The Proof-of-Parking bill will instill a culture of responsible vehicle ownership among Filipinos once it becomes a law and not prevent them from buying their dream car, according to Senator Win Gatchalian.
Gatchalian, author of Senate Bill No. 368 or the Proof-of-Parking Space Act, stressed during the second hearing of the measure that car owners and local government units have shared responsibility of reclaiming public roads to ease the perennial traffic woes in Metro Manila.
While local government units are responsible for clearing the roads, the lawmaker contends that motor vehicle owners should be made responsible to provide permanent parking space for their private vehicles, whether this is made an integral part of their house or building structure, or a leased facility.
“This is actually the second time we will be hearing this bill. This bill is quite basic – kung wala kang paradahan you will not be allowed to register your car,” Gatchalian said. “This means we’re now giving emphasis on the responsibility of the car owner to make sure he has his own garage before he purchases a car, so this bill is aimed to help in the alleviation of our traffic situation.”
“Again, the focus of the bill is not to prevent car owners to buy cars – you can buy as many cars as you want as long as you have your own parking space and do not park on the road,” he added.
Sharing his Valenzuela City experience, Gatchalian admitted that implementing traffic rules and regulations is the most difficult task that he has undertaken during his term as mayor. He recalled launching operations against illegally-parked cars during his time as Valenzuela City mayor but he likened the undertaking into a cat and mouse game.
Gatchalian noted that many local government units are now thinking out of the box and implementing ways in order to take back the roads that had been transformed into parking spaces. In Valenzuela, the senator said that the city enacted an ordinance wherein the owners of unutilized land are given tax reprieve when they convert the idle property into parking lots.
“These are just one of the few negotiations that local governments are doing. But again, the most important part here is, hindi lang ito responsibility ng local government, responsibility din ito ng car owners. This bill aims to put that responsibility to the car owners,” Gatchalian said.
“As a former Mayor, implementing traffic rules and regulations is the most difficult task a Mayor can ever undertake because parang cat and mouse ho yan eh, manghuhuli ka ngayon, bukas babalik, manghuhuli ka ngayon, bukas babalik na ho yan,” he added.
Records from the Land Transportation Office show that there were 11.6 million motor vehicles in 2018, which is an increase of almost 1.2 million or 11.4% from the 2017 figure of 10.5 million.
Under the Proof-of-Parking Space Act, individuals and businesses based within Metro Manila would only be allowed to purchase vehicles after the execution of an affidavit confirming that they have acquired, either through purchase or lease, a parking space for the vehicle sought to be purchased.
The bill also mandates the Land Transportation Office, the Metro Manila Development Authority, and local government units to conduct frequent ocular inspections of major and minor thoroughfares across the National Capital Region to remove illegally parked vehicles and to punish vehicle owners who refuse to comply with the law.