BAGUIO CITY – More than 30 dilapidated and illegally parked vehicles have been towed from the city streets for a period of eight months since the implementation of Ordinance Numbered 78, series of 2018, or the “Towing Ordinance of the City of Baguio.”
The towing law was passed in June last year and was implemented in August after the creation of the City Towing Task Force with the City Engineering Office and the Baguio City Police Office as lead departments with at least 40 traffic aides.
Engr. Januario Borillo of the CEO-Traffic and Transport Management Division said they initially towed dilapidated vehicles obstructing public access as reported by the barangay officials.
It was only in January this year that towing of illegally parked vehicles started. Borillo said of the 30 vehicles towed, 10 were dilapidated while the rest were illegally parked vehicles.
Towing fees are computed based on a standard rate as provided in the ordinance as follows: For the first four kilometers, light vehicles weighing less than 4,500 kilograms will be fined P1,500; P2,500 for medium vehicles weighing between 4,501 kilograms and 7,500 kilograms; and P4,500 for heavy vehicles weighing 7,501 kilograms and above.
In all cases, an additional fee of P200 will be charged per kilometre on top of the base fee measured from place of towing to the impounding area.
Aside from the towing fee, owners of impounded vehicles will have to pay the storage fee amounting to P500 for the first 24-hours plus P500 daily. At present, the city utilizes a portion of the Old City Auditorium at Burnham Park as its storage facility of towed vehicles.
“Any vehicle remaining in the storage facility for more than 90 days may be removed and disposed in accordance with disposal procedures by the General Services Office,” the law states.
However, Borillo said the task force have not recommended disposal of vehicles yet since most of those towed particularly the illegally parked vehicles were immediately released after the owner paid the necessary fees.
The storage facility only has three dilapidated vehicles which may be recommended for disposal soon, Borillo said.
The ordinance, authored by councilors Benny Bomogao, Michael Lawana, and Faustino Olowan Jr., defined the authority of the task force to remove and impound any vehicle parked on any of the highways, roads or streets, public right-of-way or other public property in the city, which is parked in violation of any provision of any ordinance of the city.
On private property, any motor vehicle left unattended may be removed either by the property owner or the task force after informing the owner. But in cases where the owner cannot be reached, yet it is a hindrance to public access, the vehicle can be outrightly towed.
Vehicles removed due to motor malfunction incidences including flat-tired and empty fuel tank will not be exempted from paying tow charges.*