Editorial: No garage, no registration?

·3 min read

Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco has introduced House Bill 31, which requires “parking space from motor vehicle buyers in metropolitan areas as a prerequisite for the purchase of a motor vehicle and registration with the Land Transportation Office.” If enacted into law, the former House Speaker’s legislation would be referred to as the “No Garage, No Registration Act.”

The aims of the bill are good: “lessen traffic congestion, curb the number of private vehicles, provide safe and uncluttered pathways, where people may freely walk to their destinations, and maintain a clean and healthy environment by clearing the streets of parked motor vehicles and other similar clutter that reduce the space intended for human and vehicular traffic.”

Cebu is among the metropolitan areas included in the legislation’s scope and application; if the bill becomes a law, it could solve the problem of overnight parking in low-end subdivisions where several car owners who do not have a garage park their cars on narrow roads.

Parking along narrow barangay roads is also prevalent here, hindering vehicle traffic flow. Another common sight is the sidewalks that have become parking areas of motorcycles. If Velasco’s measure becomes law, these common sights could disappear.

Those people who can afford to buy a new car or take out a car loan from a bank may think twice if HB 31 is already a law, and this scenario certainly has a negative impact on the thriving automobile industry.

Representative Velasco’s proposed law still has to pass through the eye of the needle. It is expected that the auto industry will protest, or lobby against the bill.

Some of the questions that arise from the Velasco bill are these: Why were small subdivisions with narrow roads and no parking spaces for each unit approved? Why does the Philippine government allow the importation of second-hand cars?

The illegal parking problem seems simple but it’s not.

The problem of illegal parking or houses with no garage is very real, and lawmakers and experts must look at the situation with probing eyes in order to create a comprehensive law.

Granting the legislation becomes law today, it would be a big help if Cebu already has a mass transport system as it could encourage people to take public transport and the well-off people to decide against buying cars.

There’s the Bus Rapid Transit project in Cebu City, but people do not know when it will be completed, and the city is not the entire Metro Cebu. The metro, which has a total land area of 1,100 square kilometers, comprises Danao City, Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Cordova, Cebu City, Talisay City, Minglanilla, Naga City, San Fernando and Carcar City. It would be nice to see an interlinked mass transport system for the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, and Cordova and Talisay City.

If Cebu has a reliable mass transport system, private car ownership could dwindle and the traffic here would not be so bad anymore.