Everything is starting to look and feel like the old normal, huh? Everyone’s (well, almost!) back in the office, commuters are once again running after buses and jeepneys to get to their destination on time, and students will soon be attending face-to-face classes in schools. The only difference, really, is that we are still donning these face masks to keep the virus from getting into our system and to protect those that have yet to be vaccinated.
One of the indicators that we are slowly easing our way back to the new-old normal is the re-implementation of the number coding scheme in Metro Manila. Number coding was lifted when the pandemic hit our country in March 2020, it was revived only last December 2021. However, instead of the usual 7am to 8pm coding hours, the MMDA modified its implementation to only happen between 5pm to 8pm, Mondays to Fridays. This means that vehicles on coding may still ply Metro Manila’s main thoroughfares during the day — specifically and more importantly during the early morning rush hours when everyone’s trying to get to work on time.
What areas are covered by the Number Coding Scheme?
All major roads are covered by the number coding scheme; however, other areas like Makati implement it a bit differently. In Makati, their number coding scheme is in effect between 7am to 7pm, while Muntinlupa only implements the measure along the always busy Alabang-Zapote road.
Currently, the following areas implement the number coding scheme:
- Recto Avenue
- Quirino Avenue
- Araneta Avenue
- Roxas Boulevard
- Taft Avenue
- South Luzon Expressway
- Shaw Boulevard
- Ortigas Avenue
- Magsaysay Boulevard
- Aurora Boulevard
- Quezon Avenue
- Bonifacio Avenue
- Rizal Avenue
- Del Pan
- Marcos Highway
Are there exemptions to the number coding scheme?
Even before the pandemic, PUVs are exempted from the number coding scheme. But now that we are in a pandemic and areas are classified based on alert levels, even Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) are also included in the exemption.
For a more comprehensive view, below is a list of the types of vehicles exempted from the number coding scheme:
- Garbage trucks
- Fuel trucks
- Vehicles carrying essential and perishable goods
- Senior Citizen Blu Card holders in Makati are exempted as well.
- PWDs and Senior Citizens with valid exemptions from the MMDA (you may apply for this at the MMDA).
How much is the penalty for number coding violation?
If you take your car that is on coding during the coding hours, you will be fined Php 300.00 by the MMDA. Some may think that this is a small price to pay to be able to use your car whenever you want but remember — these violations go to your records as a driver and will catch up on you later on when you renew your driver’s license. The LTO determines if a driver is eligible to be given a 10-year validity on their licenses based on the cleanliness of their track records.
You may settle your fine within 7 days at any Landbank branch, SM Bills Payment, or Bayad outlets. You may also pay using your GCash, PayMaya, and GrabPay apps. If you fail to make a payment within the specified timeline, you will then have to do it at the MMDA’s agency on Odense Street in Edsa.
If you should take my advice: Keep your trips short and only for essential purposes. Yes, we’re on Alert Level 1 and everyone’s allowed to go out already; but, don’t you think you will do Metro Manila good if you continue to be prudent and conservative with your trips outside your home? We were able to contain ourselves for two years. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to keep doing the good things we adapted during the lockdowns. After all, those safety measures (especially the not going out part) saved us from the claws of the virus, right?
Drive safely. Stay healthy.