Manila eyes private firm as parking fee collector

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DOMAGOSO

The Manila city government plans to give to a private company the task of collecting parking fees to allow the local traffic bureau to focus on enforcing traffic rules.

The proposal will also help ensure efficiency of collection and cut down City Hall’s salary expenditures by P40 million a year, according to Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

“Mayor Joseph Estrada and I are proposing the privatization of the parking collection so that the city government can concentrate on the enforcement of ordinances,” Domagoso, the city’s “traffic czar,” said in an interview earlier this week.

The city government recently started banning the entry of buses without a terminal inside Manila to ease traffic congestion. Stricter regulations will soon be imposed also 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 MTPB personnel, Domagoso said, adding that it  could “easily save about P40 million a year” and earn from the income sharing.

“We will ask the private company that we will hire  to absorb the [MTPB] parking collectors so they will still have jobs,” Domagoso said.

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 city council during the administration of then Mayor Alfredo Lim.

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

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