In response to recent illegal towing incidents done by accredited towing companies, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has launched an app that will allow users to report these kinds of activities directly to the agency’s command center.

Called iTOW, it will be free to download for mobile devices running on iOS and Android.

“Motorists will now have extra protection against illegal towing operations through this app. As such, they can immediately report or complain anomalous activities,” said MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos.

The app, according to the agency, is ‘an online venue dedicated to towing operations’ and will allows its users and motorists to directly report illegal towing incidents to the MMDA Command Center while also allowing them to request for assistance in any emergency situation on the road.

It will also use footage captured by the MMDA’s CCTV cameras and the reports by traffic and field personnel.

Currently the app’s coverage is limited to ‘Mabuhay Lanes’ where towing activities are in effect.

The activation of the iTOW app has also changed certain towing protocols. Now, accredited towing companies will be provided tablets that are linked to the MMDA Metrobase. For each vehicle about to be towed, photos must first be taken using the tablet and the photos sent to Metrobase for verification. Before towing the vehicle, a reference number will be issued to the tow truck operator by Metrobase to make sure that the activity is filed for future reference or review.