By Hannah Torregoza
The bill requiring prospective vehicle owners to present proof of having a parking space is soon to be approved in the Senate.
This as the Senate committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship has formed a technical working group to further study Senate Bill No. 201, the proposed “Proof of Parking Space Act,” after the measure received full support from different civil society and government representatives during the panel’s recent hearing.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, author of the bill, believes the measure will help ease traffic congestion in the country.
Because the measure, he said, principally aims to instill a culture of responsible vehicle ownership among Filipinos.
“The concept really here is responsibility when you buy vehicles. We are now putting the responsibility on the car owners,” Gatchalian said during a recent hearing.
“If you buy cars, you have to make sure that you have a parking space for your own vehicle,” he further said.
Gatchalian said he believes passage of the measure is relevant at this time as many motorists complain of traffic congestion and constant road blocks due to lack of parking spaces.
“I think this is quite relevant at this time because, if you try to pass the side streets to avoid traffic in major thoroughfares, there is a greater chance that you’ll get stuck in traffic due to the cars parked along the narrow streets,” he added.
Land Transportation Office (LTO) records show that the number of registered motor vehicles from the year 2015 until 2017 is 10,410,814.
There are an estimated new 1,000 registrants each day, 600 of whom have newly-purchased vehicles.
Under the measure, 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 they wish to acquire.
The bill also mandates the LTO, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and local government units (LGUs) to conduct frequent ocular inspections of major and minor thoroughfares throughout the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) to remove illegally parked vehicles and to punish vehicle owners who refuse to comply with the law.
While he recognizes the critical role of the bill in the Duterte administration’s push to solve the transportation crisis, the senator said it would still be up to LGUs to lead the charge in implementing the proposed law.
“It is better to have a national policy so that the local governments may impose that national law. The local governments also quite sensitive to the comments of their own constituency,” he noted.
The bill, he said, aims to give vehicle owners ample time to locate their own parking spaces.
“The present administration is in a good position to achieve real, tangible change by overhauling Metro Manila’s outdated public transportation system,” he said.
“Alleviating the constant struggles of the commuting public should be one of government’s top priorities,” he further stressed.