By Glen S. Ramos
BAGUIO CITY — Here is some good news, that is, if you are a senior citizen (SC) or a person with disability (PWD) and a resident of Baguio City only.
The city government of Baguio City has granted SCs and PWDs free parking fees in all business establishments, whether government or privately owned.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong has signed the ordinance which was approved on third reading by the “Sangguniang Panglungsod” on December 7, 2020, providing free parking fees to elderly and those considered as differently-abled citizens.
The Ordinance No. 149, Series of 2020 is an amendment to the older ordinance, Ordinance No. 8, Series of 2013 granting 20 percent discount in parking fees to senior citizens only. The new one included PWDs in the exemption.
“We recognize the important role of our senior citizens in our society and their essential contributions to both local and national development. We also give recognition to the rights of PWDs for support and assistance in consonance with the equal protection clause provided by the constitution,” Magalong said.
According to the new City Ordinance No. 149, Series of 2020, a SC/PWD must present their identification card upon entry to the parking lot to avail of the free parking privilege. The SC or PWD must be a resident of Baguio City and the one driving the motor vehicle.
The exemption from payment of parking fees shall only apply on the first two hours. For the succeeding hour, the corresponding hourly rate shall apply.
In addition, no fees shall be collected from the senior citizen/PWD in case of a flat rate policy and not exceeding the 2-hour limit. Any excess shall be charged the regular hourly rate, subject to the 20% discount.
The ordinance requires all business establishments that collect parking fees to install necessary signages to inform the public of the free parking privilege for SCs/PWDs.
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.
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.
“We encourage all business establishments in the city to comply for the benefit of our elderly and PWDs,” Magalong stressed.
This year’s SC population in the city is estimated at around 23,000 while PWDs are at 2,000. (AI/FC/MTVN)