Tow firms told: Help first, haul later

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The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has reminded owners of accredited towing companies that public service is part and parcel of their operation and they should first think of helping stalled motorists before hauling away their vehicles.

In a meeting on Friday, MMDA Chair Danilo Lim also warned that a verified complaint against a tow firm operator would result in the month-long impounding of the tow truck concerned.

A second offense would lead to a six-month impoundment while the third would result in the cancelation of the entire fleet’s MMDA accreditation.

“Chair Lim also reminded the towing companies of their duties and objectives. First component is public service. Although there is also the business part, Chair Lim told them to put public service first,” lawyer Jun Ona, head of the MMDA’s towing and impounding division, said on Sunday in the agency’s weekly radio program.

“When the vehicle breaks down, help [the driver]. If it can’t be fixed, that’s when you need to tow to clear the road. It’s in the rules that if the vehicle can’t be moved, that’s when you can tow it to the impounding area. At the same time, a ticket will still be issued,” Ona added.

He reminded motorists of their responsibility to ensure that their vehicle is in good condition before driving it. Vehicles that need to be towed will be cited for two violations: stalling, which carries a fine of P200, and obstruction, which has a penalty of P150.

The MMDA is also formulating new guidelines on tow operations amid complaints from motorists about abusive towing personnel.

The agency recently suspended indefinitely the accreditation of Iron Wing Towing Services after receiving a complaint about the firm personnel’s alleged illegal towing activities. –Erika Sauler



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