemented during rush hour from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 5:00–7:00 p.m.[1]

The UVVRP, however, at this time was still largely voluntary, and while it was implemented by Maganto's office, the program did not have a legal basis in Metro Manila law. Mayors, in particular Jejomar Binay of Makati, were leery of the program, accusing Maganto of circumventing the Metro Manila Council, which sets policy for the MMDA, and with Maganto even threatening to resign if mayors did not support the plan. This was compounded by the fact that Maganto's original scheme did not specify penalties for violations of the UVVRP, since penalties could only be imposed by the MMC.[4] Tensions came to a head on November 21, 1995, when Senator Vicente Sotto III had to appeal to Maganto and the mayors during a Senate hearing on the scheme to work together to resolve Metro Manila's traffic problems.[5]

This changed when on November 23, 1995, Chairman Prospero Oreta signed MMDA Regulation No. 95-001, which codified Maganto's scheme, and mandated that strict implementation of the program begin on December 1, 1995. The final version adopted by the MMDA combined elements of the original UVVRP and the partial ban implemented by Maganto for private vehicles, where vehicles with plate numbers ending in an odd number were to be barred from major streets in Metro Manila on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and vehicles with plate numbers ending in an even number were to barred on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.[6] No total ban was mandated in the version passed by the MMC. This was the subject of much confusion and criticism on the first day of implementation, with motorists claiming that the new scheme did not significantly reduce traffic congestion, unlike Maganto's original scheme.[6]

Return to the original UVVRP (1996–2003)

Although the UVVRP was implemented in the manner specified in MMDA Regulation 95-001, the original UVVRP was reimplemented in early 1996, with Maganto announcing a twelve-hour ban on vehicles plying EDSA depending on the final digit of the vehicle's license plate. Originally imposed due to rehabilitation works on the Guadalupe Bridge, the start of three major road projects resulted in the ban being extended to September in order to reduce the number of vehicles using EDSA to go around affected roads in inner Manila, coexisting alongside the odd-even UVVRP which was implemented on all other roads.[7]

COVID-19 pandemic

The program was suspended in Metro Manila from March 13, 2020 to November 30, 2021 during the community quarantines due to the COVID-19 pandemic,[8][9] except in Makati, where a modified number coding scheme was being implemented, except on vehicles carrying two or more passengers and during weekends and holidays.[10]

The suspension was lifted on December 1, 2021, this time implementing a modified scheme.[11] All vehicles with banned motor vehicle plate endings under the UVVRP, except for public utility vehicles, transportation network vehicle services, motorcycles, garbage trucks, fuel trucks, and vehicles carrying essential and perishable goods and physicians with valid ID are covered in the modified scheme from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays, excluding holidays. Meanwhile, light trucks are prohibited from using EDSA between Magallanes, Makati and North Avenue, Quezon City from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays, excluding holidays.[12][13] The scheme was later expanded to morning rush hours on August 15, 2022, from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. from Mondays to Fridays, excluding holidays, by virtue of MMDA Resolution No. 22-14.[14]

The full number coding scheme in Makati was resumed on March 16, 2022, wherein all vehicles with banned motor vehicle plate endings under the UVVRP, except for vehicles that carry senior citizen BluCard holders and those traveling for official business or medical emergency, are covered in the scheme from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays, excluding holidays.[15][16]

Current implementation

The following table shows which plate number endings are barred from traveling in Metro Manila:

Day of Week Plates Ending in
Monday 1, 2
Tuesday 3, 4
Wednesday 5, 6
Thursday 7, 8
Friday 9, 0

As of 2023, UVVRP is currently implemented as follows:[14][17][18][19]

  1. Applies from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., from Mondays to Fridays, excluding holidays.
  2. Window hours from 10:01 a.m. to 4:59 p.m. Some differences apply for certain cities. See below.
  3. Applies to major roads, radial roads, and circumferential roads in Metro Manila.
  4. Not applied to expressways traversing Metro Manila.
  5. Motorcycles, public utility vehicles (PUV), transport network vehicle services (TNVS), garbage trucks, fuel trucks, marked government vehicles, marked media vehicles, emergency vehicles (e.g. fire trucks, ambulances), and motor vehicles carrying essential and/or perishable goods are exempted.

