Number Coding: Read Before Your Ride in Metro Manila Today
Driving in the Philippine metro will always be a game of strategy and flexibility.
The streets of Metro Manila are unkind to those who come unprepared. If you expect only green lights for all your crossings, you will soon find the exact opposite, with your vehicle stuck in a rut of bumper-to-bumper traffic.
With everything slowly but surely inching its way back to normalcy, more and more vehicles have been coming back on the road.
Due to this, it’s crucial to prepare for every trip you make or suffer the consequences.
In this Metro Manila coding guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Manila’s number coding scheme!
What is Number Coding?
Traffic in the Metro is a grisly reality that anyone passing by needs to live with.
According to a report by Statista, the daily traffic volume of cars in Metro Manila totaled about 3.2 million vehicles. That’s a lot of vehicles to vie for passage in the short streets of the Philippines’ capital city.
The number coding scheme, therefore, is a way to address this issue by alternating the cars present on the road.
This scheme was previously known as the UVVRP, or the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program.
This program was made to minimize the number of vehicles present on the roads of Manila at any given time. It’s done by restricting vehicles on the street based on plate numbers.
Here is the current scheme as it stands today.
Plate Number Ending
1 and 2
3 and 4
5 and 6
7 and 8
9 and 0
The table shows which numbers are prohibited from the streets on certain days.
For example, on Monday, no vehicles with plate numbers ending in 1 and 2 are allowed to drive within Metro Manila. If you belong in that category and you’re caught driving, you will incur penalties. Weekends and holidays are exemptions to this rule.
As mentioned, this scheme was designed to reduce the number of private vehicles driving around every day. It also promotes more sustainable practices such as ride-sharing, carpooling, and more.
The MMDA New August 2022 Number Coding Scheme
The pandemic drastically reduced the number of public and private vehicles out on the road, and there was virtually no traffic. Thus, there wasn’t a need to implement a number coding scheme to reduce the traffic congestion in the Metro.
However, now that things are slowly returning to normal, traffic is also approaching pre-pandemic levels.
The MMDA implemented the Expanded Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (EUVVRP), which starts on August 15, 2022.
Here are the newly implemented changes:
· Effective from 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM.
· Effective from Monday to Friday.
· Holidays and weekends are still exempted.
Where Does the Number Coding Apply?
Everything under the jurisdiction of the MMDA is covered by the EUVVRP, which means that all of Metro Manila should watch out for these coding schemes.
However, Makati City is an exemption from this rule. Although it still has a number coding scheme, it’s implemented from 7 AM to 7 PM throughout the whole day, as the city follows its own traffic code.
All major and minor roads under the jurisdiction of the MMDA follow the UVVRP coding scheme, but here are the places you’ll likely pass through the most.
· Araneta Avenue
· Aurora Boulevard
· Bonifacio Avenue
· Del Pan
· Magsaysay Boulevard
· Marcos Highway
· Ortigas Avenue
· Quezon Avenue
· Quirino Avenue
· Recto Avenue
· Rizal Avenue
· Roxas Boulevard
· Shaw Boulevard
· South Luzon Expressway (SLEX)
· Taft Avenue
More than that, there might also be other effective traffic laws that you have to watch out for because each city will also have their own sets of coding ordinances and regulations to enact. Before you pass through, ensure you’ve done your due diligence to avoid getting into trouble.
What Are UVVRP Window Hours?
Although most of Metro Manila uniformly enforces the UVVRP, the program isn’t actually active throughout the day.
If you want to drive without having to worry about your coding designation, then you should consider driving during the UVVRP window hours. This refers to the hours of the day when the coding scheme is not in effect, mostly during hours that are not deemed “rush hours.”
Rush hours are the critical traveling hours when a large number of people are getting to and from work or school.
After all, the purpose of the coding scheme is to minimize traffic – not to prevent people from traveling to wherever they want to go. So, if your errands can wait, you can schedule them within the UVVRP window hours.
These window hours typically occur between 10 AM to 3 PM for most thoroughfares and major roads.
