An award-winning Metro Manila mayor has proposed a law that would waive parking fee in the shops, diners, and other outfits to protect consumers from unjust rates.
Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian filed House Bill No. 5099 that encourages malls, hospitals, schools, and similar establishment to provide free parking spaces for their customers.
“Consumers, especially those in Metro Manila and urban areas, have no choice but to pay the excessive parking fees imposed by malls and other establishments even if these businesses already profit from the sale of their products and services,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian, a senior vice chair in House Committee on Metro Manila Development, observed that the unfair and anti-consumer policies in the collection of parking fees by shopping malls and similar establishments have gone on for long enough.
The House Committee on Trade and Industry member said it is time for Congress to employ its plenary power to regulate a problem that is simple, yet vital to millions of Filipinos in the emerging middle class.
“The key is to strike an equitable middle ground that will afford consumers the necessary protections without excessively hampering the ability of legitimate parking enterprises from conducting fair and profitable business,” Gatchalian explained
Filing his bill “Parking Fees Regulation Act” last October 14, Gatchalian proposed a standard parking fee of only P40 per vehicle for up to eight hours and additional P10 for every succeeding hour. A one-time fee of P100 per vehicle will be imposed for overnight parking.
In particular, those who have purchased at least P1,000 worth of goods or services will have their parking fee waived, provided that they have used the parking space for three hours or less.
As for safety, business establishments will be required to provide security in parking spaces. If they opt to collect parking fees, shops will be liable for loss of property or damage to customers’ vehicles.
Any person or establishment violating the Act will be made to pay a fine of at least P150,000 per overcharged customer or a prison term of one to three years.
The secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is mandated to review and adjust the parking rates every three years. (Monica Cantilero)