The Metro Manila Development Authority is looking for alternative impounding sites to accommodate the increasing numbers of apprehended illegally parked vehicles.
The numbers of apprehended vehicles increased after the MMDA’s intensified clearing of road obstructions and illegally parked vehicles in a bid to ease traffic in Metro Manila, especially on both major and secondary streets connecting Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or EDSA.
MMDA traffic supervising officer for operations Edison Nebrija said the agency is searching for the right place to be developed as alternative site. Their present impounding area in Tumana in Marikina City can no longer accommodate the number of vehicles towed for illegal parking and other traffic violations.
“This is the current situation in our Tumana Impounding Area. This is a 2.5-hectare land filled to the farthest corner,” said Nebrija in his Facebook account, showing photos of the already congested MMDA impounding area in Marikina City.
Right now, Nebrija said, the MMDA is “inspecting available parcel of land in Marikina as a possible alternative impounding site with the sustained operation we are conducting right now on illegal parking.”
Since the MMDA started the campaign, its Anti-Illegal Parking Operations Team have apprehended 70 to 100 vehicles daily.
Based on the latest data released by the MMDA public information office, a total of 25,715 vehicles were apprehended from January to June this year for illegal parking.
In the first two months of 2017 alone, the authorities towed 3,128 illegally parked vehicles on the roads of Metro Manila. A total of 1,770 vehicles were apprehended and towed in January and 1,358 in February.
The present impounding site, having a capacity of 500 vehicles, is almost occupied since then, MMDA officials said.
Apart from Marikina, the two other MMDA impounding sites are located near the University of Life (Ultra) in Pasig City and in Libertad Street in Pasay City.
MMDA general manager Thomas Orbos recently said the huge number of apprehended vehicles is clearly an indication that many car owners have no proper garage or adequate parking space.
“But it does not give them the right to park their vehicles anywhere they want,” Orbos said.
Reports showed that the number of towed vehicles increased since 2012 when only a total of 1,881 illegally-parked vehicles were apprehended.
In 2013, the number was 3,312 while in 2014 it was 4,010 and in 2015 the figure was 10,264.
The MMDA is supporting a proposal made by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, when he was still Valenzuela City congressman, requiring new car buyers to prove they have parking space before they can complete the purchase.
Gatchalian proposed the “no parking, no car policy” because he observed that traffic in Metro Manila is worsened by the idle vehicles parked on the sides of streets, hampering the flow of automobile and foot traffic.
He pointed out that motor vehicle owners should be made responsible to provide a permanent parking space for their own private vehicles, whether this is made an integral part of their house or building structure or a leased facility.
Orbos also suggested that the government encourage private lot owners to convert their properties into parking lots. He said the MMDA can encourage businessmen or lot owners and give them incentive for that.
“For example, they will not pay real estate tax for five years. Those who would enter the parking business must be given incentives,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, during his second State of the Nation Address, mentioned he wants all road in the country’s biggest cities cleared of all illegally-parked vehicles to ensure a smooth flow of traffic in the metropolis.
The government’s road and bridge projects will mean nothing if they will remain filled by illegally parked vehicles and other obstructions, said the President.
Duterte said he directed the MMDA and the local government units to immediately clear the roads and major thoroughfares of all unnecessary obstruction including vehicles parked on the street.
He added he is planning to have a golden age of infrastructure under his term with big-ticket projects such as roads, airports, and bridges.