De Lima files bill against illegal use of PWD parking space

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STEEL ON STEEL The V40 finds its way on the steel parking. Photos by Jam Ramos

Senator Leila de Lima has filed a measure seeking to impose stiff penalties for unauthorized use and obstruction of the parking areas exclusive for persons with disabilities (PWDs), especially in public places.

In Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1622 filed last Nov. 29, De Lima seeks to give guaranteed parking spaces for PWDs in public places, set the guidelines on who can utilize such exclusive areas, and penalize those who obstruct their accessibility routes.

“Without clear penalties for the unauthorized use and obstruction of such designated spaces, social media is abound with posts of drivers who brazenly and wantonly disregard disabled parking spaces,” she said in a statement on Sunday.

“Examples of these are non-handicapped drivers occupying the space provided for the disabled and people blatantly obstructing access ramps for disabled, wheelchair-bound persons despite the obvious International Symbol of Access,” she added.

The former justice secretary pointed out that there is a lack of specific guidelines that will fully address the special needs of PWDs mentioned in 1983 Accessibility Law and the Republic Act No. 7277, also known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.

“Handicapped persons are part of the Philippine society, thus, the State shall give full support to the improvement of the total well-being of handicapped persons and their integration into the mainstream of society,” she said.

For every 25 parking spaces in public places, the proposed measure would require at least one exclusive parking space for PWDs.

These exclusive spaces, De Lima said, should be located at the closest entrances regardless if it is serving a particular building or not.

The bill also mandates that each parking space would have signs showing a wheelchair with occupant in white on a blue background along with the words “Minimum Fine P10,000,” which should be posted adjacent to, or visible from, each parking stall.

The measure likewise proposed that such parking space should be indicated by a blue border and either blue or white hatched lines on the edge of the paved portion of the street adjacent to the space.

The words “No Parking” painted in white letters and no less than 12 inches high should also be seen within the border.

De Lima further explained that only vehicles that display government-issued “handicapped-parking placards” may park in these exclusive parking spaces.

The bill described PWDs as those who have impaired mobility, ambulant disabled, wheelchair-bound, has a condition rendering him similarly disabled as certified by a physician, or any ailment that prohibits him or her from being able to walk a distance of 200 feet without stopping to rest.

Anyone parking in a space reserved for PWDs persons without a handicapped parking placard, a handicapped person who allows a non-handicapped person to use his parking placard, and any person obstructing the access points of handicapped persons to the designated handicapped parking spaces would pay a minimum fine of P10,000 to a maximum of to P40,000.

Furthermore, any person who fraudulently obtained a handicapped parking placard and any establishment covered under the measure who fails to provide the required handicapped parking space should pay a fine of P40,000 to P200,000  and P200,000, respectively.

In accordance with the measure, the Disability Affairs Office of every local government unit should issue permanent or temporary handicapped-parking placards to PWDs. /je



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