By now, you might have noticed that traffic flow in the city of San Juan has improved greatly, particularly near Greenhills Shopping Center. That's because newly-elected Mayor Francis Zamora recently suspended pay parking along the streets of San Juan.

While it did decongest the city, there are now fewer available parking spaces available in San Juan. Not only that, the pay parking scheme, which used to be a source of revenue for the local government, is now gone. So what solution does the government have for its citizens and for itself?

For Zamora, it's to convert vacant lots into new parking spaces. But while it may seem like Zamora only copied the idea thought up by the Department of Interior & Local Government (DILG), the 41-year old Mayor has something that could entice lot owners to actually go with the idea.

Instead of just making them into parking lots and making a profit out of it, Zamora said that lot owners that decide to convert their lots into a usable parking space will be given tax breaks. Owners of idle properties will be exempted from paying business taxes for up to 5 years should they go with government's suggestion.

“It’s a win-win situation because it gives us more parking options, at the same time, the vacant lot owners can now have some income with their idle lands,” said Zamora.

Currently, available parking spaces around Greenhills only number about to 300. Meanwhile, the shopping center itself can hold up to 4,000 cars. Having vacant lot owners turn their idle properties into parking spaces will help motorists, as well as provide income for the property owners and the city.

Here's to hoping that private land owners will be able to lend a helping hand in the future.

Source: CNN Philippines