Sun.Star Baguio

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.

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