Number coding lifted, more mobility measures adopted

Top shot of Edsa in file photo.

THE Modified Unified Volume Vehicular Reduction Program or number coding scheme will be lifted from 5 pm to 8 pm from Holy Tuesday, April 12 up to Good Friday, April 15, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Monday.

MMDA Chairman Romando Artes said the suspension of the scheme on Holy Tuesday and Holy Wednesday, and also on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday which are both regular holidays, is meant to give the public the opportunity to travel earlier to avoid heavy traffic expected with the influx of passengers going to the provinces for the Holy Week break.

“We are suspending the number coding scheme on Tuesday and Wednesday to provide the public unhampered mobility by allowing them to use their vehicles going to the provinces,” said Artes during the inspection at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).

Artes was joined by MMDA General Manager Usec. Frisco San Juan Jr., Department of Transportation Undersecretary for Road Sector Mark Steven Pastor, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra III, and other officials to ensure an orderly and safe travel of passengers.

During the inspection, authorities observed a high volume of passengers at the PITX.

“We want to ensure a safe and convenient movement of motorists and commuters during the Holy Week. We have seen that passengers are starting to crowd the terminal. At present, the commuter volume at PITX is 100,000 daily,” said Artes.

Traffic personnel are now posted at transport terminals, traffic chokepoint areas, and several major churches, he said. “We will exert all efforts to ensure that there will be a faster turn-around of passenger buses at terminals.”

Under MMDA’s “Oplan Metro Alalay Semana Santa 2022,”  a total of 2,861 personnel are deployed on major thoroughfares, major transport hubs, and key areas in the metropolis to ensure the safe and smooth flow of vehicles this Lenten season.

Meanwhile, Pastor said they expect the number of passengers to increase this week for the first time in two years since the Covid-19 pandemic. Commuters in Metro Manila are also being offered free rides at the Edsa Busway Carousel starting today.

For his part, Delgra ordered his personnel to review the service plan or deployment of passenger buses to address the demand for public transport during Holy Week, a peak season.

Meanwhile, authorities urged passengers to strictly follow the health protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The public can also call the MMDA’s Metrobase Hotline 136 for traffic updates and road assistance. MMDA Road Emergency Group members are also tasked to attend to road emergencies.

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