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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Bill sets fees, holds mall owners accountable for loss, damage to vehicles in car park

DESPITE serious reservations from mall owners, commercial establishments, and independent parking operators, the House of Representatives has approved the bill establishing parking fee regulations and standards for parking facilities in various establishments.

Voting 253 affirmative and 0 negative, lawmakers approved Tuesday night the Parking Operations and Fees Regulation Act that seeks to protect consumers from unreasonable parking rates and fees, while at the same time giving parking operators a fair return on their investments.

On top of regulating the rates that may be charged, the bill also sets standards to maintain security and order in these parking establishments.

“I am glad that the bill is one step closer to becoming a law despite some misgivings of the owners of retail and commercial establishments and independent parking operators,” Deputy Speaker for Trade and Industry Wes Gatchalian said.

The bill covers all parking facilities of covered establishments for all types of vehicles including bicycles, motorcycles, and automobiles. Covered establishments include accommodation establishments, commercial establishments, food service establishments, health service establishments, retail establishments, and all other similar establishments, whether government-owned or privately-owned, including independent parking enterprises that charge a parking fee for the use of its parking spaces.

The bill principally regulates the imposition of fees for the use of parking spaces and facilities of covered establishments.

According to Gatchalian, confined and out-patients in health service establishments may use parking facilities for free, while non-patients will be charged P20 per hour.

He said customers of accommodation establishments, including hotels, motels, hostels, inns, and resorts, shall not be charged parking fees provided there is proof of transaction with the establishment. Non-customers will be charged P20 per hour.

Meanwhile, parking fees in food service establishments shall be waived for the first two hours for customers, after which P20 shall be charged per hour. Non-customers will also be charged P20 per hour.

Also, customers of retail establishments – including malls, shops, supermarkets, and retails stores – shall be given free parking for the first two hours, provided there is proof of transaction for an amount of not less than P1,000.

Non-customers shall be charged P20 per hour but not to exceed P100 per day. Commercial establishments may charge P40 for the first four hours and P20 per succeeding hour for a maximum of P140 per day.

Open parking enterprises may charge P30 for the first three hours and P20 per succeeding hour, while multi-level parking enterprises may charge P40 for the first three hours and P20 per succeeding hour. The rates charged by open parking enterprises and multilevel parking enterprises shall not exceed P100 per day.

Street parking shall be charged P50 per hour while the maximum overnight parking fee shall be P150 per vehicle. Lost parking tickets may also be charged a maximum of P150 per vehicle.

The bill also sets the minimum standards that must be observed by all parking establishments, including the provision of CCTV cameras, security guards, the number of entrance and exit booths to prevent traffic congestion, and other safety standards.

“So, on top of providing minimum standards, the proposed law will also hold establishment owners accountable for loss of property or damage to a customer’s motor vehicle while the said vehicle is inside their parking spaces by prohibiting them from invoking a waiver of liability,” the lawmaker added.

The covered establishments shall be responsible for the safety of their customers and parking clients, and shall be liable for damages in case of theft or robbery within their establishments.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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