THE LIMITED number of free parking spaces in the campus and high parking fees have worsened illegal parking outside University walls.

The lack of parking spaces have long been a problem in UST, and this was aggravated by the removal of the student’s rate at the multi-deck carpark late last year.

Marion de la Cruz, a driver for a UST student, said he usually finds all free parking spaces in the campus occupied, rendering useless his vehicle’s UST car sticker.

De la Cruz said he is reluctant to spend for parking space at the multi-deck carpark because it is “too costly.”

With the removal of the P20 student’s rate, students are charged the ordinary rate of P29 for the first two hours, and an additional P11.50 for succeeding hours.

Because of this, De la Cruz and other drivers like him illegally park their cars outside University grounds since “no one comes to reprimand [us] anyway.”

Joseph Badinas, acting commander of the security office, admitted that the free parking spaces in the campus are not enough to accommodate all cars with UST stickers “so they (motorists) just have to come early to spot a parking space.”

There are an estimated 500 free parking spaces inside the campus, only 200 of which are allotted to students.

Around 5,000 vehicles are registered with UST and given car stickers. The carpark, meanwhile, can accommodate more than 600 cars in three of its four floors.

Badinas said traffic outside the University is out of the security office’s jurisdiction, and that “stubborn motorists” who park at prohibited areas are reported to the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau.

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Manila traffic bureau staff Zenfrey Buenaventura said phone reports of violators are not enough and that a complaint noted by a UST official is needed for the bureau to take action.

Aiza Tuazon, another bureau staff, said her office had already towed a number of cars, “but motorists who are mostly Thomasian students are hard-headed.”

Corazon Barrera, parking fee collector from the Manila City Hall, said the only legal parking area outside campus is on P. Noval Street, where a fee of P30 for every medium-sized vehicle is collected.

Inside UST, the color of the gutters indicate designated parking areas. Yellow and white are for faculty members and employees, while blue is for students.

Badinas warned students that cars parked on prohibited places would be chained. Jilly Anne A. Bulauan and Cliff Harvey C. Venzon

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