One of the biggest pet peeves of any motorist is that thing written on almost every pay parking ticket, something that's along the lines of 'this establishment and its management will not be liable for any damage or loss of a vehicle.'

If that's what annoys you, then you'll be glad to know your representatives are working on it.

The lower house of Congress, the House of Representatives, has just approved a bill after three readings that will make parking establishments accountable -not necessarily liable- for any damage or losses while your vehicle is parked under their care. This was made clear under House Bill 7725, otherwise known as the Parking Operations and Fees Regulation Act.

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The bill may be focused on setting standard (read: maximum) parking fees for establishments depending on the type (on which we'll have a separate feature later in the day), but one key portion of the bill specifically outlaws any pay parking facility to say they are not liable. This covers independent pay parking companies and establishments that charge a fee for parking.

Now the bill doesn't say that pay parking facilities automatically have to reimburse owners if a vehicle gets damaged or broken into while on their grounds. What it does say is that if the parking facility will be liable if it doesn't comply with the standards set in the bill (e.g. CCTV coverage, adequate security guards, etc.). The bill also stipulates that parking facilities must be able to provide CCTV footage if called upon. Failure to do so can be considered an obstruction of justice, along with other damages.

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The bill, if passed into law, will prevent parking operators from ducking responsibilities related to such matters. Accountability is the aim of this provision, and the bill makes it clear that the aim is to provide safe and secure parking for motorists.

Another noteworthy portion: House Bill 7725 also says that parking operators aren't prohibited from collecting damages from the person/s responsible for any injury to a customer or damage to vehicles.

Now we wait and see what the Senate version will be and, if it proceeds further, what the final Republic Act would look like.