MANILA, Philippines – Traffic complaints still flood the Manila mayor's social networking accounts, which include double parking and vendors along the streets.
In Quintin Paredes St. in Binondo, only two lanes of the four-lane street are passable. The lanes of both sides have been turned into parking areas.
According to the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB), establishments in the area paid city hall to turn the streets into parking slots.
“Mas maganda, makakatulong ‘yan kung talagang walang naka-park both sides, kasi ‘yung volume ng sasakyan [madami],” said Juanito Mauro, traffic enforcer of the MTPB.
City hall rents out streets to business owners as long as the street is not a national road.
The rent is P1,500 a month per parking slot, or P50 a day.
According to the MTPB, they are only being considerate to business owners since there are very few parking areas in the city.
The city earns as much as P1.2 million a month for the 750 parking slots it rents out.
“Paano tayo magkakaroon ng business dito, sino ang mag-iinvest sa Manila kung kulang ang parking,” said Vivian Gonzales, admin officer of the MTPB.
But the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said traffic in the city would be decongested if the streets were not used for parking.
"hindi dapat maging permanente na sa’yo na ‘yung kalye na ginawang parking space. Dapat first-come, first-serve pa din kung sino paparada,” said MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino.
Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim clarified that the rent can be canceled if they receive complaints on the traffic in the area. -- ANC