'No Garage, No Car Act' now one step closer to becoming a law

'No Garage, No Car Act' now one step closer to becoming a law

Next time you buy a car, whether brand new or used, you might be required to secure a proper parking space first before you're allowed to make the purchase. This will be the case if or when Bill No. 1165, otherwise known as the “No Garage, No Car Act of 2016”, is passed by the Senate into a law.

Filled by Senator Joel Villanueva, it proposes that anyone who intends to acquire a motor vehicle should first be able to present proof that they have a “permanent parking space or facility” to store it. The spot must be leased or procured by the vehicle owner and he/she will have to present a notary public to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as a prerequisite for registration.

This applies to all individuals who reside or have a business address in “metropolitan areas such as, but not limited to  Metro Manila, Angeles, Bacolod, Baguio, Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Dagupan, Davao, Iloilo, Naga, and Olongapo.”

Why is the government doing this? There's no denying that traffic in the Philippines is bad and it's only getting worse. The number of vehicles on the road is constantly growing (adding 370,000 more new cars based on the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc’s report) and we don't have enough roads to drive them on. Senate Bill No. 1165 plans to fix this by freeing up roads blocked by irresponsible vehicle owners who turn streets and sidewalks (which by the way are not part of their property) into their personal parking spaces.

Mind you, the bill also authorizes the LTO, MMDA, and LGU to conduct periodic ocular inspections of alleys, streets, and thoroughfares and remove illegally parked vehicles.

Knowing how crafty some people are, those caught with fraudulently-obtained motor vehicle registrations will have it revoked. The owner will also be barred from registering any vehicle under his/her name for 3 years and fined P50,000 for every violation.

Likewise, the LTO officer and employee who allows such vehicles to be registered without or with fake documents will be suspended for 3 months without pay.

The only topic not covered by Senate Bill No. 1165, or at least to our knowledge, is what happens to already-registered vehicles. As we see it, the bill doesn't require existing owners to present proof of their permanent parking space or facility when renewing their registration; or at least not yet.