BAGUIO CITY – Business establishments operating in the city should provide free parking spaces and refrain from charging parking fees to their own customers.
Councilor Edgar Avila, in a proposed ordinance he filed with the city council recently, said the city has to stop “the pernicious practice of businesses to impose additional burden to their patrons” to whom they owe their sales and profits.
“The city of Baguio is experiencing a construction boom at an all-time high. Commercial malls and buildings abound and admittedly contribute to the robust economy of the city,” Avila noted.
“Various quarters however have observed that some commercial establishments have imposed parking fees for their very own patrons and customers despite the fact that they owe their sales and profits to them.”
Avila said to correct this practice, the city has to adopt an ordinance requiring all commercial establishments to provide free parking amenities to their patrons during business hours.
In the proposed measure, Avila proposed penalties of cancellation of business permits and fine of P5,000 and/or six-month to one-year imprisonment or both for violators.
If approved, the mechanisms, policy, rules and regulations will be provided by the business and licensing division and other concerned city government departments to implement the intentions of the measure.
The parking requirement is mandated under the National Building Code.
In the city, it is also a requirement under Ordinance No. 51 series of 2001 or the city’s zoning ordinance.
In 1999, the city council passed Resolution No. 345 directing the management of the Baguio Center Mall to stop collecting parking fees.
In the said resolution, the body noted the need to adopt a measure requiring all shopping malls in the city to grant parking incentives for its customers subject to certain conditions like the presentation of proof of purchases or the grant of discount on parking fees based on the purchases made.
In 2010, the body approved Resolution 220 requiring all malls and similar establishments to grant said parking incentives however up to now some establishments continue to charge parking fees./Aileen P. Refuerzo