It has begun, indeed. Last week, the MMDA announced the return of the Expanded Number Coding scheme in Metro Manila. Perhaps as a response to a lot of complaints as to its very hasty re-implementation, the agency decided to only conduct dry runs from August 15-17. Those tagged as violating the Coding scheme were only pulled over and reminded that it is back in effect, but come August 18, tickets will already be issued.
First morning of Expanded Number Coding nets 516 violators
On August 15, close to 2,000 motorists were pulled over for violating the Coding scheme. Fast forward to “ticketing day 1”, yesterday, some were still caught for not complying with the scheme, and in the morning alone, 516 drivers were given citations. From 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM, both physical and no-contact apprehensions tagged these motorists, most of whom were driving along EDSA, Commonwealth, C5, and other primary thoroughfares around Metro Manila.
The Expanded Number Coding scheme is seen to reduce vehicle volume along main roadways, particularly EDSA, by 20%. With two sets of coding hours from 7:00-10:00 AM and 5:00-8:00 PM, the MMDA says that it will help alleviate traffic flow during rush hour(s). Since its return this past Monday, though, they are still conducting studies as to whether the Coding scheme is working as intended. Using their network of CCTVs, the agency did say that there is a visible difference in the line of vehicles along EDSA’s southbound lane.
In case the public has forgotten, the fine for violating the Expanded Number Coding scheme amounts to PHP 300. They also wish to remind everyone that coding days for these plate ending numbers are as follows:
1, 2 – Monday
3, 4 – Tuesday
5, 6 – Wednesday
7, 8 – Thursday
9, 0 – Friday
No coding hours are implemented on weekends as well as on declared national holidays. Do remember that some LGUs have their own rules on the implementation of Coding, so make sure you familiarize yourself with them.
The argument remains that the overall scheme whether Expanded Number Coding or Modified or any other of its iterations never worked to improve traffic flow. Since it was first implemented and after seeing a lot of “modifications”, the fact also remains that it is a traffic law that we must all abide by. We’ve already grown used to it, anyway, and its return was inevitable.
So please do plan your travel times and routes accordingly and save that PHP 300 for something better than paying for a ticket.