Lawmakers propose implementing new coding schemes on EDSA

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Lawmakers discussed their proposals with the MMDA at the House committee hearing Monday.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 27) — The House Committee on Metro Manila Development urged officials of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to pursue serious study, and act on the proposed new coding schemes aimed at easing traffic along EDSA.

Lawmakers discussed their proposals at the committee hearing on Monday attended by MMDA officials, the National Capital Region police, and mall representatives.

Quezon City First District Representative, Bingbong Crisologo suggested an added 'odd-even' coding scheme on EDSA, on top of the current number coding scheme.

"For example, it's Monday today, sa EDSA 'even' ang pwede, 'odd' ang bawal. So ang pupuwede sa EDSA ngayon (cars with plate numbers ending in) two, four, six, eight, and zero. Pero dahil Lunes ang (cars with plate number ending in number) two bawal. So 'yung (cars with plate numbers ending in) four, six, eight, and zero lang ang puwede," Crisologo explained.

He believes the volume of cars on EDSA would be reduced by as much as 60 percent with this added coding scheme.

However, MMDA Assistant General Manager for Planning Jojo Garcia said the proposal was already presented to the Metro Manila Council (MMC) earlier.

"Last MMC meeting nasa agenda namin 'yan eh, pero blocked po agad eh. Hindi nagtagal sa council eh," Garcia said.

[Translation: Last MMC meeting it was in our agenda, but it was blocked. It doesn't last in the council.]

To which Suarez replied, "Baka hindi mo na-explain nang maayos Jojo."

[Translation: You may not have explained it properly, Jojo.]

The Metro Manila Council is the policy-making body of the MMDA, composed of the agency's top officials and all Metro Manila mayors.

Quezon City third district Representative Danilo Suarez proposed to modify the current number coding scheme.

Under the current scheme, two ending plates are banned on EDSA daily.

Suarez suggested to increase the number of banned ending plates per day to three.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim vowed to present the proposals to the Metro Manila Council during their next meeting on December 4th.

Dismayed over Mayors' absence

Lawmakers were also disappointed over the non-appearance of Metro Manila mayors during the hearing.

Quezon City second district Representative Winnie Castelo urged them to make time so that the council could act on the pending proposals.

"We appeal to the Metro Manila Council to make a consensus right now, attend the meeting, pag-aralan at i-evaluate po ang suggestions ng Kongreso," Castelo said.

During the hearing, Lim admitted, of the 18 mayors, only about nine attend the meetings regularly.

Castelo then said MMDA should also invite lawmakers to join the policy-making body given the mayors' absenteeism.