Estrada intensifies operations to put illegal parking rings out of business

The Daily Tribune| Written by: Pat C. Santos| September 22, 2016

In his persistent efforts to clear Manila’s major roads of obstructions and improve traffic flow, Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada is re-intensifying his drive against illegal parking that he said has become a milking cow for profiteering syndicates.

And to put those money-making syndicates out of business, Estrada will launch the Manila-wide Mapping and No Parking Zone program that involves the strict enforcement of the city’s policies against illegal parking.

“Illegal parking has long been a serious problem, congesting our already congested roadways. This is so because it is being tolerated and has become the money-making business of criminal syndicates that earn millions from charging illegal parking fees to motorists,” Estrada said.

Aside from Taft Avenue, Estrada said other roads used as “parking lots” by undisciplined vehicle owners are United Nations Avenue, Lawton, Mendiola, Morayta and San Miguel.

Last September 15, Estrada  declared Rizal Avenue as a no parking zone after a thorough clearing operation that resulted in the impounding of 30 illegally parked tricycles, five motorcycles, 15 light vehicles and two kuligligs or motorized pedicabs.

A parking fee collector was also arrested for charging vehicle owners illegal fees.

The revived anti-illegal parking campaign, Estrada said, will complement the ongoing road and sidewalk clearing drive of the city government whose main objective is to clear up precious road spaces that have been encroached upon by illegal vendors and other obstructions.

The anti-illegal parking operation is being spearheaded by the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) headed by former  Councilor Dennis Alcoreza.

“By citywide mapping, we will clearly identify which areas are the designated parking zones and those that are not. If the street you have parked on is a ‘No Parking Zone,’ automatic, huhulihin ka,” Alcoreza pointed out.

The objective, the MTPB chief said, is to deny the vehicle owner any excuse or alibi on why he parked in a non-designated parking area.

All major roads and barangay streets are covered by the mapping to ensure that all possible alternate routes are not blocked, according to Alcoreza.

“Illegal parking is rampant, including perpendicular parking, double parking, marami kasing kumikita, and generally from motorists that have no garage for their vehicles,” the MTPB chief lamented.

Alcoreza warned that violators will have their vehicles towed or be issued with traffic citation tickets based on the provisions of the Manila Traffic Code and illegal parking regulations of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

To serve as example, Alcoreza said they will soon be clearing Chinatown area of illegally parked vehicles.

“Maraming sindikato sa parking, lalo na sa Divisoria,” he added.

Early last year, the city government resorted to putting clamps on the wheels of illegally parked vehicles as mandated by Ordinance No. 8109. Violators were fined P900.