There was a time when it was all just free parking in malls. Fast forward to today and it’s almost close to impossible to find a mall or other shopping establishment that won’t charge you for patronizing them and using their parking facilities. House Bill 5292 aims to change this, though. Filed recently in PH Congress, the bill seeks to do away with or at the very least minimize parking fees being charged by different establishments to their customers.
There are certain provisions to be met for free parking under House Bill 5292
Introduced by Hon. Peter B. Miguel, his House Bill titled “The Free Parking Act of 2022” aims for no parking charges or fees in different establishments. As is stated in the Bill, “This Act shall cover the use of established parking areas in malls and shopping establishments by their legitimate patrons”. How does one become a “legitimate patron”? Okay, this is where we look at its definition, and how you can actually get to park for free.
A legitimate patron as defined in the Bill is a “consumer who has made actual purchases or availed of the mall’s products and services. Basically, if you buy anything from the establishment, you’re a patron. But wait, there’s more. You can’t just go and show a receipt for something worth a measly Peso. As also indicated in the Bill, “patrons shall be provided free use of… parking areas in all malls and shopping establishments provided that they reach an aggregate minimum purchase (with receipts) of PHP 500… and have used the parking space for less than two (2) hours.”
So that’s been established, you have to be a paying customer in any of the mall’s shops, and have to have spent a total of PHP 500, with receipts to prove it. Here’s where it gets tricky. The 2nd criterion to be met is that you only have a maximum of 2 hours to park your vehicle to get free parking. We’ve read through the Bill document and curiously, there are no provisions stated as to what happens if you exceed 2 hours despite meeting the minimum purchase amount.
Another thing that is missing is the details of penalties for establishments that will not comply, should this Act pass into law. Section 6 of House Bill 5292 states “Penalties: Mall and shopping establishments owners who will be found violating the provisions of this Act will be punished.” Nothing else follows, so again, how they will be penalized is pretty vague at the moment. Regardless, at least that’s already been set.
Granted that this Bill may still be in its “infancy”, we’re sure more pertinent details will be amended into it in the future. But do you think this is something that will really pass into law? Do you think malls have been taking advantage of parking fees to just further line their pockets, or are the thousands upon thousands of Pesos that they earn from parking fees alone justified by their expenses?
Let us know what you think about the possibility of malls and establishments giving free parking to their customers in the comments section. This will be pretty interesting; let’s see how and where this all goes.