Nationalist Peoples Coalition (NPC) Congressman Win Gatchalian is urging Metro Manila mayors to take a hardline stance on the campaign to rid major thoroughfares and secondary roads of illegally parked vehicles as this is one of the major causes of traffic congestion in the National Capital Region.
Gatchalian, at the same time, cited as a good argument for the “no car, no garage” policy the latest report of the Philippine National Police (PNP) that there has been an increase in the number of stolen vehicles that are parked overnight on the streets.
Records from the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) show that 214 vehicles were stolen on the streets while 140 were forcibly taken from their owners in residential areas (villages and subdivisions) from January 5 to September 6 this year. These represent 44% and 29%, respectively, of the total 489 reported carnap theft cases in the last nine months.
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“The PNP statistics on carnapping provides a good argument for the immediate passage of House Bill No. 5098, which requires would-be buyers of new vehicles to provide proof they have parking space suitable for the car they are buying,” said Gatchalian, the bill’s principal author.
Gatchalian earlier urged Malacanang to certify as urgent HB 5098 or the “Proof-of-Parking Space Act” following the appeal of Highway Patrol Group (HPG) director Chief Supt. Arnold Gunnacao to enact a law that will institutionalize a “no garage, no car” policy.
The “Proof of Parking Space Act” has earned the nod of several civic groups who have called Gatchalian’s office to pitch in their support for the bill because of problematic parking in their villages.
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.
Gatchalian, a former three-term mayor of Valenzuela City, urged Metro Manila mayors to take the initiative in clearing their respective cities of illegally parked vehicles as one of the possible means to solve Metro Manila’s traffic woes.
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Gatchalian lauded Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista for supporting the proposal to prohibit the sale of motor vehicles if the owners do not have garages.
Bautista, who chairs the Special Traffic Committee of the Metro Manila Council (MMC), said that public utility vehicles (PUVs) should also be included in the prohibition.
“It is laudable that Mayor Bistek Bautista has admitted that one of the mistakes as Metro Manila mayors was allowing car owners without garages to park along inner streets. I hope that all the mayors of Metro Manila will support the campaign to rid the streets of illegally parked vehicles,” said Gatchallian.
Gatchalian’s HB 5098 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.
Gatchalian called on Metro Manila mayors to draw up possible solutions to NCR’s traffic congestion, including alternative routes based on an earlier proposal and the revival of the 17 identified “mabuhay” or alternate lanes.
“It’s about time that we declare all streets to be no parking zones so these roads will be open for the public. With the help of Metro Manila mayors and the HPG’s strict enforcement of traffic laws, we can untangle the traffic mess that that has been affecting people form all walks of life,” Gatchalian concluded. (R. Burgos)