However, there are also exemptions to the window hours. The following areas in the Metro don’t have window hours, which means the coding scheme is always in effect.
· Circumferential Roads
· Las Piñas City
· Makati City
· Mandaluyong City
· National Roads
· Pasay City, except Airport Road, Domestic Road, Gil Puyat Avenue on the Pasay side, and MIA Road or NAIA Road.
· Radial Roads
Are There Any Exemptions to the Coding Scheme?
The government implemented the coding scheme to lessen traffic during critical hours and lessen the difficulty for regular commuters. Thus, the UVVRP is mostly only there for private vehicles, meaning multiple exemptions to the coding scheme exist.
Such exemptions are the following.
· Armed forces (police and military) vehicles
· Fire trucks
· Foreign diplomats driving vehicles with diplomatic plates
· MMDA-Accredited tow trucks
· Official media vehicles
· Public utility vehicles (such as jeepneys, taxis, buses, etc.)
· TNVS (Transport Network Vehicle Service) units
· Vehicles with perishable food and essential goods.
· Vehicles carrying individuals who need urgent medical care.
Makati City also has specific UVVRP exemptions that you must keep in mind: senior citizens with Blu Cards will be exempted from this rule in that city and in that city only.
What Are the Penalties for Violating the Number Coding?
Violating the number coding scheme in Metro Manila will lead to fines. The fine for violating the UVVRP is 300 PHP, and you will likely face additional fines if you fail to settle it within seven days.
But don’t worry, settling this fine isn’t the most inconvenient thing in the world. In fact, it’s pretty streamlined because you have different payment channels to choose from.
These payment channels are the following.
· Bayad Center
· Landbank Link Biz Portal
· MMDA Traffic Management Division
· SM Bills Payment
Don’t worry; your driver’s license won’t be suspended if you’re caught violating the UVVRP. The exemptions also ensure that you won’t be fined if you have a valid reason for driving, such as medical emergencies.
However, if you fail to pay the fine, you will likely be prevented from renewing your license until you settle the fine for breaking this scheme. You may also receive additional fines for lateness and delinquency.
Your Checklist to Surviving the Number Coding Scheme
Now that you know just how specific and grueling driving in Metro Manila could be, you might start losing hope.
Luckily, although the traffic situation might be difficult at the best of times, there are always things you can do to survive.
On the streets of Manila, fortune favors those who have a plan.
This section will discuss five tips that you can implement to avoid getting stuck in traffic or being caught violating the number coding scheme.
1. Leave earlier in the day
One of the most obvious tips would be to leave earlier in the day.
You can start your driving time earlier than you usually do, so your vehicle won’t be on the road anymore when the coding scheme kicks in.
You can also use the window hours to your advantage by leaving your house during those periods. Make sure to compute the travel time accurately so that you won’t be caught still driving on the road when the coding scheme takes effect.
The ideal driving times would be early in the morning–at around 5-6 AM, or even earlier–and just after 8 PM.
2. Always be alert against Covid-19
Things might seem like it’s going back to normal, but don’t be lulled into complacency. The pandemic is still very much active, and according to the DOH tracker, there are still some 40,000 plus active cases in the country.
Just because there are far fewer people getting infected doesn’t mean that you should stop your precautions.
And all the more so if you find yourself commuting because of the coding scheme.
There will be times when your vehicle can’t go out because of the coding scheme, and you won’t have anyone you can call on for a ride. This means that you’re going to have to commute. Whether you’re going by taxi, bus, train, or the various other transportation methods available in the metro, you should always be alert against Covid-19.
Here are a couple of refreshers for your safety.
· Always ensure that you always have your new normal essentials with you, such as extra face masks, alcohol, hand sanitizers, valid IDs, and your vaccination card.
· Maintain social distancing as much as possible during the commute. When it can’t be avoided, disinfect yourself afterward.
· Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes during a commute and before you’ve disinfected your hands.
· Stay up to date on your Covid-19 vaccinations.
