The traffic situation in the Philippines’ metropolitan areas easily proves that we’re a car-centric society. Since the country doesn’t have an efficient public transportation system, plenty of Filipinos get their own cars, increasing the number of vehicles on the road every day.
While the government implements solutions such as number coding, it appears they’re not enough to address an overwhelming systemic problem. As a result, lawmakers create bills like the No Garage, No Car Policy. Such proposals aim to limit car ownership, which will supposedly reduce the number of cars on the road.
These bids certainly have pros and cons. It’s important to look at both sides of the coin to come up with a practical and inclusive solution.
In this article, you’ll see the No Garage, No Car Policy advantages and disadvantages.
What is the No Garage, No Car Policy?
The No Garage, No Car Policy is a potential law that will limit car ownership to those who have garage space. So if you don’t have garage space, you won’t be allowed to own a car.
Bills regarding this have been filed in the Senate and Congress, including these three:
House Bill No. 31 or the No Garage, No Registration Act
This is the most recent No Garage, No Car Bill that’s currently gaining momentum. Proposed by Representative. Lord Allan Velasco, the No Garage, No Registration Act aims to accomplish the following:
- Lessen traffic congestion
- Curb the number of private vehicles
- Provide safe and uncluttered pathways where people can freely walk to their destinations
- Maintain a clean and healthy environment by clearing the streets of parked motor vehicles and other similar clutter that reduce the space intended for human and vehicular traffic
Under the said bill, those with residential and business addresses in metropolitan areas planning to buy a motor vehicle should execute a notarized affidavit of proof that they have a permanent parking space for their vehicle. The metropolitan areas in the bill include Metro Manila, Angeles, Bacolod, Batangas, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Dagupan, Davao, Iloilo, Naga, and Olongapo. Nevertheless, there’s a provision that the areas aren’t limited to these cities.
The affidavit proving parking space availability will be a requirement for motor registration with the Land Transportation Office (LTO). If you fake your affidavit, your vehicle registration will be revoked, and you won’t be allowed to register a vehicle for three years. On top of that, a fine worth ₱50,000 will be imposed for every violation.
Senate Bill No. 1165 or the No Garage, No Car Act of 2016
Proposed by Senator Joey Villanueva in 2016, the No Garage, No Car Act of 2016 has the same goals and provisions as House Bill No. 31, albeit filed much earlier. Like the bill above, it requires vehicle owners to get a notarized affidavit proving they have a permanent parking space. The said document will then be presented to the LTO.
The penalties are also the same. If it’s proven that you’ve faked your affidavit, your vehicle registration will be revoked. You’ll also be suspended from registering a motor vehicle for three years. Moreover, a fine worth ₱50,000 will be imposed for every violation.
Senate Bill No. 368 or the Proof of Parking Space Act
Introduced by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian in 2019, the Proof of Parking Space Act has almost the same provisions as the two other bills. Under this bill, those planning to buy a motor vehicle must present a notarized affidavit that proves that they have a permanent parking space. They will then show this to the LTO as a requirement for vehicle registration.
This No Garage, No Car Bill has the same penalties. Those who have faked their affidavit will have their registration revoked. They will be banned from registering a motor vehicle for three years. They will also need to pay ₱50,000 for every violation.
The difference of this bill from the other two No Garage, No Car Policies lies in the scope. While Senator Villanueva’s and Representative Velasco’s bills have identified key cities and areas besides Metro Manila, Senator Gatchalian’s bill focuses only on Metro Manila.
Is the No Garage, No Car Policy Already a Law?
No. They’re still bills. A bill is a law in the making. It only passes into law when it’s approved by the Senate, Congress, and the President of the Philippines.
What are the No Garage, No Car Policy Advantages?
Proponents and supporters of the No Garage, No Car Policy argue that the bill has advantages many will enjoy. Here are some of them:
More Road Space
In many urban areas, especially in residential zones, streets are turned into parking lots. As such, roads get narrower, making it difficult for other motorists to pass through. This is a major problem in many two-way streets.
As mentioned earlier, the country’s poor public transportation system leaves a lot of people with no choice but to buy a car. But more private vehicles translate to traffic congestion. One of the No Garage, No Car Policy advantages is that it limits vehicle ownership, which ultimately results in less crowded roads.
Helps Reduce Air Pollution
During the pandemic, many people pointed out the clearer skies and improved air quality due to less vehicular smoke. While the No Garage, No Car Policy may not make the air absolutely clean and pristine, it may help in reducing air pollution by limiting the number of cars on the road.
Instills a Sense of Responsibility in Vehicle Owners
The cultivation of responsible vehicle ownership is one of the No Garage, No Car Policy advantages. Once passed into law, you will be compelled to plan your new vehicle purchase.
Vehicle ownership comes with responsibilities, such as paying amortizations and following traffic laws. The No Garage, No Car Policy introduces a new responsibility, namely securing a parking space, so your vehicle won’t become a road obstruction.
