Have you ever had to pay exorbitant parking fees at malls, hotels, or businesses, and noticed that each ticket contains a waiver of responsibility of some sort should your car be damaged or pilfered from? 

Well, a Senator of the Republic, JV Ejercito, wants to change all that when he filed Senate Bill 2044: An Act regulating the imposition of any fee for the use of parking spaces and facilities located within shopping malls, hotels and similar business and/or commercial establishments and prescribing penalties therefor. The short name is The Parking Space Regulation Act of 2018.

While that title is a mouthful (or three), the provisions of the bill are indeed very interesting. In it, the author cited that there is a cry from patrons and customers for the fees they have to pay for every hour inside an establishment like a mall. The bill cited the Consumer Act, which gives the government the mandate to “protect the interest of consumers” and “promote the general welfare and establish standards of conduct for business and industry.”

Senator JV Ejercito wants to regulate parking fees, PhP 40 for first 8 hours

And so the new bill, if passed into law later on, will regulate parking fees and the rules of parking lots for businesses and establishments.

Senator JV Ejercito wants to regulate parking fees, PhP 40 for first 8 hours

For starters, it sets the standard fee of PhP 40 for every vehicle for what seems to be the first 8 hours, and PhP 10 for every hour afterwards. This is a stark contrast to some establishments charging higher initial fees, and typically for the first 3 or 4 hours, and more for every hour afterwards.

The bill also prescribes that overnight parking be charged at PhP 100 and, more importantly, a grace period of 30 minutes without charge be made standard. Also, the bill speaks of an imposition of a validation system for establishments.

Perhaps the most important of all is that the bill will prohibit that phrase that annoys any motorist: this establishment will not be held liable for any damages that occur while parked in this facility. Or something to that effect. 

SB 2044 says that if a motorist/customer has to pay for a fee to park a vehicle, the establishment (business/mall/hotel) has to be responsible for the safety of the vehicle. In short, they won't be allowed to invoke a waiver of liability in case of loss or damage.

Any violation of the provisions of the bill, if passed into law, will incur a penalty of PhP 100,000 and/or a revocation of their license to operate, depending on how the court decides.

If you're a motorist, chances are you'll love SB 2044. If you're involved on the establishment side, maybe not.