Amidst numerous complaints from motorists and bus operators, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) revoked the accreditation of seven private towing companies that have been previously authorized to operate on Edsa and other major thoroughfares for violating the guidelines on towing operations.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino also canceled the accreditation of 13 other MMDA-accredited towing firms and issued them one-month temporary permits while their operations are being evaluated by the agency.

"As of now, all previous accreditations are hereby canceled. You will be given temporary accreditation, which is good for one month, pending a review of your records and performances," Tolentino told towing operators during a meeting at the MMDA office in Makati City yesterday morning.

Of the 20 towing services licensed by the MMDA, seven, however, were denied temporary accreditations this morning following concerns raised by various bus operators, who also attended the meeting, on the abusive practices of the towing companies.

Those were NJP Towing Services based in Pasig City; JGFC Towing Services in Project 6, Quezon City; Lard Towing Services, Edsa-Cubao, Quezon City; JEARLM Towing Services, Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City; Road Eye Towing Services in Novaliches, Quezon City; CD3 Monde Towing Services, San Juan, Taytay; and Mac & Paul Towing Services in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

Unlike the 13 other towing firms, these seven towing firms will no longer be allowed to operate on Edsa and other major roads effective today, according to Tolentino.

Only seven of the thirteen towing companies, however, were actually issued temporary accreditations because the rest were not represented in the meeting.

Under MMDA Ordinance No. 78-03, only towing companies accredited by the MMDA are allowed to operate along major thoroughfares. There have been 20 private towing companies licensed by the MMDA as of this year.

Tolentino advised the owners of the seven towing firms who were denied the one-month temporary accreditation to show good basis for their re-accreditation.

The MMDA chairman summoned the 20 towing firms and the various bus companies to put a stop to the illegal practices of these towing services, such as exorbitant fees being charged to towed or impounded buses and private vehicles.

Bus operators complained they are being made to pay P4,500 in towing fees wherein the legal rate is only P1,200.

The seven towing companies were also found to be using satellite impounding areas not authorized by the MMDA. Tolentino said towed and/or impounded vehicles shall only be deposited at Ultra I and II in Pasig City.

Tolentino explained the cancellation of all previous accreditations is part of the MMDA's effort to streamline the operation of towing services in Metro Manila.

"We have been hearing many complaints against these abusive towing companies so this is now the time to check on how they do their business," the MMDA chief said.

He assured the agency will now be very strict in issuing new accreditations to towing companies.