Davao city council to deliberate incentive package for new parking spaces

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 Jan) – The City Council will deliberate on Tuesday the passage of an ordinance that will grant special tax holidays to properties that will be developed into parking spaces to address traffic congestion in the city.

The six-page proposed ordinance, a copy of which was released to the media on Monday, seeks to encourage property owners in the city to develop and use their properties, when feasible, as parking spaces or parking buildings to address the lack of parking space with the booming tourism industry in the city.

It said the city has noted an “increasing number of activities and influx of tourists has introduced challenges to the existing traffic stream.”

Tourist arrivals, according to a press statement from the City Tourism Office, surpassed the two-million target for 2017 when it noted a total of 2,009,879 visitors, 1,835,798 of them domestic tourists.

Once legislated into law, the incentives will cover all properties within the territorial jurisdiction of the city classified as commercial zones and all zones allowed based on the city’s 2013 Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance; properties to be developed and/or used exclusively as parking spaces/buildings; and properties with updated payment of real property taxes.

Under Section 5, it states that the newly-developed parking spaces will be granted with two-year exemption from real property tax for land; five-year exemption from real property tax for parking building; and a five-year exemption from business tax for parking spaces.

The proposed measures provides that parking buildings must be at least two stories and used exclusively as a parking space for a period not less than five years, otherwise the tax exemptions will be lifted should the property owner introduce another use to the structure prior to the five-year lock in period.

The measure, however, excludes those parking spaces required under the Republic Act 6541, or the National Building Code of the Philippines, for the property or building owners/developers and those existing parking spaces of establishments that the law requires but approved by the City Building Official.

It also prohibits alteration of the approved building plans.

City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) head Ivan Cortes said the city government hopes to implement the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) with at least 1,000 modern buses to be deployed in the city by 2021 to decongest the traffic here.

Meanwhile, Davao City Investment Promotions Center (DCIPIC) head Lemuel G. Ortonio said investors from Japan and China are interested to invest in a monorail system but added it is a second priority to the HPBS. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)