Bill filed to regulate parking fees

Ratziel San Juan - Philstar.com
Bill filed to regulate parking fees
Image shows an empty parking area. Valenzuela City First District Representative Weslie Gatchalian filed a bill that seeks to regulate parking fees and protect car owners from excessive charges.
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines — A bill seeking to regulate parking fees and protect car owners from excessive charges has been filed at the House of Representatives by Valenzuela City First District Representative Weslie Gatchalian.

There has been a "meteoric rise" in parking rates charged by business operators after the Supreme Court issued a decision upholding mall owners' right to collect fees from customers that use their parking facilities, Gatchalian said in a Monday release.

The proposed House Bill 3262 or the Parking Fees Regulation Act filed on July 31 will restrict business-owned parking facilities from imposing unreasonable parking rates and fees, Gatchalian said in a sponsorship speech.

The congressman is also chairman of the House Committee on Trade and Industry.

"Nowadays, parking fees for a day’s worth of parking in Metro Manila can be as high as P700 or more, while there are others that charge significantly less," Gatchalian said.

The lawmaker also said there are limited safety measures in place to protect customers' cars and personal belongings they might contain.

"Operators generally impose a waiver of liability in case of loss or damage to property, leaving consumers vulnerable and unprotected," he said.

Gatchalian also said the interests of parking enterprises and consumers alike were kept in mind, assuring the bill seeks to "find an equitable balance" for operators to have a reasonable return on investment.

The bill stipulates a standard parking fee of P40 per vehicle for eight hours at most, with an additional P10 per succeeding hour.

For overnight parking, vehicle owners would be charged a one-time fee of P100. A grace period of 30 minutes is also offered before standard charges apply.

Coverage of the proposed measure includes shopping malls, hospitals, schools and other establishments like vacant lots and buildings used solely devoted for parking.

Customers of shopping malls, restaurants, stores and other commercial establishments can also waive parking charges for up to three hours of use if they present a validated proof of purchase or payment of at least P1,000.

The bill also mandates that establishments maintain security in their parking spaces and cannot invoke a waiver of liability against loss of property or damage to vehicles. Violators of any provision will be charged at least P150,000 or imprisoned for one to three years.

The bill is pending at the Committee on Trade and Industry since August 6.

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