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Vehicular traffic is an ever-increasing problem in the country, with a majority complaining about

the fact that commuting via car can take longer than a flight across it would. The number-coding
system in place doesn’t help as well as it used to, given that the NCR is now home to nearly 2.5
million registered vehicles according to CAMPI.
The traffic problem is further compounded by people who own cars that end up double-parking
on narrow streets because they don’t have a parking space. It is to attempt to reduce this
problem that lawmakers are proposing a no garage, no car policy – those who wish to register a
vehicle must also prove they have a parking space for it.
What is it?
House Bill 5098, better known as the Proof of Parking Space Act, is a measure that proposes
that car owners need to secure a parking space before the Land Transportation Office (LTO)
allows them to register the vehicle.
While the Bill itself isn’t seeing active implementation, it is molded after similar measures that
have seen great success in other car-congested cities like India and Japan. The bill was
proposed last 2015, to great support from leading legislators and local government leaders, like
Quezon City’s Mayor Herbert Bautista.
It also has arguments against it, with some speakers arguing that it would limit those who have
the means and want to purchase a car.
How it works
The main framework of the bill would require anyone who wants to purchase a car to have proof
that they have ample space to park their vehicle that isn’t a.) The sidewalk, and b.) Blocking
other car owners from accessing the road itself.
The basic aim of the bill is to prevent the congestion in the city, and part of that is allowing
drivers access to side streets and other roads that might otherwise be blocked off or made
narrow by other owners parked on said roads.
There is also the conversation of the inclusion of PUVs, as some privately owned public
transport vehicles also end up parked the same way as privately owned ones.
How it can help
With the country experiencing rapid growth, and people finding that public transport is either
inconvenient or is unable to wholly cater to their commuting needs, it’s become easier to decide
that one of the few ways to have a concrete travel option is to purchase a car.
This increase in purchases of cars and motorcycles has led to congestion that the country’s
infrastructure is racing to catch up with. According to a report published in the Inquirer, figures
for automotive sales in the country surpassed industry expectations last year, with over 310,000
units sold. With sales expectations of above 350,000 units, access to more roads is something
that the country needs even more.
A survey conducted by Waze last year had the country pegged as the ninth worst place to drive,
owing to low high-speed roads and general access density. CNN reported alongside the survey
that commuting takes 2 hours and 15 minutes via bus along EDSA.
Final Thoughts
If this bill is passed as a law, it would require changes on how  auto dealers do business, and
open up some of the lesser-used side streets to drivers. This will lead to easing congestion in
the country and allowing better infrastructure to be built in the long run.

No Garage, No Car Policy

Traffic has always been the bane of anyone living in major cities in the Philippines, especially
Metro Manila. One of the reasons cited is that there are too many cars on the road. Besides
crowding thoroughfares, some car owners park their cars on the streets in front of their homes,
thus adding to the congestion if the streets are narrow.

In an attempt to address the traffic situation in the country, the Senate filed a bill that is seen as
a possible solution. Authored by Senator Joel Villanueva, Senate Bill 1165, also known as No
Garage, No Car Act of 2016, requires prospective car owners to declare they have a permanent
parking space (garage). This would serve as a prerequisite for purchasing any vehicle.  A similar
bill was filed in the House of Representatives (House Bill 5098) in 2014 by then Congressman
now Senator Sherwin Gatchalian but was not passed.
According to the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI), there
are about 2.5 million private vehicles in the National Capital Region alone. Give that volume, it is
no surprise traffic has become the norm. Although the Metro Manila Development Authority has
come up with the Odd-Even Scheme, it seems to have little effect alleviating the traffic. What
can be inferred here is that a lot of people prefer to drive their cars rather than commute.
No can blame the private citizen in wanting to drive instead of commute. Cars give individuals
greater accessibility. They can practically go anywhere as opposed to commuting where their
ability to travel is limited. Furthermore, many public utility vehicles are unsafe and unreliable, not
to mention the quality of the drivers. It can be further inferred that a car is no longer seen as a
luxury but a necessity.
The problem lies in the roads. It appears the size of the roads could not match the massive
volume of cars. It is further aggravated by the lack of discipline, as evidenced by numerous
traffic violations. People who live in narrow streets complain of the very limited space caused by
cars parked on the streets because the owners do not have parking space in their residences.
Senate Bill 1165 hopes to solve the latter problem. Under this bill, prospective vehicle owners
must secure an affidavit stating they have parking space for the vehicle they intend to buy. They
must then submit this to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for registration. The LTO, along
with other concerned agencies will then conduct a periodic ocular inspection to verify this claim.
On the part of the citizen, they can report any vehicles parked in streets which cause traffic to
the LTO and other concerned agencies (traffic bureaus of their respective towns and cities).
Those found to falsely declare they have parking space will be meted with penalties –
revocation of vehicle registration and a 3-year suspension from registering plus a 50,000-peso
fine. LTO personnel who allow these will be suspended without pay.
The advantages seen with the implementation of this bill is it will remove congestion on narrow
streets, making them easily passable to vehicles. It will also pave the way for better
infrastructure to be built in the long run and maker auto dealers rethink on how to do business
since they are the ones who will be affected. This means they cannot sell cars to anyone
interested if they do not have proper parking space for their vehicles. Some are bound to
complain that this will hurt their business.
Another concern is it could breed corruption on the part of unscrupulous traffic enforcers who
like to extort vehicle owners in exchange for allowing them to park on the streets, thus not
enforcing the law. It is proposed that the government focus on major roads and clear them of
vendors who occupy the sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to walk on the road, adding to the traffic.
As of the moment, Senate Bill 1165 has  yet to be passed in the Senate  before it can be
presented to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature making it a law. Despite the skepticism,
many see the merits of this bill and hope it will become law which in turn could solve the traffic
problem in urban areas.