Pay-parking zones free to elderly, PWDs

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Sunday, May 25, 2014


NOT only are senior citizens and persons-with-disabilities (PWDs) in Cebu City exempt from paying parking fees in private establishments, they’re also don’t have to pay in public pay-parking facilities.

The City Council approved Councilor Alvin Dizon’s amendatory measure on City Ordinance (CO) 2326, or the ordinance granting the elderly and PWD parking fee exemption in malls, hospitals and other establishments.

Dizon said CO 2326, which the council approved in May 2012, did not clearly provide that the ordinance also covers public pay parking facilities.

Public pay parking facilities include those operated by government offices and publicly-owned establishments.

Penalties

Dizon said there is a need to exempt senior citizens and PWDs from paying for parking as a way of recognizing their economic contributions to the city.

Those who will qualify from paying for parking are all senior citizens and PWDs in the city as well as visitors, foreign guests and tourists.

The exemption will be granted on any given day without limitation as to the number of establishments that will be visited by senior citizens and PWDs.

The ordinance further provides that senior citizens and PWDs are entitled to free parking for the first three hours on any given day.

“All senior citizens and PWDs shall be entitled to this exemption whether he or she is a driver of the vehicle or a passenger thereof,” it added.

The ordinance also covers senior citizens and PWDs who are riding any public transportation, such as taxis and cars for hire, among others.

For cashier or booth attendants who fail to follow the provision of the ordinance, they will be fined P500 or less than a month imprisonment or both at the discretion of the court for the first offense.

The operator, manager and owner of the establishment will be fined P2,000 or less than a month imprisonment or both at the discretion of the court.

For the second offense, the cashier or booth attendant and the owner of the establishment will be fined P1,000 and P3,000, respectively, and an imprisonment of less than a month or both at the court’s discretion.

For the third offense, the cashier or booth attendant will have to pay P2,000 and P5,000 for the owner of the establishment or imprisonment of less than a month or both at the court’s discretion.

Information drive

Meanwhile, the City Legal Office wants the Office of the Senior Citizen’s Affairs (Osca) to conduct information dissemination on the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens’ Act o 2010.

It also wants Osca to meet with medical practitioners and pharmacist associations in the city to discuss the law’s technicalities.

City Legal Officer Jerone Castillo said some senior citizens have not been properly oriented with the law.

The recommendation came after the legal office assessed the complaints of some senior citizens who failed to avail themselves of mandated discounts in establishments like pharmacies.

During the clarificatory hearing they conducted with both parties, Castillo said they discovered that some technicalities were not followed, particularly on the complaint against pharmacies, which is why some senior citizens are not granted the mandated privilege.

Under RA 9994, seniors are entitled to a 20-percent discount when buying medicines in pharmacies.

Under its implementing rules and regulations, prescriptions of medicines should be complete so seniors can avail themselves of the discount, but Castillo said some doctors are not aware of this.

“We should also let our doctors know the basics of the law, aron di magbalik-balik ang mga seniors kay di kompleto ang nasuwat sa ilang resita (that way seniors don’t have to keep on going back to the pharmacy because their prescription is not complete),” Castillo said.

He said they’re willing to discuss the law with the seniors and establishments.

“We are very willing to facilitate since this is a law, we have lawyers who will explain it to them,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 26, 2014.

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