MMDA postpones start of modified number coding scheme
MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Sunday, June 7, announced that it is postponing the implementation of the modified number coding scheme, originally set for Monday, June 8.
MMDA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago said the agency decided to defer the implementation because there are few to no public utility vehicles (PUVs) available for commuters during the general community quarantine (GCQ).
"Napakadami po nating mga kababayan pa din po ang nahihirapan sumakay. Ayaw na po muna natin sila mabigyan ng dagdag iisipin sa ngayon (A lot of commuters had a hard time finding a ride. We don't want that to happen again)," she said.
The modified scheme would have only allowed vehicles to use major roads if they have at least one other passenger.
Pialago said the suspension comes as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board are still finalizing PUV routes.
The DOTr came under fire for the situation that unraveled during the first day of the GCQ on June 1, as many commuters were left stranded.
Senators slammed the agency for "poor planning," but Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the inconvenience was just temporary.
On Sunday, Senator Risa Hontiveros called on the DOTr to immediately allow buses and jeepneys to operate in Metro Manila.
"It is in the best interest of the commuting public and the transport sector alike if jeeps and buses soon resume operations provided they follow social distancing and other health guidelines," Hontiveros said in a statement.
"Hindi tamang ang nakakabiyahe lang ngayon ay ang mga naka-air-con na sasakyan (It's not right that the only ones who can travel now are the ones in air-conditioned cars). DoTr should stop being anti-poor." – Rappler.com