National agencies concerned with the horrendous traffic in Metro Manila have endorsed Nationalist People’s Coalition Congressman Win Gatchalian’s bill requiring would-be buyers of new vehicles to have a parking space first, in a bid to unclog streets of illegally parked vehicles.
Representatives from the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and Land Transportation Office (LTO) have welcomed and expressed their full support for House Bill No. 5098, also known as the “Proof of Parking Space Act”, as the House Committee on Transportation started its deliberation on the measure Sept. 30.
HPG director Chief Supt. Arnold Gunnacao said the proposed law corresponds to his earlier recommendation to lawmakers to come up with “no garage, no car policy,” which will prohibit individuals purchasing motor vehicles without their respective garage.
Under HB 5098, those who want to purchase new vehicles must first prove they have a parking facility suitable for the car they are buying under the supervision of the LTO.
During the hearing, Gatchalian said his “Proof of Parking Space Act” will 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.
“Proof of Parking Space Act is pretty straight forward as it simply aims to introduce discipline to those prospective car buyers to have a garage first,” said Gatchalian, who is a member of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development.
“Car owners should not make public streets their own parking space. If they are capable of buying a vehicle, then they should also have the same capacity to obtain a personal garage,” added the Valenzuela City lawmaker.
Gatchalian also pointed out that a policy that will require car owners to have their own personal garage will act as a deterrent against the rising number carnapping incidence.
Records from the Philippine National Police-Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (PNP-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 Jan. 5 to Sept. 6 this year. These represent 44% and 29%, respectively, of the total 489 reported car theft cases in the last nine months.
Gatchalian also noted that HB 5098 will also make it easier for fire trucks, ambulances, and other rescue vehicles to pass through narrow streets and alleys in case of an emergency or any natural disaster.
“Phivolcs [Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology] already warned us of an upcoming 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Metro Manila. HB 5098 will help clear up the street for rescuers and emergency vehicles to prepare us for the Big One,” Gatchalian said.
The House committee, chaired by Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, agreed that the “Proof of Parking Space Act” shall be merged together with House Bill No. 6059 or “Sustainable Transportation Act of 2013”.
HB 6059 aims to promote a sustainable system and alternative mode of transportation while also improving air quality, increasing efficiency and reducing congestion. It is currently being deliberated in a technical working group (TWG) in the same committee. (Tim Alcantara)