What could be worse than being stuck in EDSA traffic while rushing to work? It’s when you get busted for number coding violation.
You may blame your misfortune on the confusing rules or you may argue that you don’t know you’re not supposed to drive today due to coding. While those may be true, ignorance is never an excuse.
Here’s your guide to the number coding scheme in the Philippines, so you can plan your daily trips accordingly.
What is Number Coding?
The number coding scheme is a traffic management program that aims to reduce the number of cars—and ultimately ease congestion—on the road.
What time is Number Coding?
Officially called the Unified Vehicle Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP), number coding in the Philippines bans vehicles on major thoroughfares in Metro Manila from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on a certain day of the week based on the last digit of their license plate.
|License Plate Ending||Prohibited Days|
|1 and 2||Mondays|
|3 and 4||Tuesdays|
|5 and 6||Wednesdays|
|7 and 8||Thursdays|
|9 and 0||Fridays|
For example, if your license plate number ends in 0, you cannot drive your vehicle on Fridays along EDSA, Mabuhay Lane routes, and other major roads in Metro Manila where the coding is enforced. Otherwise, you’ll be apprehended, ticketed, and required to pay the penalty fee for UVVRP violation.
Number Coding Coverage Areas
The number coding scheme covers all private and public utility vehicles, including jeepneys and buses (both city and provincial), except for motorcycles and tricycles.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is the government agency that enforces the UVVRP in Metro Manila. Other urban areas in the Philippines, such as Baguio and Cavite, implement their own number coding scheme to manage traffic problems in their respective roads.
The following cities in Metro Manila implement number coding:
- Las Piñas
- Pasay (except for MIA Road, Domestic Road, Airport Road, Sales Road, and portions of Buendia)
- Quezon City
- San Juan
No Coding Areas
On the other hand, there is no coding in five areas of the metro, except for their usually congested roads.
- Marikina (except for Marcos Highway)
- Muntinlupa (except for Alabang-Zapote Rd.)
- Taguig (except for C5, East Service Rd., and Manuel L. Quezon Ave.)
Number Coding Window Hours
What is Window Hour?
The window hour refers to any time within the five-hour or seven-hour period when coded vehicles (those covered by number coding on a particular day) are allowed to use public roads.
Window hours are in effect from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Parañaque and Pasig and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Malabon, Manila, San Juan, and Valenzuela.
No Window Hour Policy
However, window hours no longer apply to all national roads (including circumferential roads, radial roads, and other major roads) and Mabuhay Lane routes  in Metro Manila.
This means for the entire duration of the number coding scheme on any weekday, coded vehicles cannot pass through these major thoroughfares. Crossing the intersections on these roads is allowed, though.
Here are the major roads in Metro Manila without number coding window hours:
- C1 – C.M. Recto Ave. (Roxas Blvd. to Legarda)
- C2 – A.H. Lacson Ave. and Pres. Quirino Ave. (Roxas Blvd. to R10)
- C3 – G. Araneta Ave. and Sgt. Rivera Ave. (N. Domingo St. to R10)
- C4 – EDSA (R10 to Macapagal Blvd.)
- C5 – C.P. Garcia Ave. (Commonwealth Ave. to SLEX)
- R1 – Roxas Blvd. (C.M. Recto Ave. to MIA Road)
- R2 – Taft Ave. (Lawton Ave. to Redemptorist)
- R3 – SLEX (Pres. Quirino Ave. to Nichols Interchange)
- R4 – Shaw Blvd. (Ramon Magsaysay Blvd. to Pasig Blvd.)
- R5 – Ortigas Ave. (Santolan to Imelda Ave.)
- R6 – Aurora Blvd. / R. Magsaysay Blvd. (Legarda/Ramon Magsaysay to C5 Katipunan)
- R7 – España Blvd., Quezon Ave., and Commonwealth Ave. (Carlos Palanca to Quezon Ave. to Commonwealth Ave. to Mindanao Ave.)
- R8 – A. Bonifacio Ave. (Blumentritt to EDSA Balintawak)
- R9 – Rizal Ave. (Carriedo to Monumento, Caloocan)
- R10 – Northern Coastal (Recto to C4)
Other Major Roads
- A. Mabini St. – Samson Road to C3 Road
- Alabang-Zapote Rd. – Alabang to Real St./Quirino Ave.
- McArthur Highway – Monumento Circle to Valenzuela/Meycauayan Boundary
- Marcos Highway – Katipunan to Sumulong Highway (Metro Manila area)
Frequently Asked Questions About Number Coding
1. What time is number coding in Pasig?
Number coding in Pasig—as well as all other areas comprising Metro Manila—starts from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. The uniform number coding hours in the entire Metro Manila were agreed upon by all city mayors and reiterated by the MMDA in March 2019 .
Thus, the LGUs have stopped implementing their own number coding hours to comply with this standardized UVVRP enforcement across all cities.
In Pasig City, its own odd-even traffic scheme was suspended indefinitely effective July 2019. Pasig now implements the UVVRP rules by the MMDA.
2. Is the conduction sticker included in coding?
Yes. Even if you haven’t received your LTO license plate yet, your vehicle is still covered by the number coding scheme. The last digit on your car’s conduction sticker is the basis for determining the day it’s banned on Metro Manila roads.
3. When is number coding lifted?
There’s no number coding during weekends, elections, and holidays like All Saints’ Day, Christmas, and New Year.
Sometimes, the MMDA announces number coding suspension during calamities such as a typhoon or volcanic eruption or public transport failures such as a nationwide transport strike or temporary closure of MRT/LRT lines.
4. Are senior citizens exempted from coding?
Senior citizens who are residents of Makati and Manila are automatically exempted from number coding in their respective cities. These two cities have ordinances that provide number cording exemption as a privilege for their senior citizen residents.
Meanwhile, elderly residents of other cities (as well as PWDs) may apply for number cording exemption, according to the MMDA .
5. What is the penalty for number coding violation?
If you’re caught driving your coded vehicle in a prohibited area, the traffic enforcer will issue a traffic citation ticket and confiscate your driver’s license.
You’ll also be fined for number coding violation. The penalty fee is PHP 500 per offense, according to MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago .
Yes, number coding may be a huge inconvenience, but the MMDA asks motorists to make this once-a-week sacrifice  for the sake of decongesting EDSA and other major roads.
For now, we could hope we wouldn’t have to worry about coding forever. This 2020, for instance, new roads under the Build Build Build program (such as the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 and Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3) will open and help reduce traffic congestion on EDSA by 20% to 30%, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways .
Until we can see a great improvement on EDSA traffic, we have no other choice but to make that weekly, or rather, daily sacrifice.
Photos from Wikimedia Commons
-  Mabuhay Lane Routes (MMDA Facebook page)
-  No Window Hours’ Scheme Enforced on Major Thoroughfares and Mabuhay Lanes (MMDA, 2019)
-  MMDA: PWDs, senior citizens may apply for number coding exemption (CNN Philippines, 2019)
-  and  MMDA reminds motorists: No more window hours for number coding (ABS-CBN News, 2019)
-  DPWH: EDSA traffic congestion to be reduced by 20-30% in 2020 (UNTV, 2020)
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