WHEN the Davao City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) announced that it is proposing to increase the illegal parking fine to P5,000 from P500, it drew mixed reactions.
“Rampant na kaayo ang illegal parking nga makita nato. Dili lang kay sa mga highway kundili sa central business district. Murag ginabalewala lang ang penalty nga P500 sa obstruction ug illegal parking (Illegal parking in the central business district is rampant. Drivers are disregarding the violation because of the P500 penalty),” CTTMO head Dionisio Abude said.
There were those who praised the move saying that this would prevent illegal parking but many Dabawenyos are saying that this will not solve the illegal parking problem in Davao City in the long run.
When we posted the story on our Facebook page, many Dabawenyos pointed out the need for parking spaces or facilities.
"Instead of penalizing car owners, why don't you oblige establishments to provide parking space. or better yet, provide them yourselves. The parking problem needs to be addressed with a long term solution rather than solve it short term thru imposing penalties. Nagka lambo ang dakbayan, nagka asenso pd ang tao. Which means, more cars thus more parking space requirements. It's part of the city's development [sic]," Queen Anne Tidlos Asibal commented on the post. Her comment garnered the most reactions with many agreeing with her.
The city council might want to craft an ordinance that not only penalizes illegal parking in the city but also allows the development of long-term solutions. For example, an ordinance that clearly states that people should only park their vehicles at parking facilities.
One of the long-term solutions that have been always suggested is the construction of parking facilities. Though there is already a special incentive package for those who will develop one, the Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCIPC) might want to be more aggressive when it comes to inviting property developers to put up one. It can help identify locations and link them to real property brokers. Surely there is already a demand for one.
The city might also want to consider putting up one too and be placed under the City Economic Enterprise. Maybe if the city does it first, investors will follow.
While we acknowledge that efforts have been made to address the illegal parking problem in Davao City, it is not enough to solve it. Roxas Avenue, CM Recto Avenue, and Magsaysay Avenue (especially the Uyanguren area) are mostly lined up with vehicles on both sides. Despite CTTMO's towing of illegally parked vehicles, people continue to park. Our four-lane roads are being turned to tight two-lane roads because of this problem.
A long-term solution is needed for the city to address the illegal parking problem. A short-term solution will not be enough.