After 21 years, car park regulations bill now in Lower House priority list

Published May 30, 2021, 2:07 PM

by Ben Rosario

The current House of Representatives leadership has placed among its priority legislative measures the bill seeking to regulate the operations and imposition of fees of vehicle parking facilities, making it the first to pursue the measure originally filed in 1997.

Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez disclosed that House Bill No. 7725 or An Act Regulating the Operations and Imposition of Fees for the Use of Parking Spaces and Parking facilities in Various Establishments, has been lined up for third reading approval before Congress goes on sine die adjournment this week.

HB 7225, or the Parking Operations and Fees Regulation Act, consolidated 21 similar measures filed by Deputy Speakers Michael “Mikee” Romero (1PACMAN) ; Rodante Marcoleta (1SAGIP); and Wes Gatchalian (1st District, Valenzuela City; and , together with Reps. Precious Hipolito Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City); Rowena Nina Taduran (ACT-CIS Partylist); Alfred de los Santos (Ang Probinsyano); Enrico Pineda (1PACMAN): Yedda Marie K. Romualdez (Tingog Sinirangan) and Romualdez, among other authors.

Unlike the bills filed during the 9th and 10th Congress that called for the prohibition of imposition of parking fees, HB 7225 merely encourages car park operators to grant free parking spaces to customers.

The original bills were filed by in the Lower House by then Malabon Rep. Tessie Aquino-Oreta while the Senate version was authored by Senator Rene Cayetano during the 9th and 10th Congress, respectively. Both are now deceased.

Despite getting strong support of motorists and consumers, the original bills usually languished in the committee levels, reportedly due to the powerful lobby coming from car parking operators.

HB 7725, on the other hand, gives operators the right to impose fees and merely encourages business establishments such as malls and hospitals to offer free parking spaces only to customers and on a limited time of just two hours.

The bill seeks to put a cap of P30,00 per vehicle for the first three hours and P20 for succeeding hour thereafter for open parking establishments. For multilevel enterprises, the cap is P40 for the first three hours and P20 in succeeding hours.

Many business establishments are already adopting said price range which they customers of malls and hospital patients find unfair and unjustified.

For street parking, maximum parking fee has been set at P50 per hour. Restrictive parking fee rates are already being imposed by certain city governments in Metro Manila.

HB 7225 also upheld the common practice of parking establishments to impose P150 for lost parking tickets, However, the bill makes it mandatory for the vehicle parking operator to return the paid penalty if the customer is able to locate the missing ticket and surrenders it within 60 days.

The legislative measure prohibits the waiver of liability in case of loss property or damage to the customers vehicle while using the parking space.

Waivers of liability are usually printed in the parking tickets as a condtion for allowing the use of parking space without the express consent of the motorist.