House approves bill imposing fee cap and liability for loss, damages on parking facilities

Congress gave it the green light on the third and final reading
by Leandre Grecia | Jun 3, 2021
PHOTO: Shutterstock

Lawmakers have been working on regulating parking fees for several years now already, but it appears Congress is now a step closer to seeing a bill standardizing parking rates passed into law.

House Bill No. 7725, also known as the Parking Operations and Fees Regulation Act, has just been approved by the House of Representatives on the third reading with 253 votes for, zero against, and zero abstinence. HB 7725, which is a consolidation of several bills, seeks to “protect consumers” from “unreasonable parking rates and fees.”

Under the bill, health service establishments (hospitals, clinics), accommodation establishments (hotels, resorts) food service establishments (restaurants, food parks), educational institutions (public and private schools), and retail establishments (supermarkets, shopping malls) shall provide free parking to eligible customers and constituents who can present an acceptable proof of transaction or valid identification. Limitations apply; for instance, a confined patient or an outpatient at a health service facility can avail himself of just one parking slot for the day. Customers at food service and retail establishments shall be allowed to park free of charge for up to two hours only.

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For customers and constituents that don’t qualify for free parking, there shall be a limit to the parking fees that establishments will be allowed to charge. Hospitals, for example, will only be able to charge up to P20 per hour, hotels up to P30 per hour, and restaurants up to P20 per hour (past the two-hour grace period).

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In addition, the bill sets a cap on street parking fees at P50 per hour and overnight parking fees at P150 per vehicle. Establishments may only charge up to P150 for any lost parking ticket provided that the customer can present any document proving ownership of the vehicle. In case the customer is able to return the supposedly lost parking ticket within 60 days thereafter, he will be issued a full refund.

Likewise, the bill sets standards for parking facilities—including signage, pedestrian crossings, speed bumps and rumble strips, and a 20kph speed limit—and mandates that a certain number of CCTV cameras installed and security guards be deployed within the area. If a parking facility is proven to have failed to comply with these safety and security measures, it may be held liable for any loss of property or damage to vehicles incurred inside the property.

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All covered establishments are also required to set up a fixed structure that will serve as a designated bicycle parking area. At least 4% of available slots per parking level must be reserved for senior citizens and persons with disabilities, too, and these should be in the most convenient and accessible locations in the facility.

Violators will be fined not less than P100,000 but not exceeding P300,000. If you want to read all the specifics of the bill, you can check out the official document here.

We know a lot of you will be waiting for further updates on this, so we’ll be sure to keep you posted. For now, share your thoughts on this new bill in the comments.

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