By Joseph Tristan Roxas
The Metro Manila Council has extended the no-window number coding scheme on the streets and in areas where it is being implemented.
MMDA chairman Thomas Orbos said the council unanimously approved the implementation of the traffic volume reduction scheme from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Orbos said the MMC also agreed to include Alabang-Zapote Road and Roxas Boulevard on the list of major highways covered by the traffic scheme.
“All mayors were supportive of the no-window scheme, na-reiterate nila yung support nila and officially we are now including Alabang-Zapote and Roxas Boulevard,” he said in an interview in Mandaluyong City.
“They are also approving an expanded application of the no-window scheme… yung inapruhaban nila is 7 a.m. to 8 p.m,” he added.
Orbos said the new policy would be effective next week.
The MMC is the policy-making body of the MMDA. It includes the 17 mayors in Metro Manila.
The implementation of the no-window number coding scheme is now being implemented on these roads and in these areas:
C-5 Road from SLEX up to the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Luzon Flyover
Las Piñas City.
Other areas in Metro Manila will continue to have window hours, with affected vehicles being allowed to use the roads between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
As of 3 p.m., the MMDA apprehended 58 erring motorists along EDSA and 38 in C5 since the scheme went full swing.
Meanwhile, Orbos said motorists can expect an expanded coverage of the no-window scheme in November to 10 more areas, including national and circumferential roads, and radial areas such as R-1 to R-10.
Orbos noted that even the mayors in Metro Manila noticed the difference since the pilot testing of the no-window scheme last week, and have in fact proposed a metro-wide policy.
“They realized the effect nung no-window hours nakaganda. Sila mismo, in fact sa usapan namin they are already thinking of a Metro Manila-wide no-window,” he said, adding they only scrapped the idea due to the Christmas season.
“Nag-agree na pag ginawa mo yun, lalo na magpa-Pasko, may mga tatamaan na mga lugar kung saan naman yung komersiyo ay sayang naman at makikinabang sa little they can get for the Christmas season,” Orbos said.
Vehicles whose license plates end in 1 and 2 are prohibited from using Metro Manila’s roads on Mondays; those ending in 3 and 4 on Tuesdays; those ending in 5 and 6 on Wednesdays; those ending in 7 and 8 on Thursdays; and those ending in 9 and 0 on Fridays.
The no-window scheme is in effect until January 31, 2017.
Orbos said next on the traffic management projects of the MMDA would be the strict implementation of anti-illegal parking regulations.
No-window for 24 hours?
On the other hand, Caloocan City Mayor Oca Malapitan proposed to implement the no-window scheme for 24 hours since heavy traffic is present on major routes beyond 7 or 8 p.m.
“Kung i-implement, why not the whole day? Kasi palagay mong 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., pagdating ng 8 p.m. marami pang umuuwi nun, e di traffic din yun. Magta-traffic din biro mo [kahit] 10 o 11 p.m. ng gabi trapik pa,” Malapitan said.
He preferred the 24-hour implementation of the scheme since motor vehicles already build up along nearby streets before and after the no-window hours.
“Kumbaga, hinold na natin sila, i-hold na natin ng 24 hours. Kasi 7 hanggang 7 ng gabi, alas sais nandyan na yan, nakaistambay na lang yan sa labasan na hindi sakop ng color coding. Pagpasok ng 7 labasan na yan, e di yung volume ng sasakyan naipon din hanggang 7. Yung 7 considered rush hour pa rin yan,” Malapitan said.
Malapitan added he only proposed the measure during the MMC meeting but was later dismissed because of the Christmas season.
“Kasi raw magpa-Pasko, maraming tatamaan na business establishments lalo na sa bandang south. Nandoon nga naman yung mga malalaking mall, malalaking pasyalan,” he said. —NB/KBK, GMA News