Towing is one of the services that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) provides and it is used to remove a vehicle that’s obstructing traffic. However, people are often unaware of its rules which could lead to stressful arguments.
To avoid further hassle of going to the impounding area, here are the things that you should know about towing. Take note, though, that the points mentioned in this article are from the MMDA and for areas within Metro Manila only.
Why will you be towed?
MMDA won’t tow you for no reason at all. In case you’re wondering, there are certain laws or ordinances that you might have crossed.
Stalled vehicles—those who are unable to move due to flat tires, empty fuel tank, or engine trouble—are to be towed under any circumstance. If you happen to get flat tires on a freeway, you need to get them changed in designated emergency lanes. Otherwise, your car will be towed to avoid obstruction of traffic.
Meanwhile, a stalled car due to an empty fuel tank will be towed to the nearest gas station. A towing fee will need to be paid and a traffic violation receipt (TVR) will be issued. The same goes for stalled vehicles due to engine trouble.
On the other hand, illegally parked vehicles will be towed due to obvious reasons. Prohibited areas to park on are defined on the next paragraph, but basically, if it’s not a legal parking space, you should be wary of the consequences.
Prohibited areas to park
An open space in the street doesn’t immediately give you the license to park on it. Some areas are labeled as no parking zones by the MMDA and local government units. For starters, all areas with 'NO PARKING' signs are not there for no apparent reason. You are also not allowed to park on national roads and Mabuhay lanes in Metro Manila. Blocking the driveways, pedestrian lanes, sidewalks, paths, alleys, and bridges are also prohibited.
Moreover, entrances to the fire station, hospital, clinics, and other similar establishments should be clear from parked vehicles for up to 4 meters. Hydrants shouldn’t be blocked as well. Lastly, you can only park 6 meters away from intersections and curved lanes.
The whole towing process is not as simple as going there, clamping the car, and dragging it to the impounding area. There are certain steps and rules that MMDA/private towing companies should follow so that the whole process will be legit.
If the illegally parked vehicle is attended, it will not be towed. However, a TVR will be issued to the driver and will be asked to leave immediately. If unattended, the tow truck should honk 5 times in order to send a signal to the missing driver. After a minute without response, the tow truck should do this again to serve as a final warning. If the driver didn’t show up, they will be compelled to tow the car and bring it to the impounding area in Brgy. San Isidro, Tarlac.
If the driver shows up after the car has already been clamped, the tow truck shall proceed with the towing process. A TVR will be issued and towing fees shall apply.
Moreover, the tow truck crew will issue a Technical Inspection report that contains the name of the owner, the vehicle’s plate number, the type and color, the accessories, and a short description of the vehicle’s condition before the towing begins. Any damages or loss to the vehicle will be shouldered by the towing company.
Towing fees and fines
Of course, TVRs are issued because you need to pay for the fine. The standard fine for this violation is P500. As for the towing fee, it will be standard for both government and private towing companies.
For light vehicles (weighing less than 4,500 kg), the standard fee is P1,500; medium vehicles (weighing between 4,501 kg to 7,500 kg), it will be P2,500; while heavy vehicles (weighing between 7,501 kg and above), the fee will be P4,500 – all for the first 4 kilometers.
A P200 charge will then be added for every succeeding kilometer from the place of towing to the impounding area.
There are 2 types of entities that can tow your vehicle. First is the MMDA Road Emergency Group tow trucks, which are only allowed to tow stalled vehicles due to accidents. These trucks are free of charge. The others are private towing companies that are accredited by the MMDA.
Knowing these things will either get you out of a stressful towing situation or at least make you understand why your vehicle needs to be towed away. Either way, it pays to be informed.