Contrary to the expected ease in traffic, many motorists and commuters in Metro Manila suffered in paralyzed roads as bus operators reportedly staged protests in different parts of the metropolis due to the reimplementation of the number coding scheme.
The Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) on public utility buses was reimplemented starting today based on a decision made by the 17 Metro Manila mayors. Under the program, a provincial or city bus with plate number ending in 1 or 2 is banned on Mondays, in 3 or 4 on Tuesdays, in 5 or 6 on Wednesdays, in 7 and 8 on Thursdays, and in 9 or 0 on Fridays. The UVVRP for public buses is observed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., similar to the schedule followed by private vehicles.
Instead of following the UVVRP rules, bus operators and drivers staged a strike and left over 8,000 public commuters stranded, ABS-CBNNews.com said. Bus operators said they were not consulted by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) about the number-coding implementation. They also expressed concern over how the UVVRP will affect revenues, which would in turn affect their ability to repay the loans taken out to finance the acquisition of buses.
Meanwhile, GMANews.tv said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the MMDA are currently coordinating to identify which bus firms staged a protest against the number-coding scheme. The companies will be sent a notice to explain the actions they took on the first day of the UVVRP reimplementation.