Senior, PWDS to enjoy free parking in Baguio
SENIOR citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the city can now enjoy free parking in all business establishments following the passage of an ordinance.
The City Council, on December 7, approved on third and final reading an ordinance granting exemptions to senior citizens and PWDs from the payment of parking fees in all business establishments, whether they are operated by the government, barangay, or private entities.
The ordinance will take effect after it is signed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong and after its publication in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the city and its posting in conspicuous places.
The recently approved ordinance (Ordinance Numbered 149, Series of 2020) is an amendment to the older ordinance (Ordinance Numbered 08, Series of 2013) which required the grant to senior citizens of at least 20% discount in parking fees.
Under the recent ordinance, not only the senior citizens but also the PWDs are exempted from paying parking fees.
Citing Republic Act No. 9257 and Republic Act No. 7277, the ordinance stressed that the City Government of Baguio recognizes the important roles of senior citizens in the society and their various contributions to the local and national development; and that the city government further recognizes the rights of PWDs for support and assistance in consonance with the equal protection clause provided by the constitution.
To avail of the free parking privilege, the senior citizen/ PWD must present their senior citizen identification card or PWD card, must be a resident of Baguio City, and must be the one driving or is a passenger in the motor vehicle.
During the public consultation conducted by the City Council’s Committee on Laws, Human Rights, and Justice on August 28, the grant exemption if there is a passenger who is a senior citizen/ PWD was pointed out as not feasible, in view of Ordinance 67-2020 ( an ordinance imple
menting a synchronized system of collecting pay parking fees in all parking facilities in the city) and the policy on contactless transactions.
Exemption from payment of parking fees shall apply only on the first two hours. On the third hour, the corresponding hourly rate shall already apply and be collected.
Also, no fees shall be collected from the senior citizen/ PWD in case of a flat rate policy, but the parking should not exceed two hours. Any excess shall be charged the hourly rate, subject to the 20% discount.
The ordinance obliges all business establishments that collect parking fees to install necessary signages to inform the public of the free parking privilege that senior citizens and PWDs are entitled to.
Complaints on violations of any provision of the ordinance may be filed with the Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs or the Office of the Persons with Disability Affairs. The said offices shall assist in the filing of the necessary charges.
Any business establishment found to be in violation of the ordinance shall be fined P1,000.00 for the first offense, P1,500.00 for the second offense, and P2,000.00 for the third offense.