Bill to regulate parking lots, fees filed in House

Published April 30, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Leaders of the House of Representatives wanted to regulate the operation of parking facilities for all kinds of vehicles, and require establishments not to include a waiver of liability in the terms and conditions for the use of their facilities.

(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez and Tingog Sinirangan partylist Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez cited the need for the government to protect the interest and promote the general welfare of consumers while allowing reasonable return on investments to businesses and upholding the property rights of owners.

“With due regard to the growing demand for parking spaces in commercial establishments, consumers’ ever-changing preferences, and the need for a reasonable rate of return on investments, elevating the standards for acceptable parking facilities is necessary to ensure the quality of service provided to consumers,” they said.

The Romualdez couple filed House Bill No. 6510 or the proposed “Parking Regulation Act”, which requires the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to determine whether parking fees imposed by establishments are reasonable, taking into consideration the cost of operating the parking facility, the convenience of the customers, and the quality of services provided to customers.

“This bill aims to provide the minimum standards for parking facilities and empower the Department of Trade and Industry to monitor and respond to consumer complaints regarding unreasonable parking fees,” they said.

Covered by HB 6510 are all parking facilities for all kinds of vehicles, parking spaces in establishments providing health services and providing accommodation, food business stores, schools, and educational institutions, and commercial establishments, including independent parking enterprises.

The bill provides that covered establishments are encouraged to offer their parking spaces to their customers free of charge.

Should covered establishments opt to impose parking fees for the use of their parking spaces, the parking fees shall be reasonable, it said.

Under HB 6510, customers or parking clients can submit complaints of unreasonable parking fees to the DTI-Consumer Protection Group in accordance with its rules.

The bill requires covered establishments to maintain and provide security in the parking spaces of their establishments, and not include a waiver of liability in the terms and conditions for the use of their parking facilities.

It also requires the establishments to assist the affected customers in reporting any loss or damage to their vehicle during the use of the parking space to the proper law enforcement authorities.

The affected customers shall not be prevented from collecting damages from the responsible persons for any loss or damage caused to their vehicle, the bill said.

Covered establishment shall also be held liable for damages, if the result of the investigation finds that the establishment has willfully neglected to perform its duties and fails to provide assistance to the customer or law enforcement authorities in the course of investigation.

HB 6510 requires customers and parking clients to park only in designated parking spaces of the covered establishments that they will particularly visit, do business with, or make any similar transaction.

Under the bill, all covered establishments are mandated to install a fixed structure to serve as their designated bicycle parking areas.

Violators of the proposed Act will be fined with P10,000 to P15,000 per vehicle, or after multiple successive violations, a suspension or cancellation of business permits and licenses, or both, will be imposed upon the discretion of the court.

 
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