In a recent article, we spoke of road clearing operations that were conducted in the area of Tomas Morato, Quezon City. While chaos ensued as cited vehicles looked for new parking slots, a glaring issue presented itself: is it legal for individuals or establishments to put up “reserved” or “exclusive parking” signs that prohibit the common motorist from taking up a parking slot in Quezon City?
We have an answer.
Per Ordinance No. SP-1465, it is explicitly stated that “any person, natural or juridical, is prohibited from reserving a portion of public streets, avenues, sidewalks, alleys, and other public open spaces for his/her/its exclusive use…” The same provision also illegalizes the putting up of “markings or signage 'reserved' in any of the places mentioned.” Just to define an important term, this covers public parking slots. For the government-built parking slots on or along sidewalks, these are publicly-owned. If, within any establishment's lot, such slots and/or improvements are made to be able to have vehicles park, those, then are private.
In this light, the enforcement of the said City Ordinance falls on the local government’s traffic enforcers and barangay officials. SP-1465 was drafted (and subsequently approved) following instances of heated arguments among neighbors and pedestrians. This notwithstanding, more of such arguments are between motorists who want to park their vehicles in an open slot, but would be sent away by some establishments’ guards or attendants.
As with any ordinances, non-compliance also constitute fines and punishments. For establishments found in violation of SP-1465, here are the following penalties that they face:
First Offense – Fine of not less than Two Thousand Pesos (PhP 2,000.00)
Second Offense – Fine of not less than Three Thousand Pesos (PhP 3,000.00)
Third and Final Offense – Fine of not less than Five Thousand Pesos (PhP 5,000.00) or imprisonment of not more than six (6) months or both at the sound discretion of the court
Also, as was stated in our previous article, our law enforcers did say that if anyone maintains ownership or reservation of parking slots, we can call QC’s 122 emergency and information helpline. In the event that such individuals or establishments still do not comply, we can call The President’s 8888 hotline. We were assured that there will be an immediate response to calls made to either numbers.
If there’s anything that is more concerning than the fact that such an ordinance exists, it’s the fact that this was supposed to have been enacted since November 23, 2004. To-date, and though it cannot be denied that some areas in Quezon City do observe SP-1465, the greater majority does not seem to.
So, really, what is it that hampers its strict implementation for the better good of motorists and the country's citizens? Small to large scale corruption? Hard-headed business owners? Or is it the fact that Filipinos are simple averse to any and all changes that involve them adjusting to something not to their favor or advantage?
Good points to ponder and think about, yes? Just make sure your car is parked properly if you do, though.