What are the No Garage, No Car Policy Disadvantages?
While the No Garage, No Car Policy advantages are sensible and justified, the bill is not without some drawbacks. The following will help you understand the other side of the coin:
Compels Vehicle Owners to Build a Garage
With the No Garage, No Car Policy, vehicle owners will find themselves shelling out money to build a garage. Things get tricky if your lot is limited. As a compromise, you may have to dismantle a portion of your house just to accommodate a car. On top of that, you may need to spend on the garage structure, including its roof and gate.
May Force People to Spend on Parking
If adjusting the configurations of your house is not possible, you will have to look for a paid parking facility. This is obviously another expense on top of your existing monthly overheads.
On the other hand, you may be forced to settle for a remote parking space if there’s no paid facility near your home.
The No Garage, No Car Bill easily applies to people who live in gated communities where residential lots are usually designed to accommodate vehicles. But about those who live in areas with limited space? It may be unfair to keep these people from buying a vehicle, especially if they will use it for their livelihood.
May Make Commuting More Difficult for Some People
Those who live in places far from major public transportation hubs may turn to cars to reach their destinations. If these people aren’t qualified to buy a car, they will have to endure long and difficult commutes.
May Provide a Breeding Ground for Corruption
The proposed bill creates another step to car ownership. Those who want to hasten the process might look for fixers who facilitate under-the-table transactions. On the other hand, these fixers may issue registration documents for a fee even if they know that the vehicle owner doesn’t have an adequate parking space.
Thankfully, the No Garage, No Car Policy has a provision that deters illicit transactions like this. According to the proposed law, any LTO officer or employee who engages in such illegal practices will be suspended without pay for three months.
No Garage, No Car Policy FAQs
Garage space is at the center of the discussion of No Garage, No Car Policy advantages and disadvantages. If you have questions regarding it, you may find your answers in this section.
1. Is it illegal to park in front of someone’s house?
Generally, you shouldn’t be parking on the side of the road if the area has a NO PARKING sign. Otherwise, you’ll be fined for violating parking obstruction laws. To stay on the safe side, park on a street without a NO PARKING sign. But make sure it’s not a private road with its own rules and regulations.
Before you leave your vehicle in front of someone’s house, especially in a private subdivision, you must look first at the community’s parking guidelines. But let your common sense lead the way. If the house has a NO PARKING sign, leave it alone. Courtesy also dictates that you should ask your neighbor for permission before parking your car near their vicinity.
A much wiser move is to observe the parking rules and regulations of the city you’re in. This is highly recommended, as a violation may get your car towed.
While you’re at it, remember Section 46 of Republic Act No. 4136, which states that no driver shall park a vehicle, or permit it to stand, whether attended or unattended, upon a highway in any of the following places:
- Within an intersection
- On a crosswalk
- Within six meters of the intersection of curb lines
- Within four meters of the driveway entrance to and fire station
- Within four meters of a fire hydrant
- In front of a private driveway
- On the roadway side of any vehicle parked at the curb or edge of the highway
- At any place where official signs prohibit parking
2. Do I really need to keep my car in a garage?
If the No Garage, No Car Bill passes into law, you’ll need to park your car inside your garage so it won’t become a road obstruction. Keep in mind that parking your car in a garage comes with the following benefits:
- If you have a covered garage, your car will be protected from harsh elements, such as sun and rain, that may weaken your car’s exterior.
- A covered garage will keep falling branches from scratching your vehicle.
- A garage will protect your car from scratches and dents caused by other vehicles.
- Vandals will be kept at bay.
- A garage will prevent your car from getting stolen.
- You won’t have to spend money on repairs that could have been prevented with a garage.
- Your car might fetch a higher resale value since it’s protected from damages.
3. How should I protect my car if I don’t have my own garage?
If you don’t have your own garage, there are a few ways to keep your car in tip-top shape. Here’s what to take note of:
- Use a paint-friendly car cover.
- Since your car is exposed to harsh elements, use sealant waxes. Doing so will protect your car from pollutants, acid rain, and the sun’s UV rays.
- As much as possible, do not park your car under the tree. The tree sap may cause damage and falling fruits and branches may dent and scratch your car.
- Protect your car’s dashboard and interiors by covering the windshield from the inside. This will keep your car’s leather parts from getting dry, tough, and discolored.
Note: This should apply to communities where parking on the side of the road is allowed. If you have a garage or live near a paid car park, it would be wise to keep your vehicle in it. This protects your vehicle from harsh elements and keeps it from becoming a road obstruction.
Sure, the No Garage, No Car Policy has its merits. It is poised to help reduce traffic and promote responsible vehicle ownership. But one can’t deny that it also has its own share of drawbacks.
To come up with a policy that’s fair for everyone, it’s only right to weigh the No Garage, No Car Policy advantages and disadvantages. How about you? What are your thoughts on this?