The Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP), or more popularly known as “number coding,” or for the previous generation, “color coding,” is a road space rationing system implemented by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in a bid to address the worsening traffic conditions on the roads, particularly on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).
This scheme is implemented in a bid to restrict the private and public utility vehicles on the road to lessen the traffic congestion. Then again, for the uninitiated, here’s how UVVRP or number coding works in the Philippines.
What is UVVRP or the Number Coding scheme?
The UVVRP, officially known as the Unified Vehicle Volume Reduction Program, or more commonly known as the number coding scheme, is a program that has been implemented by the MMDA since 1995. It was meant to exercise road space rationing, by restricting both private and public utility vehicles traversing the Philippine public roads. The restriction is carried out depending on the last digit of the vehicle’s license plate and is enforced during weekdays, from Monday to Friday.
The UVVRP originally started as an experiment, but later, when the number of vehicles plying Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) has increased, the program evolved into one that is regularly implemented on weekdays. It has gone through many updates too, before the government ended up with the number coding system it uses up until today.
Historical Background: We didn’t Always have Coding
Vehicle coding or UVVRP didn’t always exist. There was a time when everyone could drive their car anytime, 24/7, even in the Philippines, one of the first in the world to implement a continuing permanent coding scheme.
The story of the UVVRP or number coding dates back to 1995. It started out as an odd-even scheme by virtue of Regulation No. 95-001. Under the original number coding system, vehicles with plates ending in odd numbers were banned from Metro Manila’s roads on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, while vehicles with plates ending in even numbers were banned on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The number coding scheme has since evolved to adapt to the worsening traffic status in Metro Manila. Plus, there’s the construction of road improvements and new light rail systems in the metro, which contributes to the congestion. Eventually, other areas outside Metro Manila also began to implement their own coding schemes, such as those in Cavite and in Cebu.
Purpose of the Number Coding Scheme
The main purpose of the creation and implementation of the UVVRP or Number Coding Scheme is to lessen the vehicles. This is done in a bid to lessen the traffic congestion in the country. The UVVRP is a system implemented by the government to ban vehicles that travel on public roads depending on the last digit on their license plate. As of August 2022, the UVVRP or the MMDA number coding scheme already starts from 7 AM to 10 AM and then resumes from 5 PM to 8 PM with the time in between these hours being considered as “window hours” without coding.
How Number Coding (UVVRP) Works
Sure, the number coding scheme isn’t always in effect as it is only being implemented on the weekdays. Nevertheless, familiarizing yourself with the coding scheme would help both new and veteran drivers ensure smooth, hassle-free trips and compliance with the rules.
As of writing time, the MMDA implements the following coding scheme:
- Prohibited time
- 7 AM to 10 AM
- 5 PM to 8 PM
- Prohibited days
- Monday (ending in 1 and 2);
- Tuesday (ending in 3 and 4),
- Wednesday (ending in 5 and 6);
- Thursday (ending in 7 and 8);
- Friday (ending in 9 and 0)
Specific Rules per City
Some cities also have specific rules that work relative to the UVVRP or number coding scheme. It’s best to learn them and ensure that you avoid trouble and hefty LTO fines.
Rules in Alabang
While Muntinlupa City does not have a number coding scheme, there are certain exceptions where the MMDA’s UVVRP or number coding scheme applies. This includes:
- Ayala-Alabang National Road
- Alabang-Zapote Road corner Buencamino and North Gate
Violation of the rules in Muntinlupa entails having to pay a fine amounting to P500.00 on the first offense, P750.00 on the second offense, and P1,000.00 on the third and succeeding offenses. It is important to note that these amounts were penalties imposed for violation of coding schemes prior to the pandemic so some rules may have changed.
Rules in Makati City
As Metro Manila’s Central Business District (CBD), Makati City is on a totally different level. In Makati, there’s a modified number coding system with no window hours which means that the number coding rules apply the entire day, from 7 AM to 7 PM. Makati also follows the standard pricing for penalties and fines, so violators will be charged the full amount of P300.00 for their first offense. Makati City, however, does give number coding exemption to vehicles carrying senior citizen Blu Card holders as drivers or passengers as well as those under official functions and medical emergencies as stated in the Makati Code.
Rules in Quezon City
Quezon City is quite normal, following the MMDA’s coding scheme of 7 AM to 10 AM and 5 PM to 8 PM, with window hours from 10:01 AM to 4:59 PM.
Rules in Pasig City
Just like Quezon City and the rest of Metro Manila, Pasig City also follows the MMDA’s coding scheme from 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM with window hours from 10:01 AM to 4:59 PM.
