As traffic continues to worsen despite the longstanding implementation of the UVVRP (Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program), more commonly known as the number-coding scheme, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is now studying the feasibility of removing the scheme completely.

“Base po sa pag aaral, yung mga number coding ay hindi naman talaga nakakatulong sa pag reduce ng volume [of vehicles] sa kalye,” said Anne Lontoc, DOTr Undersecretary for road transportation and infrastructure.

[“Based on studies, the number-coding (scheme) does not really help in reducing the volume (of vehicles) on the road.”]

The study Lontoc was referring to was done by Dr. Primitivo Cal of the University of the Philippines (UP) School of Urban and Regional Planning indicating that instead of reducing the number of vehicles on the road, the UVVRP actually adds more on the road.

“Hindi nakakatulong, bagkos ay lalo lang lumalala [ang traffic] pagdating ng panahon. Kasi ayon sa pag-aaral, yun pong mga may kotse bibili pa yan ng isa pa, kahit second hand or bago at yun ang gagamitin,” added Lontoc.

[It doesn’t help and in fact makes it (traffic) worse in the long term. Based on the study, those with cars will buy another one, a brand-new or even a second-hand (unit), and will use that.”]

A reduction of only 1.17% is how many vehicles the UVVRP removes on a road on a daily basis, as per studies done by other countries, mirroring the results of Cal’s study.

Now in the process of looking at options to reduce traffic sans the UVVRP, the DOTr is looking at greatly improving public transportation by introducing double-decker buses and the addition of more point-to-point buses and routes to encourage motorists to leave their cars.

“Ang importante talaga diyan ay ma-improve natin ang mass transport system. Kasi yun naman mga car owners kaya sila nag kokotse ay gusto nila na comfortable, alam mo kung ano oras ka dadating. Kaya we are now offering nung alternative mode [of transporation] gaya ng point-to-point bus services…kung saan wala nang hinto-hinto (ang byahe) para magsakay at on time ang pag alis ng bus kahit hindi pa puno,” said Lontoc.

[“The important thing is to improve the mass transport system. Motorists use their cars to be comfortable and to arrive on time. We (DOTr) are now offering alternatives like the point-to-point bus service that does not make all the bus stops and leaves on time even if the bus is not full.”]