The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on Friday that it will not remove the window hours of the expanded number coding scheme, which allows motorists to use their vehicles during certain hours of the day.
Acting MMDA Chairman Romando Artes said the decision was made after two weeks of study and consultation with the local government units and other stakeholders. He said the window hours would help those who only have one vehicle and need to travel for work or other purposes.
“Ito rin po ay bilang pagtingin sa ating mga kababayan na iisa ang sasakyan na magamit yung kanilang sasakyan kahit covered ng number coding scheme sa particular na araw (This would help those who only have one vehicle, which they will still be able to use even during their designated off-day based on the number coding scheme),” Artes said at a press conference at the Philippine Information Agency in Quezon City.
With the window hour scheme, the number coding will only be enforced during the peak hours of 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This means that vehicles with license plates ending in 1 and 2 can still use the roads from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, and so on for the rest of the week.
Makati has its own number coding scheme from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with no window hours.
Artes said the MMDA would also implement other traffic management measures to help decongest the roads in the National Capital Region, such as intensifying clearing operations, temporary suspension of excavation activities, and adjustment of mall hours.
A 76-man strong strike force against illegal parking, he said, will augment the MMDA’s two units that conduct daily clearing operations that can only cover four areas per day. These enforcers will be divided into teams made up of four or five individuals and will roam by motorcycle instead of taking a tow truck team with them.
“Sila po ay gagamit ng body-worn cameras para may ebidensya po na illegally parked ‘yung mga sasakyan at gagamit naman po ng handheld ticketing device para mabilis ang pag-issue ng ticket (They will use body-worn cameras as evidence against those illegally-parked and a handheld ticketing device for fast issuance of tickets),” he said.
Meanwhile, mall hours have been adjusted to ensure they have as little effect on peak hours as possible. To date, malls in NCR will open at 11 a.m. and may remain open until 11 p.m., while mall deliveries are only allowed from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m.
Featured image: PNA photo by Jess M. Escaros Jr.