Nebrija: Number coding scheme comeback 'on the table', but...

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic czar Edison Bong Nebrija said on Wednesday, July 21 that the possible reimplementation of the number coding scheme was already "on the table".

MMDA traffic czar Edison Bong Nebrija (Photo from Nebrija's Facebook page)

But despite this remark, Nebrija made it clear that the actual return of the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) could take a while especially if the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases doesn't increase public transportation capacity.

"The number coding reimplementation is on the table already, so we've been talking about this. But there are still factors that we need to consider before reimplementing it. The capacity of mass public transport is one," Nebrija said in an interview over local cable news network One News PH.

"So if there will be no changes, if there will be no movement or additional percentage seating capacity that will be provided for commuters, I think we will not be reimplementing the number coding yet," noted EDSA's top traffic disciplinarian.

Nebrija posted a video of his interview on his Facebook wall late Wednesday.

Public utility vehicles (PUVs) like jeepneys and buses have not operated beyond 50 percent capacity since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) emerged in the country in 2020.

The UVVRP--which bans 20 percent of all vehicles from roads once a week, depending on the final digit of the license plate--has been suspended by the MMDA since last year or when strict stay at home orders were initially imposed.

If anything, current quarantine restrictions are bound to get tighter than looser in the next few weeks, no thanks to the reported local transmission of the highly-contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.

"And another thing," Nebrija said, "the traffic speed and travel time that we have on EDSA right now is still good. So that's a good indication for us to just keep on with what we are implementing aside from the number coding."

Nebrija earlier said that he believes those individuals who have been clamoring for the return of number coding are those who own more than one car.