MMDA sets guidelines on towing

After an incident involving an erring towing service accredited by the MMDA spread through social media, the government agency have released guidelines for towing to inform the public of proper procedures. The guidelines address frequently asked questions regarding the issue.

What are the different kinds of tow trucks recognized by the MMDA?

There are 2 kinds of tow trucks used by the MMDA. The first is the Road Emergency Group tow trucks which are tasked with towing stalled vehicles involved in accidents. These trucks tow vehicles free of charge.

The other type of tow trucks are the MMDA-accredited trucks, these are not employees of the MMDA. Click here (Hyperlink) to see the full list of MMDA-accredited tow truck agencies.

Under what situations can MMDA trucks tow vehicles?

The MMDA may tow stalled vehicles, illegally parked vehicles, and vehicles involved in accidents. Towed vehicles may only be brought to the ULTRA impound lot along Julia Vargas Avenue.

How does the MMDA define stalled or illegally parked vehicles?

The MMDA defines a stalled vehicle as one that is unable to proceed under its own power on a public road, street or thoroughfare in Metro Manila. An illegally-parked vehicle on the other hand, refers to one which is parked in areas prohibited by existing law or ordinance for parking purposes or those designated by the MMDA and/or the local government units (LGUs) as No Parking areas or zones.

The MMDA classifies two types of illegally-parked vehicles. First is the “attended illegally parked vehicle” wherein the driver is present or could appear at any time prior to the actual clamping to the tow truck and who is willing and able to move out the illegally parked vehicle without delay. The other one is an “Unattended illegally parked vehicle” wherein the driver is not present when vehicle will be clamped.

Which areas are prohibited for parking?

The MMDA lists all national roads in Metro Manila as no parking zones. Besides this, primary and secondary roads of cities and municipalities in Metro Manila that fall under the following criteria are strictly No Parking zones:

  • within six meters of any intersection or curved lane
  • within four meters of driveways or entrances to any fire station, hospital, clinic and other similar establishment
  • within four meters of fire hydrants
  • on the roadside of any legally parked vehicle
  • pedestrian crosswalks
  • in front of any authorized driveway
  • on the sidewalks, paths and alleys not intended for parking
  • at the foot or near bridges
  • any place where official signs have been erected prohibiting parking and/or declared No Parking Zone by the MMDA such as the Mabuhay Lanes and other areas duly declared as “No Parking Zone” provided by law or ordinances.

What is the towing process for illegally parked vehicles?

For attended illegally parked vehicles, the MMDA stated that the vehicle will not be towed but a ticket shall be issued by a traffic constable (or deputized HPG). If the vehicle is unattended however, the tow truck driver shall blow the truck's horn five times to alert the owner, then another five times after one minute. If the driver does not respond up by then, the vehicle shall be towed and a notice will be left/entrusted to any traffic officer on duty at the site, or to any responsible person who can give the notice to the owner. The impounding area where the said vehicle shall be towed and impounded should likewise be indicated.

What should I do if my vehicle is stalled due to a flat tire?

The vehicle must be moved to the emergency lane on its own, if it cannot move and may inhibit flow of traffic, it will be towed. In either case, a Traffic Violation Receipt (TVR) will be issued. Changing of flat tires on the roadway itself is prohibited.

What if my vehicle is stalled due to an empty fuel tank or engine trouble?

Vehicles that run out of fuel may be towed to the nearest gasoline station. Standard towing fees will be applied in accordance with the number of kilometers from the point of origin to the gasoline station. A TVR will also be issued to the driver. Vehicles with engine problems shall be towed if it cannot move on its own power or if the driver refuses to move it. A following TVR shall likewise be issued to the driver.

Are the towing crew allowed to board an attended vehicle?

The MMDA has made it clear that crews are not allowed to board vehicles. If this happens when the driver is present, this must be taken note of and reported as a violation to the MMDA (136).

How much is the violation and towing fee?

Violators shall pay a fine of five hundred pesos plus a standard towing fee shall be collected by both government and private entities. The following rates apply for all trucks:

  • Light vehicles (weighing less than 4,500 kg) – Php 1,500 for the first 4 km
  • Medium vehicles (weighing between 4,501 kg and 7,500 kg) – Php 2,500 for the first 4 km
  • Heavy vehicles (weighing 7501 kg and above) - Php 4,500 for the first 4 km.

In all cases, Php 200 shall be charged per kilometer on top of the base fee measured from place of towing to the impounding area.

Who will be responsible for any damage/s obtained by the vehicle during the towing?

The towing company or agency shall be held responsible for losses and/or damages incurred while towing the vehicle. Before the actual towing, the crew should issue a Technical Inspection Report indicating the name of the owner, vehicle’s plate number, type and color, accessories, and a description of the vehicle’s condition.

How do I know if my towing service is accredited by MMDA?

MMDA and those accredited towing services should adhere to a strict protocol as mentioned in the procedures above. Motorists must ensure that the tow truck crew are wearing the prescribed uniforms and clearly have their ID cards displayed.

For any complaints, motorists can report to the MMDA Facebook or Twitter page. For urgent matters, dial the MMDA's hotline at 136.

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