The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is inching toward solving the illegal-parking problem in the metropolis by getting the support of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
MMDA Officer in Charge Thomas M. Orbos on Wednesday also revealed that the agency is planning to privatize the towing operation in January 2017.
“Regulatory [concerns] will still be with us [MMDA] but the service will be privatized,” he added.
The MMDA chief disclosed that the agency is looking into other traffic-obstruction solutions, such as “time-bound parking”. This means the vehicles are removed from the streets during peak hours.
“This is being done in other countries. In New York motorists transfer their cars during the 7 a.m. rush hour. Or else the person is fined or the car is towed,” Orbos said in Filipino at the BusinessMirror Coffee Club Forum on Wednesday. “We need multifaceted solutions [to the traffic problem]. That’s the only way we can address this.”
With an average of 70 to 100 illegally parked vehicles towed every day by the agency’s personnel, Orbos warned that charges would be filed against barangay officials who allow illegal parking of vehicles, adding that these vehicles worsen the traffic situation.
Orbos expressed confidence that the plan to make barangay officials accountable will materialize soon, now that the MMDA already has the support of the DILG.
“The problem with towing is that it takes time, it takes resources, it takes space, which becomes also a point of obstruction of traffic,” Orbos said.
Orbos added that he has already relayed the problem to Interior Secretary Ismael D. Sueno.
“What we are asking for is for the DILG to help us here [illegal-parking problem]. Besides the filing of charges [at the Office of the Ombudsman], he [Ismael D. Sueno] can suspend barangay officials,” Orbos said.
There have been 20 private towing companies licensed by the MMDA, which are allowed to operate along major thoroughfares.
Orbos reiterated that the MMDA is mulling over the possible filing of charges against motorists who will illegally park their vehicles on secondary roads.
“We are looking into filing a case [against motorists] besides giving a citation ticket. If [the motorist] will not redeem his or her ticket then we will have to file a case,” he said.
Orbos said other options the agency are considering is putting the violator’s name on the watch list so they will have a hard time renewing their license.
Besides the P500 penalty, the MMDA is considering charging the vehicle owner of a fee based on the distance from the area it was towed up to the impounding area.
“That is why we are thinking of sending the towed vehicles to Tarlac [province in Central Luzon]. Again, the problem is that it would take time, but we are also talking to the barangay. We will be talking as an interagency [group] to the barangay captain,” Orbos said.
He reiterated the implementation of one-side parking. “Double parking hinders the smooth flow of traffic,” he said in Filipino.