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‘Proof of Parking Space Bill’ to ease Metro Manila traffic

A veteran lawmaker from Valenzuela City has defended House Bill No. 5098 from members in the House of Representatives who tagged the “Proof of Parking Space Act” an “elitist legislation”.


Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian said the main objective of his bill is to free the major thoroughfares and secondary roads from idle vehicles, whose owners have been using the side of the streets as their permanent parking space.


Under the “Proof of Parking Space Act”, Gatchalian proposed that individuals or firms planning to buy brand new cars be mandated to execute an affidavit indicating the availability of an existing parking space for the vehicle to be bought.


“How can this be an elitist legislation when the multitude of commuters stand to benefit from the improvement of traffic flow?” Gatchalian argued.


A member of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, Gatchalian issued the statement after 1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III said that the “Proof of Parking Space” is an “elitist legislation” and “has no place in a democratic country”.


Earlier, Bello insisted that a car is no longer a luxury but a necessity, saying the bill deprives the marginal sector the opportunity of owning a vehicle.


But the Valenzuela City congressman pointed out that one of the aims of “his bill is to ease Metro Manila traffic by disallowing the use of both sides of the street as permanent parking spaces.


“The ordinary Filipino cannot even afford to buy cars. Only the elite can indiscriminately purchase cars. This legislation aims to make car buyers to be more prudent and responsible when they purchase vehicles,” Gatchalian explained.


Gatchalian noted in a bid to ease traffic in urban areas, some city governments in Metro Manila have already passed similar ordinances, particularly on garages, insisting that the problem usually lies in its implementation.


“Difficulty in implementing the Proof of Parking Act should not deter us from pushing for such legislation.


Concerned government agencies should work hand in hand to implement such laws and on the part of car owners, their cooperation and sense of discipline,” he said.


Gatchalian warned that the current surge in car sales volume, which is expected to reach 300,000 by 2015, would further worsen the already nightmarish traffic congestion in the metropolis and because of this, he has filed HB 5098.


He maintained that motor vehicle owners should be made responsible to provide a permanent parking space for their own private vehicles, whether this is made an integral part of their house or building structure or a leased facility.


“The street is primarily intended for vehicular or foot traffic and should not be appropriated as personal parking spaces for these vehicles,” he said.


Owners found making untrue claims shall have their vehicle registration revoked and will be banned from registering a motor vehicle under their name for three years. Violators will also be fined P50,000.


LTO personnel who allowed the registration of vehicles despite knowing the falsity of the affidavit or without the required document shall be suspended for three months without pay. (Monica Cantilero)