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Garage condition for car buyers, constitutional or not? Pimentel wants to know

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 04:07 PM October 08, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Will it be constitutional to set prerequisites such as proof-of-parking or garages before one can buy a car?

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III raised this question Tuesday as the Senate tackled two proposed measures aiming to regulate the sale of cars by requiring parking spaces or garages and proof-of-parking before one can purchase a vehicle.

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According to Pimentel, such prerequisites may deprive a person of his right to purchase cars because his or her home lacks a parking space.

“I would like to invite the lawyers’ association to look into the constitutional angle of this if this is discriminatory or not,” he said during a hearing.

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“Doon lang ako worried eh (That’s my only worry). From the very start, we are disqualifying a certain segment of society from owning motor vehicles,” Pimentel added.

He also raised the fact many car owners today have no parking space, so an adjustment to the bills might have to be put in place.

Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, author of Senate Bill No. 368 which requires a car buyer to show proof-of parking prior to his purchase, said that existing car owners would be given a “form of grace period” for them to find a parking space.

“The control mechanism here is the registration of the car. For those who have existing cars, we will give them reprieve kung nakabili na sila (if they already bought a car) or a grace period,” Gatchalian said during the same hearing.

Meanwhile, Department of Public Works and Highways project director Johnson Domingo cited the implementing rules and regulations of the country’s building code, Presidential Decree No. 1096, which states that there should be a designated space for parking before anyone will be allowed to construct a building or a house.

The parking space, he added, is reliant on the size of the building or the residential building.

Further, the DPWH official cited a Quezon City ordinance where it requires residents to have one parking space for one residential house.

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He also said that local building officials usually give the permits to homeowners but that these officials are somewhat permissive especially when the residential building is small.

“Minsan nagiging relax sila (local building officials) especially kapag nakikita nila na ‘yung mga residential houses na mallit (Sometimes, local building officials are lax in giving permits when they see that the residential house is small),” Domingo said during the hearing.

“‘Pag ‘yung bahay is 30 square meters (sqm), hahanapan mo pa ng parking, wala nang matitira. Pero ‘yung mga malalaki naman na bahay, nire-require ng building official ng parking (If the house is 30 sqm and you will allot a parking space, there will be no more space left. But for big houses, the building official requires parking space),” he added. /kga

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