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The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will recommend to Metro Manila mayors this week the reinstatement of the number-coding scheme during the afternoon rush hour, according to a report by GMA News.

In a press briefing following a ceremonial vaccination event at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City, MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos said the recommendation was from the MMDA's Technical Traffic Division.

"This week I'm going to present to the mayors the study of our Technical Traffic Division recommending na gawin muna nating hapon [ang number-coding], subukan natin," he said.

The afternoon rush hour period would be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Abalos said.

"Once they (mayors) approve it, yun na yun. It's the Metro Manila Council," he said.

Abalos said the scheme, once implemented again, will initially be for private vehicles only. He also said medical frontliners will not be covered.

"Exempted ang public transport, kasi importante ang public transport," he said, noting the long queues of passengers, most of them workers en route to and from their jobs, during rush hours.

At present, public utility vehicles are only allowed to carry 70% of passenger capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though the number of vehicles on the road is catching up to the pre-pandemic level, Abalos said the public transport system amid the pandemic "is not yet normal."

According to MMDA data, there was an average of 405,000 vehicles on the road as of January 2020 or before the COVID-19 pandemic. These days, it has reached 403,000.

"Once sabihin namin na whole day you can't use your car, they will have to queue," Abalos said. "We really have to balance things out."

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