A lawmaker is seeking the immediate passage of a bill that aims to ensure the protection of vehicle owners against security threats inside parking establishments.
Under his House Bill 3262, Valenzuela City Rep. Wes Gatchalian urged establishment owners to provide security to vehicles in their parking premises.
The call came on the heels of an incident involving his fellow lawmaker, ACT-CIS Rep. Niña Taduran, who recently fell victim to a “basag-kotse” (break-in) incident at a mall’s parking lot in Quezon City.
Taduran’s belongings were stolen after thieves smashed her vehicle’s window while parked in the SM Sta. Mesa’s parking facility Monday afternoon.
According to Gatchalian, his proposed bill seeks to mandate business owners and operators to maintain and provide security for their parking spaces. Additionally, the measure also aims to hold business establishments liable for any loss or damage to car owners’ vehicles by prohibiting them from invoking a waiver of liability.
“Doon po sa ating panukala, na-specify namin na sa bawat lugar kung saan ipapark ang ating sasakyan at iiwan ang ating ari-arian sa loob man ng sasakyan, dapat ang establisimyento ay mag-take responsibility dito (In the law that we’re proposing, establishment owners must take responsibility for parked vehicles and the items left within), Gatchalian said in a statement.
The lawmaker said that business establishments waive any responsibility should an incident happen to a vehicle while parked inside their premises.
Gatchalian said that establishments such as malls, hotels, and hospitals provide parking tickets stating that they cannot be held liable for damaged vehicles.
“Sometimes the tickets even specify that vehicles owners may park at their own risk,” Gatchalian added.
The lawmaker questioned the point of paying for a parking fee if customers’ rights won’t be protected.
According to a report by the Philippine National Police, a total of 1,007 cases of “basag-kotse” have been reported from 2016 to October 2019.
Despite this, the report said that no mall owners or parking operators have ever been held accountable for the damage and loss incurred by their customers despite charging sometimes exorbitant fees.
Meanwhile, Gatchalian’s proposed bill also seeks to standardize parking fees in malls, buildings, and other types of business establishments in order to “keep prices within reasonable bounds.”
Under his bill, parking fees for the first eight hours would be P40, with an additional P10 fee for the succeeding hours. A fee of P100 will be charged for overnight parking.
“Ayon sa aming pag-aaral, paiba-iba ‘yong mga parking fees natin. Mayroong ₱40, mayroong ₱50, at mayroong iba na charging as much as ₱100 or more, lalo na sa mga hotel (Our studies revealed parking fees from P50 to as much as P100 and more, particularly in hotels),” he said. “Minsan kapag pumunta ka sa hotel para dumalo sa kasal, paglabas mo magugulat ka naka-four hours ka na pala tapos ang singil sa yo (Sometimes, you go to a hotel to attend a wedding and after four hours, you’d be charged) ₱300 or ₱400,” Gatchalian said.