3. Use ride-hailing apps wisely
There might be plenty of services like Grab, Angkas, etc., on your location, but you’re not the only one who thought of the idea. You will have competition, and aside from that, your vehicle will still be subject to external traffic conditions.
This means that you can’t just spare ten minutes for your commute and call it a day. Even if you’re going to use convenient apps, you should still allow enough time for the booking and travel, or else you will most likely still run late.
4. Look for carpooling opportunities
Carpooling is exactly the kind of behavior that the authorities are trying to promote when implementing the UVVRP system.
Sharing vehicles with more people increases efficiency, allowing more people to travel while reducing the number of vehicles on the street.
However, looking for opportunities to carpool might not be as simple as it sounds. Here are a couple of possibilities you can check out if you’re looking for opportunities to carpool.
· Family. Perhaps the first place you would think to check, these groups are the most viable for both convenience and comfort. Plus, you won’t have to make too big of an adjustment to carpool. Simply come to an agreement that satisfies all parties, and you’re all set.
· Nearby friends and neighbors. If you have people you trust nearby, you can also ask them to share a ride with you. Depending on your comfort levels and how much you know these people, carpooling shouldn’t be too uncomfortable as long as you agreed on it beforehand.
· Facebook groups. There are also Facebook groups you can join where you can find possible carpool buddies near you. Although you would be sharing a car with strangers, it’s still a convenient and maybe even cheaper option than commuting alone.
· Carpooling apps. Apps such as Grab, Uber, and others have carpooling settings to share your ride and route with strangers. Although they’re the most expensive and time-consuming option, you can still save time compared to braving the streets of Manila by yourself.
5. Look for other means of transportation
Have you considered other types of transportation, such as bicycles, e-bikes, or simply even walking?
If you don’t live that far from your workplace, you can opt for these more physical activities, which can even double as exercise. Plus, you won’t have to worry about traffic or even the rising cost of fuel. The heat also won’t be that bad if you leave early in the morning and get back home around the afternoon.
However, remember that there are still precautions that you need to follow when you’re looking for alternative transportation. Here are a couple of tips when traveling more physically.
· Wear sunscreen. Being exposed to harsh sunlight every day significantly increases your risk of skin cancer. Better safe than sorry, as they say, so choose a sunscreen that’s SPF 50 or more.
· Bring an extra shirt. In case your walking or biking is more rigorous than expected, at least you will have an extra shirt or undershirt that you can change into.
· Don’t forget an umbrella. The weather can be especially unpredictable in the country, so be prepared for all possibilities with a handy umbrella.
· Hydrate. The uber-high temperatures in the metro are no joke, especially in the summer months between March and June.
· Plan your route. Stick to safe passages, and always ensure that your family or friends know your route to and from work, just in case anything happens.
Surviving the Number Coding in Metro Manila
Driving in Metro Manila can be a stressful affair – especially if you’re not prepared. To minimize the stress you will have to put up with every day, you need to know about the number coding scheme to learn how it will affect your plans.
Fortunately, everything you need to know is written in this article.
We’ve discussed in-depth the details about the UVVRP, also known as the number coding scheme, and even discussed several tips that you can use to survive it. Now, all you need is proper planning for a speedy and stress-free commute. Good luck!
Is coding lifted in Metro Manila today?
The number coding scheme in Metro Manila will only be lifted on weekends and holidays. The pandemic also caused the coding to be lifted, but it’s back now because of the frequent heavy traffic in the area.
What time is coding in Metro Manila?
In the Metro Manila area, the UVVRP is in effect during rush hours, from 7 AM to 10 AM and 5 PM to 8 PM. However, the Makati City area has a different traffic code and observes the number coding scheme from 7 AM to 7 PM.
What time does coding start in Metro Manila in 2022?
Areas under the MMDA jurisdiction start the number coding scheme at 7 AM and end at 10 AM for the morning schedule. For afternoons, the coding starts from 5 PM to 8 PM.
Does NLEX 2022 have number coding?
Private tollways and expressways are not under the strict jurisdiction of the MMDA, which means that no number coding is applicable in their midst. However, other major public highways do have number coding.