Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) Congressman Win Gatchalian urged Malacañang to certify as urgent House Bill No. 5098, also known as the “Proof-of-Parking Space Act”, which requires would-be buyers of new vehicles to provide proof they have parking space suitable for the car they are buying.
Gatchalian made the appeal after Highway Patrol Group (HPG) director Chief Supt. Arnold Gunnacao told Monday’s joint hearing of the Senate Committees on Economic Affairs, and Public Works that he is in favor of a “no garage, no car” policy.
“We should declare all streets to be no parking zones so the streets will be open for the public. It is my recommendation that we should come out with a law providing or prohibiting individuals [from buying or purchasing] motor vehicles without their respective garage,” Gunnacao was quoted as saying.
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Gatchalian is the principal author of HB 5098, which would require buyers of brand new cars, whether individuals or firms, to execute an affidavit indicating the availability of an existing parking space for the vehicle to be bought.
The Valenzuela City lawmaker filed HB 5098 in October last year as traffic along EDSA and other major thoroughfares started to worsen because the supposed secondary and even tertiary roads are clogged by illegally parked vehicles on either sides.
“No one has the right to make public streets his own parking space. If one has the financial capacity to buy a vehicle, then he should also have the same capacity to obtain a parking space,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian said the recommendation by the HPG director supporting a “no garage, no car” policy should prod Malacañang to certify as urgent the “Proof of Parking Space Act” as this will greatly contribute to the declogging of Metro Manila streets and help ease traffic congestion.
President Benigno Aquino III has earlier instructed PNP-HPG to take over the management of traffic along EDSA, replacing the Metro Manila Development Authority.
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After a week of HPG’s manning of traffic along EDSA, HPG chief Gunnacao expressed his interest to declare all streets no parking zones so as to give more way for motorists.
“Traffic congestion in Metro Manila is made even worse by vehicles illegally parked in secondary roads linked to EDSA, which could have provided alternative routes and therefore made traffic in EDSA lighter. These illegally parked vehicles hamper both vehicle and foot traffic,” said Gatchalian, a senior vice chair of the House committee on Metro Manila development.
The MMDA in 2010 already issued a memorandum circular penalizing illegal parking: “Any driver who shall illegally park his motor vehicle on any public road, street or thoroughfare in Metro Manila, shall pay a fine of P500. In addition thereto, a standard towing fee shall be collected by both government and private entities…”
MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino, however, admitted that his agency does not have enough tow trucks to removed illegally parked vehicles.
The 23-kilometer EDSA is designed to cover only 144,000 vehicles a day but some 360,000 vehicles pass through it daily, according to the MMDA.
Vehicle sales, meanwhile, grew by 20 percent to 179,215 units in this year’s first eight months to 179,215 units, news reports showed. Sales in August posted a 21-percent growth to 23,181 units from 19,116 in the same month last year.
A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showing that the economy can face productivity losses skyrocketing to P6 billion a day by 2030 from the current P2.4 billion if no government intervention is made on Metro Manila’s traffic congestion. (Monica Cantilero)