Some people think that the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) extends Emergency Roadside Service (ERS) only to its members. The fact is that through partnerships with tollways operators in Luzon, AAP ERS is available not only to members of the national auto club, but also to non-members.
AAP members, however, have an advantage because they are entitled to ERS free of charge.
AAP is the only authorized ERS provider on the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX, 74 kilometers), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX, 91 kms), Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX, 88 kms), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX, 26 kms) and Skyway elevated and ground levels (28 kms).
Jose Mundo, general manager of AAP Lingkod, AAP’s subsidiary for automotive services, said, “We are operating on expressways by virtue of contracts and we are willing to extend help if our services are sought.”
Mundo estimated that on a normal weekday, AAP Lingkod receives and serves around 90 calls coming from members and non-members. On a normal weekend, the figures grow by at least 5.0 percent and on holidays by at least 7.0 percent.
AP Lingkod deploys 39 ERS vehicles composed of flatbed trucks and medium- to heavy-capacity tow trucks ready to serve disabled vehicles 24/7 on a total of 307 expressway kilometers.
AAP Lingkod records show that a few of the vehicles recovered were big container vans and 10-wheeler trailer trucks, including an 18-wheeler tractor trailer with a fully loaded 40-footer container that fell into a ditch along the SLEX. Key to the success of rescuing the giant vehicles is AAP Lingkod’s Recovery and Safety Training Program for ERS teams.
But this is not to say that AAP’s ERS is limited to big, heavy duty vehicles. The ERS can also tow cars out of parking basements and enclosed parking areas inside malls and buildings by using its Land Rover SUV. AAP is the only ERS company able to provide this service.
After getting the vehicle out of the parking basement, a flatbed truck will be waiting outside, ready to carry the disabled vehicle to the owner’s residence or designated auto repair shop.
“We handle all of these recoveries professionally, with utmost care and concern,” Mundo said. He expressed firm confidence in the capabilities of the ERS teams and equipment.
“Some treat other people’s vehicles like junk, we treat them as a prized possession of the owner,” he added.
Proof of this is the recent awarding of a commendation by Skyway O & M Corporation (SOMCO) to two AAP tow truck drivers for their efficient retrieval and towing of an armored car that had fallen on its left side along the southbound Skyway at-grade portion in the Cupang, Muntinlupa City vicinity.
In the commendation, SOMCO praised AAP drivers Rico Araque and Jesus Layga for demonstrating “professionalism and focus in performing their tasks at hand. They delivered quality service utilizing the latest towing equipment and technique in the shortest possible time. Their selfless action embodies the values advocated by AAP.”
SOMCO awarded the commendations upon the recommendation of the TUV Rheinland Group, a leading provider of technical services worldwide that conducted for SOMCO a Business Calamity Management Services audit in order to reduce business risks and interruptions using detailed emergency action and disaster recovery plans.
Two members of the TUV Rheinland Group had witnessed the rescue effort of Araque and Laygo through closed-circuit television (CCTV) in the SOMCO command center.