What Happens to the Number-Coding Scheme Under GCQ?

Check out the MMDA's guidelines for transport!

(SPOT.ph) Metro Manila mayors are all in favor of a shift to a general community quarantine after May 31—although the final decision is still in the hands of the Inter-Agency Task Force. Still, it's best to stay in the know in case the enhanced community quarantine is not extended. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has set guidelines for transportation once the capital shifts to a general community quarantine (GCQ). Check them out below:

Private transportation

Congestion on EDSA on May 16, the first day of a modified ECQ.
PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano

A modified number-coding scheme for vehicles will be implemented in the Metro. For private cars, this means that you will be exempted from coding as long as the vehicle is carrying more than one passenger. "This is for motorists to maximize the vehicle’s seating capacity," noted Jojo Garcia, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) general manager. Just note that "maximize" here will still be subject to the official safety guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

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Medical frontliners are excempted from the coding scheme entirely. Exact details are still being fleshed out before the MMDA enacts an official resolution. The vehicle coding scheme has been suspended in Metro Manila since March 13.

Bicycles are also being eyed as a major form of transportation. Since mass transportation has been halted under quarantine, bikes have popped up as a popular alternative—fueling the push for a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly Metro Manila. A bill pushing for the creation of bike paths in the city has also been filed in senate. 

Public transportation

Buses and jeeps will not be allowed under a general community quarantine as physical distancing will be harder to maintain in these vehicles, according to Garcia. Tricycles, however, will be allowed.

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Other allowed modes of transportation include company-provided shuttle services, point-to-point vehicles, taxis, and Transport Network Vehicle Services.

Physical distancing and other safety protocols will remain at all times. "This is the right time to change the behavior of the commuters. We need to change everything," said Garcia. The final guidelines are still up for discussion, with the MMDA saying they "will respect whatever the IATF decides."

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