We don’t need to ask if a commuter, driver or pedestrian has seen a line of vehicles parked along the streets, occupying sidewalks and even outside lanes, most often in residential areas.
Such a spectacle is no longer out of the ordinary. They are part of the landscape of a barangay, a residential village, close to high-rise condominiums, or even commercial areas where traders live in their shops.
Parked vehicles took up space on the road. And with all other motorists now navigating minor streets with blind obedience to mobile apps, parked vehicles have become an obstacle to the smooth flow of traffic.
For the third time since 2016, another bill seeking a solution to the problem of parking vehicles on public roads was tabled last month. Representative Lord Allan Velasco introduced House Bill No. 31, entitled “No Garage, No Registration Act”.
The bill proposes to require a car buyer to show proof of a parking space – a garage or rented space – as a “prerequisite to purchasing a motor vehicle and registering with of the Bureau of Land Transport”.
Proof of parking requirement will be for anyone “with a residence or business address in metropolitan areas such as, but not limited to, Metro Manila, Angeles, Bacolod, Baguio, Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Dagupan , Davao, Iloilo, Naga and Olongapo, who intends to purchase a motor vehicle.
Two bills with the same intent were also introduced in 2016 and 2019. Senator Joel Villanueva introduced SB No. 1165 in September 2016, the “No Garage, No Car Act of 2016”. Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian filed SB No. 368 in July 2019, the “Proof of Parking Space Act.”
Social media has been abuzz with reactions to the recently tabled bill. Many said it was time for such a bill to become law, while many voiced the reason people stretch their budgets to buy a vehicle – an inefficient public transport system.
So, parking space is hardly an issue when most people decide to buy a vehicle. But this bill, if it becomes law, will make people take a closer look at where they park their new car. The bill recommends stiff penalties to the car owner and LTO employee if the evidence of parking space presented turns out to be a false document. According to the bill, “the owner of a motor vehicle shall be suspended from registering a motor vehicle in his name for three years” with a fine of ₱50,000.
Meanwhile, the LTO employee who authorized the registration of the motor vehicle without the necessary document and “with knowledge of the falsity of the statements” will be suspended from duty for three months without pay.
Concerned citizens will also be involved in keeping the streets clear. The bill directs them to report the presence of vehicles parked on the streets to the LGU, LTO or the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
This bill – if it becomes law – can play an important role in solving the traffic problem in metropolitan cities. He can finally clear the streets of parked vehicles.
But we hope that by then the streets will also be free of auto repair shops, vulcanizing shops, fruit vendors and tricycle drivers who use sidewalks as their business address.
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