April 15, 2024

Due to the volume of vehicles that ply the streets of Baguio City, the city government is contemplating on implementing a color-coding scheme during the weekends.
While the mechanics remain unclear as it is still in its planning stage, it is likely that the “new color-coding” will be akin to an “odd-even” scheme where the right to use a vehicle during the days leading to its prohibition shall be determined, whether the ending of the plate number is odd or even.
So, if the vehicle’s plate number ends with one, three, five, seven, and nine, it is banned on Saturdays and if the vehicle’s plate number ends with two, four, six, eight, and zero, it is banned on Sundays.
Already, Baguio residents are crying foul over the scheme, notwithstanding the proponents are bent on implementing it. Truly, why let the residents suffer the additional burden of disallowing them to use their cars to go out on Saturdays or Sundays when mostly, the cause of the traffic is not of their doing?
A brief observation of why there are so many vehicles in the city during weekends is not because people from Baguio own cars more than what they need.
On the contrary, the number of cars and other forms of vehicles that occupy the roads, streets, and alleys during Saturdays and Sundays multiply because of tourists and vacationers. Because of the invasion of so many people from places outside the borders of the city, it becomes populated with vehicles beyond its capacity to endure.
It is not that vehicle owners in the city do not welcome visitors and guests. They do. The traditional part of hospitality remains in Baguio residents’ hearts that they are all too willing and entertain all who may want to visit the city – cars and all. What is only being prayed for is that the burden and sufferance of the traffic be placed in proper perspective and the sacrifice of banning vehicles should not be passed on to them.
Look, most residents of the city own only one car. They already accept the fact that once a week, they are carless. They take this as a small contribution in easing the traffic. To ask them to sacrifice one more day especially during the weekend, when it is the most conducive day to be with the family and roam around to relax, therefore, becomes too much for the asking.
Besides, if the planned color-coding scheme is going to be implemented, it creates more uncertainties than solutions. Will it really reduce the volume of traffic? People who can afford may just opt to buy alternative cars to avoid complying with the color coding scheme.
What about the visitors and the tourists? Most of them, if not all, come in droves and convoys in their own personal cars. Shall they be banned as well?
Shall the city kill its tourism industry by limiting the number of people, vis-à-vis, cars and vehicles, entering its territory?
Residents of Baguio City are well too aware of the conditions besetting the traffic. They have accepted it, albeit, they are having a hard time adjusting.
To cater to another color-coding on weekends is but another scheme to deprive them of their right to enjoy their own city without their fault/s.