Lawmakers want parking fees abolished

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Monday, May 5, 2014


TWO local legislators are hoping that the bill they filed will abolish the charging of parking fees in the country.

Authored by Representatives Rufus Rodriguez, of the city’s second district, and his brother Maximo, of the Abante Mindanao (Abamin) partylist, the House Bill 4298, if passed into a law, will make sure that motorists will no longer have to pay for parking charges in establishments and institutions.

In gist, HB 4298 prohibits “the imposition of parking fees for the use of facilities for availment of services provided by shopping malls, schools, hospitals, hotels and other similar establishments and prescribing penalties for violations thereof.”

The bill also stated that these facilities should not charge “parking fees on their consumers, customers, clients and persons availing of their services if it is proven that said person has made a purchase, without any minimum amount, or have availed of the services provided by said establishment, as evidenced by his receipt or the proper validation.”

“One major concern is the availability of parking spaces. With this in mind, the owners of these establishments like malls and hotels take advantage and charge exorbitant parking rates without taking into consideration the fact that the consumers park in order to patronize their establishment,” the statement furthered.

The bill will, however, allow establishments to fine P500 to drivers who park in their establishment without purchasing any of the establishment’s goods or services.

The legislation has already passed the first reading and is to be handed to the committee on trade and industry, Rep. Rufus told Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro in a phone interview Friday.

He also mentioned that there are no parking fees being charged in Europe.

“When they (establishments) are already in service, expected na yan that people will come in cars,” he said. “Part of the services na yan ng service provider.”

In the bill’s explanatory note, the Rodriguezes said that most big malls, especially in Metro Manila, charge around P40 for the first three hours of parking and an additional amount for every hour in excess, while some malls charge a fixed rate of P45 to P50. Hotels charge P100 upwards unless your ticket is validated.

“It must, however, be borne in mind that there may be instances where a consumer will just spend a little time inside the mall and he will be charged the standard parking fee,” the bill’s explanatory note said.

“There is a need for us to regulate the imposition of parking fees by all establishments, whether public or private, thereby making it free of charge if proven that the person has made a purchase or have availed of the services provided by said establishment, as evidenced by his receipt or proper validation. Otherwise, the establishment can charge the consumer with high parking fees considering that he simply used the parking space without patronizing the establishment,” it added.

Rey F. Fabricante, assistant operations manager of Seda Hotel, agreed that parking should already be part of the services of the establishments like the use of the gym, pool, and wi-fi.

“As a four-star hotel, part na ‘yan ng amenities,” Fabricante said.

Michelle Pajaron, store admininstative and marketing assistance of ShopWise, said that even their stores in Metro Manila and Cebu are not charging parking fees for their customers.

Included in their parking spaces, aside from the security, is the free wi-fi.

“Gi-free siya para daghan ang customers,” Pajaron said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 05, 2014.

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