Traffic on EDSA near the Kamuning Avenue flyover is heavy again on Tuesday after the long, 5-day holiday amid the visit of Pope Francis. Despite some roads being closed for motorcades during the papal visit, the holidays kept traffic light in the metropolis. (MNS photo)

Traffic on EDSA near the Kamuning Avenue flyover is heavy again on Tuesday after the long, 5-day holiday amid the visit of Pope Francis. Despite some roads being closed for motorcades during the papal visit, the holidays kept traffic light in the metropolis. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — A lawmaker in the House of Representatives on Wednesday pushed for the passage of a measure mandating individuals to secure a permanent parking space before purchasing a car.

At the hearing of the House of Representatives transportation committee, Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian called on his colleagues to hasten the passage of House Bill 5098 or the “Proof of Parking Space Act” citing the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila.

“The problem with traffic is not only confined in the big city streets such as EDSA…The motor vehicles that continue to occupy the side streets, parked and idle, are hindrance to foot and automobile traffic in most of our streets,” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian pointed out that car purchasers are presumed to be “financially-able,” thus they are likewise presumed “to be able to provide a parking facility for their vehicles.”

“Motor vehicle owners should be made responsible to provide a permanent parking space for their private vehicles, whether this is made an integral part of their house or building structure or a leased facility,” Gatchalian said.

“The street is primarily intended for vehicular or foot traffic and should not be appropriated as personal parking spaces for these vehicles,” Gatchalian added.

Under Gatchalian’s proposed measure, any person with residence or business address in Metro Manila who intends to purchase a motor vehicle shall be required to execute an affidavit before a notary public attesting the availability of a parking space for the vehicle he wants to buy.

The bill states that “each vehicle to be purchased shall require a separate parking space.”

The parking space can either be leased or procured “specifically for the purpose of parking the motor vehicle intended to be bought.”

Under Gatchalian’s proposed measure, the affidavit executed by the prospective car buyer must be presented to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as a pre-requisite for car registration.

Car purchasers who will be caught falsifying or making untruthful declarations in their affidavits shall be held criminally liable under Articles 171 and 172 of the Revised Penal Code, the bill states.

The car registration of the erring buyer will also be revoked and the buyer shall be suspended from registering any vehicle under his name for the period of three years. The erring buyer will also be fined P50,000 for every violation of the provision of the proposed measure.

Meanwhile, LTO officials who will be proven to have allowed the registration of a vehicle without the necessary proof of parking space shall be suspended for three months without pay.

The LTO, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the engineering office of the local government unit, meanwhile, are tasked under the proposed bill to conduct periodic ocular inspection to ensure that the car owners are complying with the measure.

In a hearing at the Senate last September 14, Gunnacao recommended prohibiting individuals who do not have parking spaces from purchasing cars.

Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group director Chief Superntendent Arnold Gunnacao, expressed his support for the measure.

“Honestly malaki talaga ang problema natin sa illegal parking, especially in the inner streets. So, we welcome and support this bill,” Gunnacao told reporters after the hearing.

For the existing car owners who still do not have their own parking spaces, Gunnacao said he has already submitted to the Committee a proposal to give them a period of one to three months, from the enactment of the proposed measure, to secure their own parking spaces. (MNS)