A member of the majority bloc in the House of Representatives has filed a bill that would require potential buyers of motor vehicles in Metro Manila to prove that they have a parking space before they can buy and own a car.
Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian filed House Bill No. 5098 after anticipating that the current surge in car sales will further worsen the already nightmarish traffic congestion in the metropolis.
“Although it is good news for the automotive industry, it is bad news for Metro Manila motorists and commuters who must brace themselves for slower traffic as more cars join the vehicle population,” Gatchalian explained.
“And traffic congestion in the capital is worsened by the idle vehicles parked on the sides of streets, hampering the flow of automobile and foot traffic,” the senior vice chair of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development added.
Gatchalian had in mind media reports that car sales in the Philippines are expected to reach 300,000 units by 2015, on the back of a robust economy, growing middle class and increased remittances from overseas Filipino workers.
As of September, Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) members have sold a total of 169,727 units of vehicles.
If car sales hit from 250,000 to 260,000 units by the end of 2014, CAMPI sees potential for vehicle sales to reach 300,000 next year.
Under the “Proof of Parking Space Act”, Gatchalian proposed that buyers of brand new cars, whether individuals or firms, be mandated to execute an affidavit indicating the availability of an existing parking space for the vehicle to be bought.
The said affidavit shall be certified by a notary public.
“Any financially-able purchaser of a motor vehicle can be presumed to be able to provide a parking facility for his vehicle,” Gatchalian said in his bill.
Gatchalian pointed out 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.
Filed last week, the “Proof of Parking Space Act” also orders the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to make such affidavit a prerequisite in the registration of vehicles.
The LTO, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and concerned local government units are mandated to make ocular inspections in implementing the Act.
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.
Gatchalian recalled that in Singapore, vehicles cannot be parked in public roads.
“Singapore serves as a model to the Philippines in terms of regulating vehicle traffic and protecting pedestrians. There are different road signs that drivers should strictly follow or else face fines of up to S$300 depending on the weight of the vehicle,” Gatchalian said. (Monica Cantilero)