MANILA, Philippines – The odd-even traffic scheme proposal of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is not about to be implemented just yet.
This was clarified by MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago in a radio interview on Saturday, March 25.
“Lilinawin ko, wala pa po ‘yun. Wala pa po tayo doon sa pagtutoon na magi-implement na tayo ng odd-even scheme,” Pialago said. (I will make it clear that we are not yet in the implementing stage of the odd-even scheme.)
To address the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila, the MMDA floated the idea of a 2-hour odd-even traffic scheme in a presentation with Metro Manila mayors this March, Pialago said.
Under the proposed scheme, cars with license plates ending in odd numbers will not be allowed on EDSA from:
Plates ending in even numbers will not be allowed from:
There is a grace period from 11 am to 1 pm.
“Marami nang nagsasabi na, 'Bakit hindi na lang natin i-whole day yung ating odd-even scheme?' Iyon po yung lumalabas,” she explained. (A lot of people have said, "Why not make the odd-even scheme whole day instead?" That's what has been emerging.)
The whole day odd-even scheme would mean cars with license plates ending in odd numbers will be banned from the major thoroughfares like EDSA, C5, and Commonwealth Avenue on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Cars with license plates ending in even numbers, on the other hand, would not be allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, Pialago explained.
Once implemented, it will mean that motorists will be unable to use their cars for 3 days, Pialago said.
The proposal, which is anchored on volume reduction, prompted various concerns.
"‘Yun po ‘yung iniiwasan natin kaya po tayo nag-propose noon una ng odd-even scheme every 2 hours,” Pialago explained. (We are trying to avoid that. That is why we proposed an odd-even scheme every 2 hours first.)
Pialago addressed another concern regarding the odd-even scheme in major roads – the increased traffic congestion in inner roads, should the proposal be implemented.
“Wala naman pong kailangan maging issue kung dadaan po sila. Pero po doon sa mga villages, of course kailangan. Wala pa pong mga villages na bukas, syempre po for security reasons,” Pialago said.
(There’s no issue if they would pass through inner roads. But in villages, there is [a need to coordinate]. There are no villages that have been opened yet, of course for security reasons.)
She said the government is willing to open government properties, if needed. As of now, Camp Aguinaldo, the naval station in Bonifacio Global City, and a barangay property in Makati city are open to motorists.
'Do not panic'
Pialago assured the public that discussions and further studies about the new proposals are still on-going, advising motorists not to panic.
“We know the public is not yet ready for that kaya po hindi natin inimplement ‘yang mga ganyang klase. Kasi po magkakaroon naman po ng meeting ng mayors this April eh so another batch of ideas na naman po ‘yun – sila po yung makakapag-decide kung ano po ‘yung i-approve nila,” Pialago said.
(We know the public is not ready for that yet, that is why we are not implementing them. We will be having a meeting with mayors this April, so there will be another batch of ideas from that. They’ll be the one to decide which proposal will be approved.)
This is not the first time proposals to revise the traffic scheme were presented. In 2015, the Aquino administration proposed a "weekly odd-even scheme" as a solution to the traffic woes in Metro Manila. (READ: Aquino proposes weekly odd-even scheme to solve PH traffic)
However, by end of October 2016, the MMDA removed the window hours (10 am to 3 pm) of cars covered by the number coding scheme. (READ: Starting Oct 31 on EDSA, C5: No more 'window hours' for private vehicles)
Pialago said the MMDA is open to proposals to solve congestion in the metropolis.
“Kung meron po tayong mga mapupulot na idea, ito po ay pinag-aaralan naman… Pagka prisinta, pag-aaralan, aaprubahan, dadaan pa po ng consultation (If there are ideas, these are studied first. Once presented, they will be approved, and will undergo consultation)," Pialago said. – with reports from Gwen de la Cruz/Rappler.com