'Window hour' for coding scheme stays – MMDA

By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

November 24, 2023, 5:03 pm

<p>MMDA acting chair Romando Artes <em>(PNA photo by Joey Razon)</em></p>

MMDA acting chair Romando Artes (PNA photo by Joey Razon)

MANILA – The "window hour” for the number coding scheme in the National Capital Region (NCR) will remain enforced based on present vehicular traffic conditions, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Friday.

MMDA acting chair Romando Artes said the plan to lift the scheme was scrapped to ensure that those who own one vehicle could still travel during the holidays.

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.

“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 PIA in Quezon City.

The decision, he said, is based on a two-week study that seeks to anticipate traffic conditions during the holidays.

“Kaya naman pong itawid na hindi maging parking lot 'yung ating mga lansangan sa Metro Manila habang lumalapit yung Kapaskuhan (Looks like we can avoid turning the streets of Metro Manila into a parking lot as Christmas day nears),” he said.

Several traffic management measures will be enforced to help decongest NCR roads, such as intensifying clearing operations, temporary suspension of excavation activities and adjustment of mall hours, he said.

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.

Each team will aim to visit at least 10 locations per day, increasing the areas covered by clearing operations.

“Kung ang iniisip niyo ay ‘napuntahan naman ako kahapon o isang linggo, ang balik na ng MMDA ay mga three months after,’ ngayon po hindi na yan mangyayari. Kahit every week kaya namin kayo balikan (If you’re thinking, ‘the MMDA just visited us recently, they won’t be back until after three months,’ that’s not happening anymore. We’ll be able to visit you every week),” Artes said.

Meanwhile, the temporary suspension of excavating activities that started on Nov. 13 will end on Jan. 8, 2024.

However, Artes said the suspension does not cover government flagship infrastructure projects, emergency repairs of water providers, emergency projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways, and Meralco relocation works.

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.

To ensure the safety of the public, the MMDA has also extended the duty hours of their enforcers until midnight. (PNA)