Manila councilor seeks probe of parking ‘MOA’

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star
Manila councilor seeks probe of parking �MOA�
Councilor Moises Lim of Manila’s District 1 shows a photo he took on his cell phone of an improvised sign carrying the letters ‘MOA’ in front of a store in the city.
Ghio Ong

MANILA, Philippines — A councilor in Manila sought to look into the alleged “agreements” in the use of parking spaces along roads in the city between the local government and private individuals.

During a session of the Manila city council on May 23, District 1 Councilor Moises Lim recalled an encounter with a motorist who berated him for using the parking space that he allegedly obtained through a “memorandum of agreement or MOA” with the city government.

On April 19, Lim parked his vehicle at an available space along Sanchez street in Tondo before attending an affair at the nearby Uno High School.

When they were about to leave, Lim said he and his relatives were surprised to find a sport utility vehicle (SUV) with license plate NCR 8354 blocking their vehicle.

After being stuck for 10 minutes, a man who allegedly owned the SUV scolded Lim, asserting he owned the parking space through a “MOA.”

When the councilor declared city government employees should be prioritized for parking space, the man suddenly pointed a finger at him and asked him for his identity.

When Lim said he was a city councilor, the man described the lawmaker as a “malaking tao (big shot,”

Personnel of the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau helped resolve the conflict between Lim and the motorist.

Lim went back to the area the following day and found the same spot painted with lines and the plate number of the car of the motorist who argued with him.

Lim noted it was not the first time he encountered such an incident, and claimed there were similar instances of “MOA” for parking spaces between the city government and private individuals along Escolta and other roads, particularly in the business areas of Tondo.

The said parking spaces were even blocked with items like plywood to assert ownership by private individuals, who have been prohibited per an executive order, according to him.

According to Executive Order No. 7-A issued by Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan in 2022, an inter-agency task force was created to “clear and reclaim all public roads” within Manila, as well as file charges against violators.

Lim asserted the alleged “MOA” between the city government and private individuals is “illegal.”

“I feel like the city council has not approved any MOA,” he said.

He filed a resolution directing the city council’s committees on ways and means and on transportation to lead an investigation “in aid of legislation” on the parking agreements between private individuals and city government, as well as “revisit existing policies.”

The city council approved Lim’s resolution without any objection. However, it has yet to schedule a hearing.

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