Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco said traffic congestion in the metro can be resolved with the implementation of a stricter “No Garage, No Registration” legislation.
With heavy traffic prevalent in 12 areas in Metro Manila, the former House speaker pushed for the implementation of House Bill No. 31 or the “No Garage, No Registration” act.
“For every car buyer, there’s a certain responsibility they have to have—a certain parking space without trying not to be any hardship to any of his neighbors. When you try to buy a car, you have to have a certain parking area for that and that is what we want to try to push for,” he said in an interview with CNN Philippines on Wednesday.
Velasco’s proposal, if passed, would require motorists to submit an affidavit to prove that they have a permanent garage or parking space before purchasing a new car as a prerequisite for registration, but he clarified in the interview that leasing in a public parking space may also be used as proof.
The bill gives the Land Transportation Office (LTO) the mandate to verify the authenticity of the information in the document submitted by the registrant, and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and local government units would also be involved in the implementation.
Metro Manila, Angeles, Bacolod, Baguio, Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Dagupan, Davao, Iloilo, Naga, and Olongapo are the key metropolitan areas listed in the measure.
“I believe that traffic is a very perennial problem and if we solve the congestion, then it’s going to open up a lot, especially for our commuters, it will ease up their travels,” Velasco said.
LTO Chief and Transport Assistant Undersecretary Teofilo Guadiz III, for his part, said he is in favor of the proposal but hopes it only applies to “prospective” car buyers.
“[T]his should be done in partnership with the local government, dahil ‘yun pong barangay kung saan nakatira ang tao ang magse-certify kung talagang may parking doon sa lugar na iyon. Hindi po kami basta-basta tatanggap ng certificate. Napepeke po ‘yung mga certification na ‘yan,” Guadiz told DZRH on Friday.
Operators and public utility vehicle owners have strongly opposed the bill, stating that it is a matter of socio-economic status as they stand to lose more than their target daily boundaries each day if the law sanctions them to lose their unregistered vehicles because of the lack of a proper parking space.
Wilson, a public utility vehicle operator for nine years, lamented that the bill is unfair to drivers and operators like him who have no means to purchase private parking spaces.
“It will only make things difficult for owners of both public and private vehicles because securing an affidavit takes a lot of time. I am not in favor of its implementation particularly when vehicles are parked on the private roads of subdivisions rather than on public highways,” he said in an interview.
“I don’t think Congress will be able to pass it into legislation because it draws the line between the rich who have the means to purchase parking spaces compared to those like me, who only depend on the PUV business to provide for our families,” he added.
Lawmakers have pushed for similar proposals in previous years, such as Senator Joel Villanueva’s “No Garage, No Car Act of 2016” which shared the agenda of requiring a “permanent parking space or facility” for both public and private vehicles, and Senator Win Gatchalian’s “Proof-of-Parking Space Act” filed in 2019.
With the growth of further vehicle congestion every day, a 2021 study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that Filipinos stand to lose at least 100,000 pesos a year because of heavy traffic, having spent an average of six minutes a day stranded in the metro’s vehicle-filled streets.
According to Guadiz, the number of registered four-wheeled vehicles nationwide now stands at approximately 18 million.