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To PRRD: Certify proof of parking bill as urgent to solve Metro Manila traffic woes

MANILA, Philippines – Brand new automobiles get their share of marketing and exposure at a major mall in this city with easy financing schemes to lure more buyers, 16 June 2017. Unbridled car sales however resulted to sidewalk, road and traffic congestion with more vehicles being parked on these public thoroughfares by their owners who don’t have their own parking space. Photo by MARK CAYABYAB/OS WIN GATCHALIAN

Senator Win Gatchalian is calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to certify as urgent the Proof-of-Parking Space bill to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

Gatchalian made the call in response to the President’s order during his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) to “reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends.”

Senate Bill No. 368, or the Proof-of-Parking Space Act, is one of Gatchalian’s priority measures for the 18th Congress. His proposed measure would require prospective vehicle owners to present proof that they have a parking space for the new vehicle they would be buying.

“Passing this bill will be a big boost to the administration’s campaign of reclaiming public roads and help ease the perennial traffic woes we are experiencing in Metro Manila,” Gatchaian said.

“I hope President Duterte will certify this bill as urgent as it is very much aligned with his vision of alleviating the constant struggles of the commuting public,” he added.

Under the Proof-of-Parking Space Act, individuals and businesses based within Metro Manila would only be allowed to purchase vehicles after the execution of an affidavit confirming that they have acquired, either through purchase or lease, a parking space for the vehicle sought to be purchased.

The bill also mandates the Land Transportation Office, the Metro Manila Development Authority, and local government units to conduct frequent ocular inspections of major and minor thoroughfares across the National Capital Region to remove illegally parked vehicles and to punish vehicle owners who refuse to comply with the law.

Gatchalian said the bill is very timely and will instill a culture of responsible vehicle ownership among Filipinos.

“Motor vehicle owners should be made responsible to provide permanent parking space for their private vehicles, whether this is made an integral part of their house or building structure, or a leased facility,” the lawmaker said. “The street is primarily intended for vehicular or foot traffic and should not be appropriated as personal parking spaces for these vehicles.”

Records from the Land Transportation Office show that there were 11.6 million motor vehicles in 2018, which is an increase of almost 1.2 million or 11.4% from the 2017 figure of 10.5 million.

“The present administration is in a good position to achieve real, tangible change by overhauling Metro Manila’s outdated public transportation system,” Gatchalian stressed.