DPWH: Abolish pay-parking-A A +A
Friday, December 13, 2013
THE “pay-parking” business of the Cebu City Government is “illegal” and violates Presidential Decree (PD) 17, also known as the Revised Philippine Highway Act.
This was the content of the letter of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 Director Ador Canlas to Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, as presiding officer of Cebu City Council.
Canlas said that last Oct. 9, DPWH cleared some national roads within Cebu City of illegally parked cars and illegally constructed structures.
During that clearing operation, DPWH noted that the Cebu City Government, based on an ordinance, allowed pay-parking along some national roads. The department cited pay-parking sign boards put up by City Hall.
But Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) Executive Director Rafael Yap disagreed with Canlas.
“The Local Government Code (states that) it is within the power of the Cebu City Council to enact traffic ordinances,” said Yap. He added that passing a pay-parking ordinance is one of them.
Yap, a lawyer, said that when the Local Government Code was enacted, local government units were exempted from PD 17.
PD 17 or the Revised Philippine Highway Act was enacted in 1972 yet. The Local Government Code was passed in 1992.
Canlas said the obstruction of national roads, including illegal parking, is a criminal act punishable by fine or imprisonment under Section 23 of PD 17.
“Any ordinance allowing pay-parking on national roads is contrary to the aforementioned law,” said Canlas.
He requested the City Council to pass an ordinance declaring all national roads as no parking areas and tow-away zones, repealing pay-parking ordinances.
Canlas said pay-parking contributes to worsening traffic congestion in Cebu City as it lessens the roads’ capacity to accommodate traffic.
He said many national roads were widened by DPWH so that they would accommodate more vehicles and ensure free flow of traffic.
Canlas also noted that several national roads in Cebu City have been converted as extension for businesses as delivery bays, parking lot for customers, machine shops and car wash.
He also said the City Government must remove pay-parking signs on national roads and replace them with “no parking” or “tow-away” signs.
One national road within Cebu City is V. Rama Ave.
Yap said the Metro Cebu Land Use and Transportation Study (Mcluts) recommended pay-parking in central business districts, especially in downtown Cebu City, were buildings were constructed before the National Building Code was implemented.
This means that many buildings in downtown Cebu City do not have adequate parking spaces. These buildings have been maintained because they are considered heritage structures.
Yap also does not agree that pay-parking adds to the congestion of roads.
He said motorists looking for parking spaces add to the traffic congestion.
“The Pay-Parking Ordinance was envisioned to improve the flow of traffic and lessen vehicles looking for parking spaces,” he said.
Yap said, though, that he shares the DPWH's concern about illegal parking.
Citom board is preparing its reply to the DPWH 7 letter. The office received the letter last month and was furnished a copy of the letter addressed to the Cebu City Council yesterday.
The board also tackled the matter during its regular monthly meeting last Nov. 28.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 13, 2013.