Bacolod taps third party to haul illegally parked vehicles

TOW-AWAY ZONE. Parking is prohibited at all times in certain areas along Lacson Street in Bacolod City. The city government has engaged the services of a private towing firm as the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office resumes the enforcement of the clamping and towing ordinance on Monday (Nov. 6, 2023). 
[BTAO photo]
TOW-AWAY ZONE. Parking is prohibited at all times in certain areas along Lacson Street in Bacolod City. The city government has engaged the services of a private towing firm as the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office resumes the enforcement of the clamping and towing ordinance on Monday (Nov. 6, 2023). [BTAO photo]

The city government here has tapped the services of a private towing firm as the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) resumes the enforcement of the clamping and towing ordinance on Monday.

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez signed on Nov. 3, 2023 a memorandum of agreement with Francis Desales, owner of the Bacolod-based Metro Towing Services, authorizing the latter to provide towing services.

“We engaged a third party to do our towing operations for (illegally parked vehicles) clamped by the BTAO. The vehicle will be towed and brought to an impounding area,” Benitez said in an interview.

City Ordinance 09-17-818 enumerates the guidelines and standards on accrediting privately owned towing companies, as well as the manner and procedure of implementing the towing, clamping, and impounding services in the city.

“The payment of fees is still under the jurisdiction of the city government. They will just share the fees. It’s 75 percent for the private towing company and 25 percent for the city,” the mayor said.

An owner found illegally parking his or her vehicle will pay the clamping, towing and impounding fees.

The clamping fee ranges from PHP600 to PHP1,000, while towing fee, from PHP1,000 to PHP4,500 for the first four kilometers, depending on the type of vehicle.

The impounding fee is PHP200 per day in the first and second months; PHP350 per day, third and fourth months; and PHP500 per day, the fifth and sixth months.

The designated impounding area is located at the old Coca-Cola plant building between 15th and 16th -Lacson Streets, where the BTAO headquarters is temporarily based after executive assistant Patrick Lacson assumed as officer-in-charge effective Nov. 1.

Under the ordinance, the tow-away zones include the loading and unloading zones for public utility vehicles, within six meters or any intersection or curved lane, in front of all authorized public and private driveways, on designated bicycle lanes, and within four meters of driveways or entrances to any fire station and hospital.

Others are within four meters of fire hydrants, on pedestrian crosswalks, sidewalks, paths, and alleys not intended for parking, and on any bridge and at the foot of any bridge.

Fixed signages with red marks have been put up in designated strictly no-parking zones while yellow signals regulate parking hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (PNA)

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