• Ermita-Malate traders whine over abusive towing


    Businessmen in Ermita and Malate districts on Monday yowled over the abusive and indiscriminate towing of vehicles in front of their establishments, including hotels being frequented by foreign and local tourists.

    Traders requested The Manila Times not to identify them.

    “We hope Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada will read this so he could act immediately,” said a businessman who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal of Estrada’s action man, no less than Vice Mayor Isko Moreno.

    “Our clients were complaining. They were surprised to discover that their vehicles had been towed despite parking in properly designated slots,” the trader said.

    The businessman added that even vehicles in parking slots of big hotels are being towed haphazardly.

    “Imagine the inconvenience to these clients, many of them are foreign tourists and some are big businessmen, they need to redeem their cars at Smokey Mountain where the impounding area is located,” the source said.

    Ermita has 13 barangays and Malate has 57, whicb are major locations of commercial, financial and cultural centers. Hotels, casinos, restaurants and business offices abound in the districts.

    Tourists love to stay and dine in the fine hotels and restaurants, feeling at home due to the innate hospitality of Filipinos.

    Businessmen said they are forced to shell out at least P5,000 for the towing services.

    “This has to stop. It gives bad impression to our guests ” the source said.
    The informant added that the city hall has to clarify its regulations on proper street parking.

    It was learned that businessmen are regularly paying parking fees for the use of the designated parking slots in front of their establishments.

    Despire of this scheme, vehicles of their clients are still being towed aimlessly. JAIME R. PILAPIL


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