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Senate bill eyes regulation of parking fees

SEN. Sherwin Gatchalian has introduced a bill aiming to regulate the imposition of fees for the use of parking spaces and facilities in shopping malls, hospitals, schools and similar establishments.

In filing Senate Bill (SB) 745, or the proposed “Parking Fees Regulation Act of 2019,” Gatchalian said that the basic law of supply and demand would denote that scarcity of a desired commodity would cause its price to skyrocket.

“This principle is well-illustrated by the high parking fees charged in urban areas. Metro Manila, a city with an estimated seven million private vehicles competing for parking in a cramped highly urbanized setting, has seen a proliferation of extractive parking establishments that charge exorbitant fees to desperate consumers who have no choice but to pay them,” said Gtchalian.

He said these “unfair, anti-consumer policies have gone on long enough.”

“It is time for Congress to employ its plenary power to regulate a problem that is simple, yet vital to millions of Filipinos in the emerging middle-class,” said Gatchalian.

“The key is to strike an equitable middle-ground that will afford consumers the necessary protections without excessively hampering the ability of legitimate parking enterprises from conducting fair and profitable business,” the legislator emphasized.

Gatchalian said this legislation proposed to do exactly that by establishing regulations for establishments charging parking fees, and providing penalties for those caught in non-compliance.

SB 745 shall cover parking facilities for all kinds of motor vehicles, including parking spaces in shopping malls, hospitals, schools or other similar establishments, including vacant lots and buildings that are solely devoted for use as parking.

The bill encourages shopping mall buildings, hospitals, schools and similar establishments to provide parking spaces for their customers free of charge.

For establishments which will impose parking fees for the use of their parking spaces shall be subject to the following:
a) The standard parking fee shall be Forty pesos (P 40.00) per vehicle for a maximum of 8 hours and an additional Ten pesos (P10.00) per 10 succeeding hour;
b) For overnight parking, a customer shall be charged a one-time fee of One hundred pesos (P 100.00) per vehicle;
c) A customer shall be given a grace period of thirty (30) minutes, wherein he shall not be charged the standard parking fee if his motor 15 vehicle shall have entered and exited the premises within the grace period;
d) For shopping malls, restaurants, stores, and similar establishments where customers go to purchase items or where the customers pay fees to enjoy the services, facilities or amenities offered by the establishment, the parking fee shall be waived once a customer presents a validated proof of purchase or payment of not less than One thousand pesos (Pl,000.00): Provided, That the customer used the parking space for a maximum of three (3) hours only: Provided, further, that customers who parked their vehicle for more than three (3) hours shall be charged the standard rate;

e) Customers shall be issued a receipt upon entering or exiting a parking facility.

A parking receipt must contain the effective date and time and the plate number of the motor vehicle the customer is paying for.

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