Window Hours, Jaywalking, Speed Limits: A Primer On The Latest Round Of MMDA Regulations

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has released a series of new advisories following the most recent meeting of the Metro Manila Council.

The Metro Manila council is a policymaking board comprised of the mayors of the Metro Manila territories and the current MMDA head honcho. Policies that the MMDA wants to implement need to have their approval.

Are you ready to know the changes Metro Manila motorists (and pedestrians) will face over the next few months? We’ve prepared a primer so you only have to know the juiciest, most important bits.

No more coding window hours

A few weeks ago, we published a handy article and infographic that would help you navigate the tricky waters of the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP).

The UVVRP is a policy that affected everybody but that nobody called by its real name. Instead, everyone refers to it as number coding or if you’re born before the turn of the millennium, the “color coding” scheme although it has nothing to do with the vehicle’s colors.

In case you haven’t read the article, this is it in a nutshell: the original number coding scheme bans vehicles from plying the roads of Metro Manila between 7am and 8pm. Each city has its own way of implementing it: some cities do away with it while others have their own convoluted schemes (looking at you, Pasig City).

Just recently, the Metro Manila Council has decided to finally make the UVVRP live up to its name: unified.

In a report by Top Gear Philippines, MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia said that the members of the Metro Manila Council have finally agreed to make the rules of the UVVRP standard across all member cities.

That’s good news, right? Don’t hold your breath. What they agreed to implement in Metro Manila is the no-window hours policy.

Originally, it was only Mandaluyong who implemented the 7am-to-8pm number coding scheme—and every other city has its own rule. The most notorious of them all is Pasig City, with its topsy-turvy odd-even rule on certain streets in the city. Now, every city has to abide by the same hours.

If you’re worried that your windows of opportunities are finally gone, you still have a little time. Top Gear said that the Metro Manila Council has yet to sign the resolution and publish it in major broadsheets. Until then, enjoy your window hours while you can. And to those who are bound by Pasig City’s odd-even number coding scheme, your worst nightmares are about to end soon.

Senior citizen and PWD’s exempted?

The removal of window hours may look like an inconvenience to your average car owner. However, senior citizens and persons with disabilities can be exempted to the rule.

According to a report by CNN Philippines, MMDA traffic head Bong Nebrija said exemptions from the UVVRP may be given provided that the following are submitted to the MMDA:

  • A letter of request addressed to the Office of the Chairman
  • Original receipt and certificate of registration (OR/CR)
  • A P1,000 fee to be paid at MMDA office’s treasury department

Those who are interested to apply for an exemption—and this is not just for senior citizens and PWDs—can submit their application to the MMDA head office at the MMDA Main Building, EDSA corner Orense Street, Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City.

Is the 20 percent senior citizen/PWD discount applicable to the fee? We’re not sure.

(Read: Guide To The Most Powerful IDs In The Philippines – And How To Get Them)

Jaywalking crackdown will intensify

Remember jaywalking? It’s actually a crime. But just like a lot of things in the country, the problem with jaywalking is not just the offenders but also the lack of political will to enforce it. The Metro Manila Council decided that jaywalkers can be apprehended now.

Another measure resolved by the mayors during the meeting was the stricter enforcement of the anti-jaywalking law now.

According to Top Gear, “MMDA enforcers will be allowed to apprehend jaywalkers not just on major roads, but along Mabuhay Lanes as well.” Violators caught committing the act will be fined P500—or if you’re broke when they catch you, you can opt for community service.

To effectively implement the law, MMDA personnel will undergo training on how to enforce the law in junction with the local ordinance. Just like the no-window hour resolution, the mayors still have to sign it and get published in major newspapers.

The problem of foot bridges

If there are pedestrian lanes, why is jaywalking a thing, anyway? Unfortunately, our foot bridges are hostile to users to begin with and they’re obviously planned by people who have no need for it because they’re being ferried by their cool vehicles. Unfortunately, every other Filipino has to make do with these structures.

One of the biggest mishaps in recent history is the one built near Kamuning Road. Mockingly dubbed “Mount Edsa” because it requires more than 70 steps to reach the peak, it gives you a breathtaking of…the MRT and Edsa. That’s about it.

Meanwhile, one footbridge on Mindanao Avenue caught the attention of the public because of the electrical wires running through the structure. It was so controversial that Garcia planned to sue the person who made the video public. And let’s not forget about the lack of roofing on these footbridges. Imagine walking on a scorching April day and the only way to get you from the other side of Commonwealth Avenue is to tread it.

Our footbridges are terribly designed. However, the biggest crime of them all is them being unfriendly to senior citizens and PWDs. Even the crossing bridges near train stations are useless to these sectors because the escalators are still broken and able-bodied people hog the lines to elevators. Those who accessibility issues have to find their way through these terribly designed structures that are supposed to keep us safe.

These points do not, in any way, rationalize jaywalking. It’s so dangerous that the MMDA even came up with the “bawal tumawid, may namatay na dito” signs in deep red just to hammer the point to everyone. Whether they will enforce the ordinance or not in the long run, we have no choice but to make do with our current pedestrian bridges. The heat, pollution, and dust are nothing compared to getting hit by cars.

(Read: What Happens If You Flee From A Traffic Enforcer?)

The 60 kph speed limit is now metrowide

A lower speed limit might be a useless move, especially in Metro Manila where traffic is getting horrendous every day. However, the 60 kph speed limit on all major thoroughfares in Metro Manila is a welcome addition to our laws.

According to MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialogo, the new speed limit as well as its wider coverage has been approved by the Metro Manila Council and the agency is ready to enforce it “any time.”

“Yes, there will be a 60kph limit on all circumferential (C5, etc.) and radial (EDSA) roads. It’s been approved by the Metro Manila Council already. It can be implemented at any time. We just need to publish this in two major newspapers, then go to the UP Law Center for registration,” Pialogo said according to Top Gear Philippines.

Pialogo said that the metro-wide speed limit has been lifted from Davao City’s ordinance. According to her, road accidents have decreased by half when the city embraced the idea.

“This is from the Davao experience. Based on the studies, accidents caused by overspeeding have been cut in half. The cause of traffic is accidents, so we want to reduce accidents,” she said.

In 2013, then Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte ordered the speed limit to be enforced. According to Rappler, the city saw 42.9 percent drop in road accidents after one year of being implemented.