MANILA, Philippines – Parking fees for establishments may soon be standardized across the nation, but what would be a win-win rate for business owners and consumers alike?
This is what Valenzuela City 1st district representative Wes Gatchalian hopes on November 26, in a house hearing that will tackle House Bill No. 3262 or the Parking Fees Regulation Act. In this hearing, owners of malls, hospitals, and other business establishments will have a chance to negotiate the standard parking rate.
In July, Gatchalian filed this bill aiming to regulate parking fees to prohibit extortionate parking rates, as well as to improve safety measures in parking facilities to protect consumers’ properties.
Gatchalian, who is also the chairman of the house committee on trade and industry, cited a “meteoric rise” in the fees of mall parking facilities after the Supreme Court upheld the rights of mall owners to charge fees for parking.
“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 in a statement.
What does the bill cover? The act will cover parking facilities for all kinds of motor vehicles, such as those in shopping malls, hospitals, schools, as well as vacant lots and buildings that are appropriated for parking.
Aside from shopping malls, Gatchalian also cited hotels and hospitals as particularly rampant in charging extortionate fees.
What is the proposed standardized rate? The bill encourages establishments to provide parking spaces for free.
However, if establishments should impose parking fees, they can only charge a standard rate of only P40 per vehicle for a maximum of 8 hours, and an additional P10 per succeeding hour.
Meanwhile, overnight parking should only entail a one-time fee of P100 per vehicle. Customers will be given a grace period of 30 minutes, allowing them time for entrance and exit without cost.
Further, customers in shopping malls, restaurants, stores, and other similar establishments will be able to waive their parking fee if they present a proof of purchase or payment of not less than P1,000, provided that they use the parking space for a maximum of 3 hours only.
Should their use of the parking space exceed 3 hours, they will be subject to the standard rate.
This proposed standardized rate could change depending on the outcome of the November 26 hearing.
How will the bill uphold safety for consumers’ properties? With this bill, Gatchalian also wanted to address the inadequate safety measures for protecting consumers’ cars and belongings. “Operators generally impose a waiver of liability in case of loss or damage to property, leaving consumers vulnerable and unprotected,” he said.
Thus, the bill also mandates establishments to provide and maintain security in parking spaces. They will also be banned from invoking the waiver of liability in case of property loss or damage. This ban also applies to building or parking facility operators.
Gatchalian added that establishments will be required to install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) and employ more security guards to better protect the properties of consumers.
What are the penalties? Those who impose an overpriced parking fee can be fined upwards of P150,000 per customer and/or be imprisoned for 1-3 years.
If the bill is passed, local government units will also have to comply regardless of previous ordinances.
A local government unit may also coordinate with establishments in providing parking facilities, as in the case of Quezon City. – Rappler.com