Some local developers have started implementing a policy allocating a parking space for a housing or residential project.
This developed as some of Cebu’s developers expressed their support to a proposed bill which was pushed last month in the Senate which aims to regulate the sale of motor vehicles in Metro Manila by requiring a proof-of-parking space as well as registration with the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
While the measure is still being pushed in Congress and that the proposal only covered Metro Manila, some of the local developers have already enforced a similar policy for their projects.
“I am okay with this proposed bill. Developers actually provide parking spaces in residential homes, condo units, and retail or commercial areas that they developed based on their assessment of the demand levels,” said Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) President and CEO Jose Soberano III in a phone interview.
For most developers and especially for condominium projects, parking spaces are being sold separately from their condo units.
With a policy to require proof-or-parking space, Soberano said residents who have cars will be obliged to purchase parking slots which developers already allot in their projects.
“As to the mall operators, it becomes more incumbent on their part to provide parking provisions for all their car-riding customers,” he added.
Khristina Pestaño, vice president of Grand Land, said that they are also providing parking spaces for sale for their condominium projects although it the proportion for condo unit to parking space is not 1:1.
Instead, for every three condo units, they provide one parking space for sale.
“For most of our condominiums, the allocation is 3-1 where a condo building is composed mostly of studio units. For big units, we put consideration to allocate a parking space,” she told CDN.
Pestaño added that their Grand Land’s condominium projects are also strategically located and are highly accessible to main transportation or are a walking distance from establishments or offices.
However, for their horizontal residential projects, she said it is a must for them to provide parking spaces for each house or unit.
“Even if they still don’t have cars, we provide and allocate space for them,” she said, adding that these spaces are not sold separately and are part of their payment when buying horizontal housing units.
Aside from developers local business leaders also supported Senator Sherwin Gatchalian’s proposed bill, which would require a buyer of a motor vehicle in Metro Manila to have a proof of parking space among others to buy a vehicle.
Stanley Go, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), in a separate phone interview, said that the proposal should be supported and should be extended to include other areas like Metro Cebu.
“I believe Cebu, a highly urbanized city, should have that kind of policy,” he told Cebu Daily News.
“If you go around, our roads are not getting any bigger and the volume of cars is increasing. The access to these cars are getting easier and cheaper compared to before. The problem is people buy cars and they don’t have parking space. They use the streets as their parking lot,” he further explained.
This kind of problematic habit by some car owners is making Metro Cebu’s traffic congestion concerns even worse.
Although not as prevalent in major thoroughfares in Cebu City and Mandaue City, the smaller barangay roads are usually dotted with parked vehicles that worsen traffic problems.
While there are actually efforts by traffic enforcement agencies from local government units to apprehend these violators like clamping their vehicles and penalizing them, there are still a lot of violators.
Cebu business leaders have been complaining about the economic losses from traffic congestion in Metro Cebu.
This is why Go said a policy like the one proposed by Senator Gatchalian is a “very practical and logical” solution.
“It is fair to impose that kind of rule. You must not be allowed to own a car if you don’t have parking space. You should have parking space when you buy cars,” Go said.
Under the proposed Senate bill, individuals and businesses based within Metro Manila would only be allowed to purchase vehicles after the execution of an affidavit confirming that they have acquired, either through purchase or lease, a parking space for the vehicle they are planning to purchase.
It also mandates the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and local government units to conduct frequent ocular inspections of major and minor thoroughfares across the National Capital Region to remove illegally parked vehicles and to punish vehicle owners who refuse to comply with the law.
“The concept really here is responsibility when you buy vehicles. We are now putting the responsibility on the car owners. If you buy cars, you have to make sure that you have a parking space for your own vehicle,” Gatchalian explained in an earlier public hearing on the measure.
The proposed penalties in the bill include revocation of the motor vehicle’s registration and that the vehicle owner shall be suspended from registering a motor vehicle under his or her name for three years.
Violation also carries a fine of P50,000 for every violation of the provisions of the proposal.
The proposal earlier received support from different civil society and government representatives.
The Senate committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship has also formed a technical working group to further study the bill.
MCCI’s Go said that while this kind of policy is noble and necessary in current times, it is also a major challenges to implement it.
For a policy like this to be properly implemented, he said there should be enforcement of heavier fines on violators.
He added that local government units should also beef up their towing activities to complement this policy and ensure that no vehicles are parking along streets.