MANILA – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino on Wednesday said that the proposed abolition of the Unified Vehicle Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or number coding in public utility vehicles (PUVs) will cause more traffic along metropolis road.
This was the reaction of Tolentino on the Moderate Transport Leaders (MTR) call for the abolition of the number coding scheme for PUVs like buses, taxis and jeepneys.
Under the UVVRP, vehicles cannot pass major roads in Metro Manila from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. depending on the last digit of their license plates but there is a given window period from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. except in Makati City and Las Pinas where number coding is observed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Covered by the number coding on Monday are vehicles with plate numbers ending in 1 and 2; 3 and 4 on Tuesdays; 5 and 6 on Wednesdays; 7 and 8 on Thursdays; and 9 and 0 on Fridays.
The group said they are losing about 20 percent of their income because of the number coding scheme. It also said that there is scarcity of PUVs in the metro especially during rush hours.
Tolentino told reporters on Wednesday that this proposal will just cause massive traffic since Edsa is already operating at overcapacity and some metro roads are being constructed and repaired.
“If we will allow number coding, the vehicle volume along roads will increase since the road space remains the same,” Tolentino said noting that this will lessen the speed of cars along roads and would make it difficult to respond to emergency situations.
Tolentino also said this would only contribute to traffic especially on EDSA, adding around 225,000 vehicles are plying the major thoroughfare daily, including 3,324 city buses and 3,589 provincial buses.
“Ang capacity ng EDSA ay 160,000 ngayon ay 250,000 na. Overcapacity na, tapos ginagawa pa ang mga kalsada. Lalagyan mo pa ng mga sasakyan (EDSA’s capacity is 160,000 [vehicles], now it’s at 250,000. It’s beyond its capacity and there are also some road repairs. Now you’re going to add more vehicles),” he said.
“We are trying to reduce traffic along roads since there is not enough road space for the number of vehicles,” he added.
For his part, MMDA Assistant General Manager Emerson Carlos said that PUVs make up about 20 percent of the total vehicle volume in Metro Manila and this number can cause traffic jams if they will be allowed to use the roads every day without restrictions.
Tolentino also added that the Metro Manila mayors should also be asked on their position on the issue as it will affect all the 17 local government units.