MANILA, Philippines—Complaints about costly parking fees in Manila’s Chinatown have prompted Mayor Alfredo Lim to sign a memorandum imposing lower parking rates, a few weeks after a meter system was launched in the district.
“In view of the clamor raised by those adversely affected by the taking over of the Manila Parking Management (Mapma) in the…supervision…of street parking along Binondo area…the following revised rates are hereby imposed,” said the memorandum from the city’s Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) dated Jan. 21.
MTPB chief Nancy Villanueva said overnight parking used to cost only P1,000 a year, based on a city ordinance. Under the new system which has been met with widspread protest, a flat rate of P70 for overnight parking would cost more than P25,000 annually.
The city of Manila charges car owners who have no garages and park their cars on the streets an overnight parking fee, payable annually or semi-annually, but the current controversy applies only to Chinatown where a metering system has been implemented.
In the latest memorandum, Lim agreed to reinstate the P1,000 annual overnight parking rate and set the time at 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. of the following day.
MTPB, a city government office, used to manage the parking system in Binondo, which was turned over to Mapma, a private group, after it was granted a concession by the city council.
Mapma will issue a sticker for overnight parking after an applicant has paid the fee. Applicants must also present a barangay (village) clearance and copies of the vehicle’s registration and official receipt as well as deed of sale if the vehicle is second-hand.
From the initial rate of P30 for the first three hours, which has already been reduced to P20 during the launch of the meter system, and P10 for every succeeding hour, the memo now enforces a flat rate of P20 for the first three hours and P30 for the whole day for light vehicles.
Parking fee for medium vehicles will be P30 for the first three hours and P50 for the whole day, while heavy vehicles will cost P60 for first three hours and P100 for the whole day.
Motorcycles will have a P20 flat parking rate for the whole day.
The memo also urges Mapma to coordinate with barangay officials when installing meter posts and assigning parking attendants on Binondo streets.
“I think they will reprogram their system,” Villanueva said when asked about what will happen to the meter scheme.
Mapma business development officer Freddie Fremista said that since not all meter posts had been installed, Mapma agreed to the flat rate, although he believed that the fixed parking fee should only apply to overnight parking.
“On our part, it’s really a challenge to manage Binondo because it’s Manila’s headache when it comes to traffic,” he said.
The memorandum revising the parking rates by Mapma covers Zones 25 to 29 of the Binondo district only.
For other areas in Manila, the MTPB collects P20 for the first three hours and P15 for every succeeding hour for light vehicles like cars, which is based on City Ordinance No. 7988, MTPB overnight parking division chief Vivian Gonzales said.
The parking fee for medium vehicles like vans is P30 for the first three hours and P20 for every additional hour, while the rate for heavy vehicles such as buses is P60 for first three hours and P40 per succeeding hour.
The overnight parking fee charged by MTPB is P900 per year for cars and P1,200 for heavier vehicles, according to Ordinance No. 7703.