The parking fee presently collected by the Puerto Princesa Baywalk Management Board is mandated by an ordinance, according to city administrator Atty. Arnel Pedrosa.

The recent implementation of the parking fee collection by the baywalk management has sparked a variety of responses from netizens, who are divided in their opinions due to the area being considered a public space.

Pedrosa, however, explained that the baywalk management is authorized to collect parking fees for different types of vehicles under City Ordinance No. 794, or the Revised Revenue Code of 2016.

“Doon [sa ordinance] ay may section doon (Section 13 D.03 Item No. 7) na nakalagay kung magkano yung parking fees dyan sa baywalk at yan din ang ini-implement ng ating baywalk management board,” Pedrosa told the media in an interview on Monday.

However, he stated that there should have been a public consultation beforehand. Nevertheless, since there is a provision in the ordinance, it is already considered effective.

“Unless sabihin ng Sanggunian na i-defer muna pansamantala yung implementation or enforcement nyan. Siguro if they can come up with an amendment to that ordinance for that purpose or to that effect ay saka pa lamang pwedeng i-suspend ang implementation,” he explained.

“Siyempre nga naman magbabayad ka, although mailiit naman yung amount. Pero para sa iba, maliit o malaki, ang tingin nila, public place kasi yan so nakikita nila na parang agrabyado sila. Pero sabi nga rin, nakabili ka nga ng kotse or motor, ang presumption ay may pambayad ka rin ng parking fee,” he added.

Pedrosa also emphasized the need to assign a parking attendant in the area to ensure the safety and security of the vehicles.

Furthermore, he mentioned that despite the ordinance being in effect since 2016, the implementation of the parking fee only took place this year after the internal affairs service discovered that the baywalk, as one of the city government’s economic enterprises, had no revenue collection from it.

Pedrosa also mentioned his intention to consult with the baywalk management and evaluate their suggestions before submitting his own recommendations to the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Ma. Nancy Socrates expressed that the collection of parking fees presents a challenging balancing act for the city government.

“Mahirap balansehin dahil on one hand, siyempre kailangan din ng city government ng extra income and on the other hand, parang kawawa rin yung ibang tao na magjo-jogging lang, magbabayad pa,” Socrates said.

“I think hindi na-consult ang city council pero ang dapat talaga i-consult ay ang communit. Although siyempre ang pamahalaan ang siyang nagbibigay ng guidelines and kasi kagaya niyan maraming nagrereklamo. Since matagal na yung ordinance and then ngayon lang na-implement, sana nagkaroon din ng consultation,” she added.

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