BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance amending Article XVI, Section 1(25) of Ordinance No. 07, series of 1984 otherwise known as the city’s Comprehensive Traffic Code increasing the penalty of illegal parking from P150 to P700.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Michael Lawana stated the city’s Comprehensive Traffic Code was enacted to establish a legitimate transportation and traffic regulations for the city, providing for its administration and enforcement and repealed all ordinances that were in conflict with the same.
Article XVI, Section 1(25) of the same provided for the penalty specifically for illegal parking in the amount of P150.
Lawana revealed that during the March 2, 2018 regular monthly meeting of the city’s punong barangays, one of the agenda tackled and discussed was the implementation of Administrative Order No. 116, series of 2017 or the Anti-Road Obstruction Order in the city’s 128 barangays and it was recommended by the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) and strongly supported by the punong barangays and barangay officials resent to increase the penalty for illegal parking from P150 to P700.
The ordinance stipulated that the amount of P150 as a penalty for illegal parking is no longer attuned to the prevailing situation as compared to when the city’s traffic and transportation code was enacted over three decades ago.
Police authorities and barangay officials were all in agreement that motor vehicle owners who violate the city’s anti-road obstruction order are relentless in violating the same, especially in terms of illegal parking, primarily because of the alleged insignificant amount of P150 as a penalty.
Since the implementation of the city’s anti-road obstruction policy, motor vehicle owners still insist in parking their vehicles in areas that are identified as no parking zones not only in the central business district but also in the different barangays of the city because they can afford to pay the minimal penalty and gain commit the same offense.
Earlier, the local government deputized responsible and dedicated barangay officials in the 128 barangays to enforce the city’s anti-road obstruction policy to help in reducing the rampant illegal parking along major roads in the city and in the barangays.
However, the deputized agents observed that violators of the city’s anti-road obstruction order are described to be perennial violators because they are always the ones apprehended for illegal parking in their barangays and that they are able to pay the minimal penalty against violators of illegal parking around the city.
The proponent claimed with the proposed increase in the penalty for illegal parking, motor vehicle owners will think twice on whether or not to commit the desired violation or locate available parking areas around the city and in the barangays where they could park their vehicles and prevent them from being imposed the increased penalty for their violation.
The ordinance was referred to the City Council Committee on Laws and Human rights for study and recommendation for its possible enactment in the future.
By Dexter A. See