Manila mulls privatization of parking fee collection



MANILA—The Manila city government plans to privatize the collection of parking fees to allow the local traffic bureau to focus on enforcing traffic rules. The proposal is expected to improve collection efficiency and cut down salary costs by P40 million a year.

“Mayor Joseph Estrada and I are proposing to privatize the parking collection so that the city government can concentrate its effort only on the enforcement of ordinances,” Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, the city’s traffic czar, said this week.

The city government recently implemented a council resolution banning the entry into the city of buses without terminals in a bid to ease road congestion. After the buses, regulations will soon be imposed on jeepneys, tricycles, pedicabs and “kuliglig” (motorized pedicab).

The Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau employs traffic enforcers and parking collectors. By privatizing the parking collection, the city could let go of a division of the traffic bureau, Domagoso said. The bureau would then focus on implementing traffic rules and the city could “easily save about P40 million a year” and earn from the income sharing.

He did not say how the private operators will split the collections with the city government

In January, a metered parking system was implemented in Binondo by the private group Manila Parking Management after it was granted a concession by the previous City Council.

Domagoso said the privatization of parking collection for the rest of the city, which is still on the planning stage, would allow the city government “to save on resources and lessen the corruption or chances of spillage.”

He said the authorities plan to ask the private collectors to absorb the city’s current parking fee collectors.

Domagoso assured the public there will be no increase in parking fees although the city plans to impose stiffer penalties for traffic violations.

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