New bill penalizes carparks for vehicle loss or damage

Updated Jun 03, 2021 | Same topic: Latest Consumer Reports

Parking operators can no longer hide behind waivers of liability.

Contrary to popular belief, motorists are pretty easy to please. Their needs are few: enough roads to drive on, enough fuel to get to their destinations, and enough parking spaces. That last one is especially challenging to find, and most (if not all) facilities that offer parking stipulate that they’re not liable for anything that happens to the car within their premises, even when you’ve paid for the space to begin with.

Mirage parked

Good parking is hard to come by in many places

Car owners often take that condition for granted in their quest to find a decent parking slot – until something does happen and the parking management conveniently evades responsibility. That will no longer be the case if a pending bill in Congress gets passed into law.

House Bill 7725 or the Parking Operations and Fees Regulation Act has just hurdled the third and final reading in the House of Representatives, with 253 voting in favor and no objections. The proposed bill aims to regulate the fees imposed by parking operators on wheeled vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, and bicycles.

Parked BMW

HB 7725 puts a cap on parking rates (including overnight parking)

Among the provisions is free parking for customers who avail of products or services offered by a particular business. To waive the parking fees, customers need only present proof of transaction with the establishment, such as a receipt, upon exit. Parking charges may not exceed Php 50 a day, or Php 150 for overnight use of the facility.

Mallgoers

Business patrons can present proof of transaction to waive parking fees

A more important clause in the bill makes parking operators accountable in the event that the vehicles parked in their facilities have been damaged or stolen. Waivers of liability can no longer be invoked, and businesses will be responsible for implementing security measures such as adequate security guards and CCTV monitoring systems. If property damage or injury was caused by another customer inside the parking area, parking operators are allowed to collect damages from those responsible.

CCTV

Parking operators will be required to have CCTV cameras and adequate security

HB 7725 consolidates 21 similar measures previously filed in Congress. The original bills prohibited the imposition of fees and were backed by motorist and consumer groups, but failed to make it past the committee level reportedly due to powerful lobbying by carpark operators.

What likely provided the needed push was when House Assistant Majoity Floor Leader and ACT-CIS party-list representative Niña Taduran became a victim last year. Taduran’s car was inside a mall’s parking facility when thieves smashed one of the vehicle’s windows and made off with her belongings.

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Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Author

Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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