Buyers of motor vehicles may soon have to present proof that they have a permanent parking spot if a new Senate bill is passed into law.
Known as the Proof-of-Parking Space Act, Senate Bill No. 201 seeks to ease congestion in Metro Manila’s streets by restricting vehicle sales for people who don’t have definite spots to park their vehicles.
“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,” explains Senator Win Gatchalian who filed the bill in August of 2016.
The bill retained a pending status for over two years until Gatchalian’s fellow senators and civil society groups intensified the clamor for its passing.
Currently, many of Metro Manila’s smaller streets are packed with vehicles parked on the road. While viewed by the average citizen as normal, the act of parking a vehicle on the road for long periods of time is technically illegal since roads are public property and are meant as passageways for both vehicles and pedestrians.
If successfully passed, Senate Bill No. 201 will compel vehicle buyers to present a notarized document to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in order to secure a go-ahead to purchase the desired vehicle.
Persons caught falsifying their possession of parking slots will be barred from registering the vehicle under their names for three years. They will also be slapped with up to P50,000 of fines.
During the past decade, vehicle sales in the Philippines boomed thanks to a steadily growing economy and the availability of cheap and easy loans for automobiles.
Under the Duterte administration, several measures were taken to slow down vehicle sales, including the introduction of excise taxes on private vehicles and petroleum products. Still, there seems to be no letup in the Filipinos’ appetite to own more vehicles.