Rules in Pasay City
If you’re residing in Pasay City, then be reminded that this city follows the same number coding scheme as the rest of Metro Manila, from 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM. The window period of 10 AM to 4 PM is also the same, except that these number coding system doesn’t apply in main thoroughfare including:
- Domestic Road
- Ninoy Aquino Avenue
- MIA Road
- Sales Road,
- parts of Airport Road, and
- Some parts of Buendia (Gil Puyat)
Rules in Paranaque City
Like the rest of the cities in Metro Manila, Paranaque City observes the same standardized coding scheme which entails a coding period between 7 AM to 10 AM and 5 PM to 8 PM, and a window period from 10 AM to 4 PM.
Rules in Mandaluyong City
As of August of 2022, Mandaluyong City also follows the standard MMDA’s coding scheme which means that the coding rules apply from 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM, with a window period from 10 AM to 4 PM.
Rules in Manila City
As a vast city composed of several areas where vehicles can pass through, Manila City has a complicated process. Simply put, Manila City follows the UVVRP or number coding scheme but in certain areas, there are no window hours. Some Manila roads implement the standard number coding scheme with a window period from 10 AM to 4 PM.
Rules in Valenzuela City
Valenzuela implements the standardized UVVRP or number coding scheme from 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM with a window period of 10:01 AM to 4:59 PM. This program takes effect on the following Valenzuela roads:
- MacArthur Highway
- Maysan – Paso De Blas – Bagbaguin Road
- Karuhatan – Gen. T. De Leon Road
- Gov. I. Santiago Road (Malinta to Tatawid)
- Mindanao Avenue (Barangay Ugong)
- East and West NLEX Service Road
- T. Santiago Road
- Sapang Bakaw (Lawang Bato) – Punturin – Bignay Road
Rules in Taguig City
The City of Taguig is partially exempted from the coding scheme. That said, there are still some areas that implement the standardized number coding scheme. These areas are as follows:
- National roads within the city boundaries,
- East Service Road, and
- Manuel L. Quezon Avenue
Rules in San Juan City
The City of San Juan also practices the MMDA’s number coding scheme. The only difference is that they implement it from 7 AM to 7 PM, with window hours from 10 AM to 3 PM. During this window period, restricted vehicles are allowed to roam.
Rules in Caloocan City
In Caloocan City, motorists observe the standard MMDA number coding scheme that runs from the usual 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM coding period. The same window period applies to all the other roads within Caloocan except for Samson Road which doesn’t have a window period. That said, restricted vehicles are not allowed to traverse the said area throughout the entire number coding scheme period or they may face penalties for violation of number coding schemes.
What are the Penalties for Violating the Number Coding Scheme?
Being caught while violating the number coding scheme rules or UVVRP, means having to pay a standard fine amounting to P300.00 except in some places like Muntinlupa City where the fine is set to P500.00 for the first offense and P750.00 for the second offense. These penalties also need to be settled within seven days or they may bring additional fines when you renew your driver’s license.
Exemptions from the UVVRP
The UVVRP or number coding scheme is not all-encompassing. That said, while it generally applies to all, there are certain exemptions to the rule. These exemptions apply to vehicles and places and are detailed as follows:
The following vehicles are exempted from number coding schemes:
- Public utility vehicles (PUV)
- Transport network vehicles services (TNVS)
- Garbage trucks
- Petroleum product trucks
- Trucks bearing perishable or essential goods
- Licensed Physicians
In Makati City, the following vehicles are also exempted from the number coding scheme:
- Ambulances, fire trucks, police patrol, military vehicles on official functions
- Diplomatic vehicles with diplomatic plates
- Government vehicles with government plates
- Official media vehicles with markings expressly showing their company while in official use
- Tow trucks duly accredited by the City of Makati
- Vehicles used by medical practitioners during emergency
- Vehicles with Senior Citizen Blu Card holders as drivers or passengers
Note that while there was a time when the MMDA provided a process to apply for an exemption from UVVRP, particularly for medical personnel and senior citizens, this has been abolished as of July 2022.
Meanwhile, some cities also don’t observe the number coding scheme. These includes:
- Marikina (Marilaque/Marcos Highway)
- Muntinlupa (Alabang-Zapote Road)
- Taguig (C-5, East Service Road, and Manuel L. Quezon Avenue).
The NAIA Expressway, Skyway, South Luzon Expressway, and other tollways however do not implement the UVVRP. It is also worth noting that sections of these toll roads that pass through Metro Manila are not covered by the scheme.
For your reference, here are some important tips and reminders about UVVRP:
- The expanded Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) is not all-encompassing, which means there are exemptions and places where the scheme doesn’t apply.
