If you’re in the process of getting towed in the city of Manila, take note of the markings on the tow truck because up until now, private towing firms are explicitly banned from operating in the city.

Manila Mayor Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada reminds motorists that the ban on private towing firms issued last March 2016 still stands and only tow trucks from the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) are allowed to operate.

The ban versus private towing firms stemmed from numerous complaints from private citizens against then accredited RWM and PMA Towing Services Inc. whose towing crews have been deemed ‘abusive’.

“Since March last year, we have stopped all towing activities within Manila. So if a towing truck without MTPB markings would try to get your vehicle, that is illegal. Call the police. We have our own tow trucks and personnel and they are under strict orders to assist the motorists in emergencies,” said Mayor Estrada.

Recently, the Manila Police District (MPD) arrested the tow truck driver of a PMA Towing and Trucking Services Inc. after being caught forcibly towing two other trucks in Pandacan.

The driver, Christian Gonzales, 37, was charged with violation of Anti-Carnapping Law, Driving Without License, Official Receipt/Certificate of Registration (OR/CR), and license plates, and for operating without business permits.

This is the second instance that a tow truck from a private towing firm has been caught operating without a permit since the ban by Mayor Estrada.

“We have prohibited towing trucks because they are a nuisance to Manilenos. The collectors usually charge PHP10,000 for every truck towed,” said MPD Director Joel Coronel.

Motorists whose vehicles are being towed by tow trucks other than the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) units are advised to call the MPD at 523-83-87 or Patrol 117.