Number coding still relevant – Mayor

BAGUIO CITY – The vehicle number coding scheme in the city has remained relevant as a traffic control measure in the city, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said last week.

The mayor said this was based on assessment and observation of the traffic division of the Baguio City Police Office.

“Studies by our traffic policemen showed that our number coding scheme is still useful and is contributing a lot in preventing traffic congestion in the city. The moment the study proves that it is no longer relevant then that will be time to end it,” the mayor said.

The mayor however said there is a pressing need to find alternative ways to improve the traffic situation in the city and one way is to update the antiquated provisions of Ordinance No. 7-84 or the Comprehensive Traffic Ordinance of the city.

Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) traffic division chief P/Supt. Leon Talleo affirmed that the number coding scheme remains to be a big factor in alleviating the traffic problem by effectively reducing the volume of vehicles plying the city’s roads.

“Based on our daily experience, our road network is already cramped beyond capacity especially during tourist peak season. Without the number coding, the situation will become more chaotic,” Talleo said.

Talleo does not see the number coding’s effectiveness waning in the near future. On the contrary, he foresees the eventuality of the city shifting from the number-coding scheme into the more expansive odd-even strategy to further decrease the volume of vehicles on the roads.

The city adopted the number coding scheme on March 26, 2003 at the time of former mayor Bernardo Vergara via Ordinance No. 1 series of 2003 known as the “The Baguio City number Coding Scheme Ordinance” then authored by Councilors Antonio Tabora Jr., Elmo Nevada, Delfin Balajadia and Federico Mandapat Jr.

The ordinance bans entry of vehicles based on plate number ending schedule a-day-a-week within the designated area of coverage mostly within the central business district from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It was later amended at the time of former mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr. to refine the measure in terms of the area coverage and exemptions. /Aileen P. Refuerzo