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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, January 25, 2019
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As the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority imposed heftier fines on illegal parking in the metropolis, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian pushed for congress to pass the bill that would require prospective vehicle owners to present proof of parking space for a new car to complement the efforts of the MMDA and local governments against rampant illegal parking in the country.

Gatchalian, author of Senate Bill 201 also known as the proposed Proof-of-Parking Space Act, made the call as he threw his support behind the MMDA’s initiative to slap higher fines on illegally parked vehicles to decongest the already crowded Metro Manila streets.

The MMDA recently raised the fine for attended illegally parked vehicles from P200 to P1,000. Drivers of unattended illegally parked vehicles, on the other hand, now have to pay P2,000.

Under the proposed measure, individuals and businesses based in Metro Manila would only be allowed to purchase vehicles after the execution of an affidavit confirming they have acquired, either through purchase or lease, a parking space for it.

According to the Land Transportation Office records, the number of registered motor vehicles from the year 2015 until 2017 was 10,410,814. It also showed about 1,000 registrations per day, 600 of which are for newly purchased vehicles.

Last October, the Senate committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship created a technical working group to further refine the provisions of the bill. Sen. Gatchalian said he hopes to have the bill passed in the coming weeks.

The congested streets of Metro Manila are made even more crowded by illegally parked vehicles owned by people who do not have parking space. But because everyone gets away with illegal parking in this country, Sen. Gatchalian has to author and push for the passage of the Proof-of-Parking Space Act that hopes to address this chronic problem that came about from the gross inability of local officials to enforce simple illegal parking laws in their areas of responsibility.

A proof-of-parking space law shouldn’t be necessary if local government officials could only keep the streets under their care free of illegal parking. The bill proposed by Sen. Gatchalian currently covers only Metro Manila. Let us hope that our local governments can control illegal parking and penalize vehicle owners who illegally use city streets as their private garages so the proposed bill does not need to expand its coverage nationwide.*


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