The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has proposed several new traffic schemes and modifications to government work hours to help ease vehicular traffic in the National Capital Region (NCR).
In his presentation during President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s ‘Talk to the People’ on Tuesday night, MMDA chairperson Romando Artes said the proposals were gathered through the “Traffic Summit” held on March 17, 22, and 23 with other government agencies, different transportation sectors, and private stakeholders.
“The results were good, there were many suggestions on how to reduce traffic in Metro Manila. But what stood out was that everyone agreed that there are too many vehicles in Metro Manila and they need to be reduced,” Artes said in Filipino.
In 2021 alone, he noted that there were around 300,000 vehicles sold, with about 60 to 70 percent expected to enter NCR.
Among the proposals are changes to the existing Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or the number coding scheme.
This includes a 50 percent volume reduction plan where vehicles with license plates ending with odd numbers will be barred on Mondays and Thursdays while those with even numbers will be barred on Tuesday and Friday — from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Another proposal is a 40 percent volume reduction plan where vehicles will be barred from NCR for two days a week, with the schedule depending on the last digit of their license plate.
Currently, the MMDA enforces a 20 percent volume reduction plan that bars vehicles from NCR one day per week.
To further reduce the volume of vehicles during rush hour, Artes proposed changing the work hours of government offices — from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. from the usual 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Other proposals, he said, are two different forms of a four-day workweek—10 hours of work per day, four days a week; or working four eight-hour days at the office and one day of work-from-home per week.