- In Makati, the number coding scheme has been modified such that there are no window hours.
- Window hours are there to make way for those whose vehicles are banned on the road die to the number coding scheme.
- While the standard penalties apply in most places, Muntinlupa imposes exceptionally high penalties for violators of the number coding scheme.
- Some cities impose the number coding schemes in some roads and not on some roads, like in Manila and in Taguig.
- The coding period in Baguio City is from 7 AM to 7 PM, similar to the modified number coding scheme in Makati City and is lifted during holidays, festivals, and summer vacation months in order to accommodate more tourists.
- The penalty for number coding violations in Baguio City is P500.00.
Video: Guide to the Expanded Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP)
Learn more about the expanded Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP), or more popularly known as “number coding,” or for the previous generation, “color coding by watching this video posted by the MMDA:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For more information on UVVRP or number coding scheme, here are some common questions and answers about it:
1. What are the Number Coding days?
As a driver or even as a car owner, it’s best to know your vehicle’s plate number. The last digit, in particular, is especially important to remember as it determines the day when you should avoid using it to avoid violating the number coding days. Plate numbers that end with 1 and 2 are not allowed to travel on certain roads every Monday. The same policy applies on plate numbers 3 and 4 every Tuesday, 5 and 6 every Wednesday, 7 and 8 every Thursday, and 9 and 0 every Friday.
2. At what time are the Number Coding hours?
The standard number coding scheme period is from 7 AM to 10 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM. There are, however, special areas such as Makati City that still stick with the traditional 7 AM to 7 PM coding scheme.
3. What are window hours?
Window hours gives drivers the immediate grant to go through their cities without fear of violating the number coding scheme. Some roads including the Radial Roads, Circumferential Roads, and National Roads, on the other hand, are not supported by the window hours system. Although there are no window hours on the following roads as mentioned, drivers can cut through these roads by taking secondary routes. Do take note that this would require you to check the window hours schedule of the respective location you are to pass through.
4. Are there any cities in Metro Manila without Number Coding window hours?
Yes. Makati is the only city that does not follow the Number Coding window hours. The other cities within Metro Manila that observe the number coding scheme follow the standard coding scheme with a window period of between 10:01 AM to 4:59 PM.
5. Is there Number Coding outside of Metro Manila?
Yes. In an effort to regulate vehicular activities in different areas, the UVVRP has also been stretched throughout different locations outside of Metro Manila. These places include Baguio, Cavite, Cabanatuan, and Dagupan, with all cities following the same daily conduction sticker or license plate restriction.
Baguio imposes the number coding scheme in the Central Business District which is crowded due to offices, businesses, and big schools situated within the area. There are selected areas that are limited to restrictions, too, which includes:
- Session Road
- Burnham Park
- Baguio City Market
Cavite City has also been practicing the UVVRP, with its number coding scheme being implemented during weekdays from 6 AM to 7 PM on the following major thoroughfares within the territorial jurisdiction of the province:
- Aguinaldo Highway (Bacoor to Dasmarinas-Silang boundary)
- Governor’s Drive (Carmona to Trece Martires City – Tanza boundary)
- Molino-Salawag-Paliparan Road (Zapote, Bacoor to Paliparan, Dasmarinas)
- Molino Boulevard
- Daang Hari Road (Aguinaldo Highway, Imus to Molino, Bacoor)
Window hours usually last from 9 AM to 3 PM Above all its number coding policies, violators will then have to pay a fine of P300.00.
6. Are there likely to be any changes to Number Coding in the future?
Yes. As in most circumstances including the MMDA number coding scheme, change is inevitable. The best example would be Pasig’s odd-even number coding scheme which was discontinued by Mayor Vico Sotto, as it is believed to be an unfair system as it would prohibit restricted vehicles from plying the road throughout the entire coding period. Currently, Radial Roads, Circumferential Roads, and National Roads are not already supported by the window system. With a number of strategic solutions to the current problems related to number coding schemes being proposed and applied today, certain changes in the number coding scheme will surely occur in the near future.
Simply put, with the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or number coding scheme in place, if a designated plate number is covered by the designated coding scheme for the day, then your vehicle is not allowed to travel on major roads of Metro Manila within specific hours. If you do violate the coding scheme, the standard fine would be from P300.00 to P500.00 which must be settled within seven (7) days. If it was not issued by the MMDA, you would likely have to settle the violation with the local government unit (LGU) having jurisdiction in the area. To avoid this, it’s best to learn about the number coding scheme or to at least check if the number coding scheme is implemented in places that you will have to visit before you go out.