The following are city-specific implementations:[20][21]

  1. Caloocan: No window hours along Samson Road
  2. Makati: Full number coding is applied from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. with no window hours from Mondays to Fridays, excluding holidays
    • Only vehicles carrying senior citizen BluCard holders, emergency vehicles, and vehicles "under official functions" are exempted.[15]
    • MMDA's number coding scheme is enforced on EDSA and Osmeña Highway.
  3. Malabon: UVVRP not implemented, however it is enforced on MacArthur Highway and C-4 Road
  4. Marikina: UVVRP not implemented, however it is enforced on Marcos Highway
  5. Muntinlupa: UVVRP not implemented, however it is enforced on Alabang–Zapote Road
  6. Navotas: UVVRP not implemented, however it is enforced on C-3 Road, C-4 Road, and Radial Road 10
  7. Parañaque: Vehicles with senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) are also exempted.
  8. Pasay: UVVRP not implemented only on the following roads:
  9. Pateros: UVVRP not implemented
  10. San Juan: Full number coding is applied from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. with window hours from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays, excluding holidays
  11. Taguig: UVVRP not implemented, however it is enforced on the following roads:
  12. Valenzuela: UVVRP not implemented, however it is enforced on the following roads:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Aravilla, Jose (November 3, 1995). "Color-coding scheme ban to include private cars". Manila Standard. Kamahalan Publishing Corporation. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  2. ^ Tort, Marvin (December 9, 1998). "IRON HORSES; Hare-brained ideas". BusinessWorld. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  3. ^ Aravilla, Jose (April 4, 1996). "Maganto mulls implementing voluntary 'color coding' plan". Manila Standard. Kamahalan Publishing Corporation. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  4. ^ Frialde, Mike (November 19, 1995). "Binay presses stand on traffic scheme". Manila Standard. Kamahalan Publishing Corporation. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  5. ^ Villanueva, Marichu A. (November 22, 1995). "Solon tells quarreling execs to get act together". Manila Standard. Kamahalan Publishing Corporation. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Calobo, Arlie; Aravilla, Jose (December 2, 1995). "Confusion mars odd-even scheme implementation". Manila Standard. Kamahalan Publishing Corporation. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  7. ^ Aravilla, Jose (April 23, 1996). "Modified color-coding scheme on Edsa until September". Manila Standard. Kamahalan Publishing Corporation. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  8. ^ Galvez, Daphne (March 13, 2020). "Number coding lifted —MMDA". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  9. ^ Santos, Jel (January 15, 2021). "Number coding scheme remains lifted —MMDA". Manila Bulletin.
  10. ^ Zurbano, Joel (July 15, 2021). "NCR's number coding still on hold; Makati modifies traffic scheme". Manila Standard. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  11. ^ Official MMDA [@MMDA] (December 2, 2021). "#mmda" (Tweet). Retrieved December 4, 2021 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Dela Cruz, Raymond Carl (November 29, 2021). "Reimposition of 5-8 p.m. number coding in NCR expected this week". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  13. ^ Laurel, Drei (May 4, 2022). "MMDA: Doctors are exempted from number coding scheme, provided they can show ID". Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  14. ^ a b "MMDA Resolution No. 22-14, s. 2022" (PDF). Metro Manila Development Authority. August 11, 2022. Retrieved March 12, 2024.
  15. ^ a b Gonzales, Cathrine (March 8, 2022). "'Normal' number coding scheme back in Makati starting March 16". Inquirer.net. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  16. ^ "Makati to resume full vehicle number coding scheme by March 16". BusinessWorld. March 1, 2022. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  17. ^ Zulueta, Allysa Mae (April 4, 2023). "The 2023 Guide to Number Coding in the Philippines". Autodeal. Retrieved August 19, 2023.
  18. ^ Lee, Earl (April 26, 2022). "Is there number coding on Philippine Highways/Expressways?". Autodeal. Retrieved August 19, 2023.
  19. ^ "16 roads covered by number coding scheme; full implementation starts Aug. 18". BusinessWorld. August 14, 2022.
  20. ^ RadyoMaN Manila (April 14, 2023). "Expanded number coding scheme, ipatutupad sa lungsod ng Parañaque" (in Filipino). Radio Mindanao Network. Retrieved December 8, 2023.
  21. ^ Afuang, Dylan (February 1, 2023). "The 2023 Guide to MMDA Number Coding in the Philippines". Zigwheels. Retrieved January 23, 2024.