BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance prohibiting any private individual from collecting parking fees or any form of payment from motorists for temporarily parking along public roads, streets and other public places within the city and providing penalties for violations.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that it will be prohibited for any private individual to collect parking fees or any form of payment from motorists who temporarily park or leave their vehicles along public roads, streets and other public places within the city.
Yangot explained the prohibition shall no way be interpreted to allow parking of motor vehicles along such areas and the concerned local governments may still regulate parking subject to existing traffic laws, ordinances, rules or regulations.
The chief of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) and all punong barangays concerned shall be responsible for the strict implementation of the pertinent provisions of the local legislative measure.
Under the proposed ordinance, any person found violating the pertinent provisions of the ordinance shall be penalized by a fine of P2,000 and or imprisonment of 3 months at the discretion of the court for the first offense, a fine of P3,000 and or imprisonment of 6 months at the discretion of the court for the second offense and a fine of P5,000 or an imprisonment of one year for the third offense.
Yangot underscored in the exercise of its police power and the general welfare clause of the Local Government Code, the local legislative body may enact ordinances to promote the public order and safety to eradicate all forms of unlawful activities.
He noted because of limited parking spaces, public roads and other public places are frequently being utilized for temporary parking by motorists and it has been observed that several private individuals are now roaming around or standing by public roads and streets within the city and acting as alleged parking attendants.
The ordinance added the self-proclaimed parking attendants who are neither connected with the local government, not barangays, are systematic mainstay of commercial areas where the public regularly drops by either for dining, entertainment, shopping, family affairs, business transactions or other important events that they need to attend.
Ironically, Yangot stated individuals posing as parking attendants are taking advantage of the situation and require motorists, especially tourists, to pay parking fees ranging from P20 to as much as P100 without official receipts as if they are authorized personnel of the government to collect said fees.
Yangot emphasized roads and streets are intended for public use and beyond the commerce of man, thus, collecting parking fees or any form of payment by unauthorized individuals for temporary use is unlawful.
By Dexter A. See