Saturday, June 16, 2012

Towing firm files P33M damage suit against LGU

..THE Jadewell Parking System Corp. filed a civil case against the Mandaue City Government last Thursday for rescinding their contract and for issuing a cease-and-desist order against the towing firm.

Rogelio Tan, the firm’s chief executive officer, wants the court to order the City to pay the firm P33 million, which covers the firm’s expenses for the purchase of equipment required from it under the contract, the income it will lose because of the contract’s rescission, exemplary damages and attorney’s fees.

City Legal Officer Giovanni Tianero said they are ready to answer the complaint, saying that the City followed due process when it rescinded the contract last May 5.

He said they listened to the firm’s side but found their explanations “unmeritorious.”

In a press conference yesterday, Tan said he was forced to file a case because the city officials are not willing to talk to him to settle the problem.


“We are trying to reach out to the mayor and the men around him but unfortunately they are avoiding us,” he said.

The towing firm and the City entered into a memorandum of agreement on Oct. 15, 2003, during the term of Mayor Thadeo “Teddy” Ouano.

Under the agreement, the firm will handle towing operations and implement the on-street parking management system in the city for 12 years. The firm will also remit 10 percent of its total collections to the City Government.

Tan said the problem started in 2007, during the first term of Mayor Jonas Cortes.

“The reason the City rescinded our contract is because there are people who are interested in our business,” Tan said in Tagalog.


Cortes was ill-advised by “influential personalities” when he decided to rescind the contract, he said.

Tan said the City uses the complaints from motorists as a “camouflage” for its plan to hand the towing operations over to a new towing firm.

But Tianero said the City intends to handle the towing operations on its own.

“We will have our own towing operations. Why settle for 10 percent (of a towing firm’s total collections) when we can get 100 percent?” he told Sun.Star Cebu.

The contract between Jadewell and City was supposed to end in 2015. The City rescinded the contract because of several complaints from motorists against the towing firm and because of the firm’s alleged violations of the contract.


The alleged violations include the firm’s failure to supply equipment in the construction, installation and operations of electronic parking meters and on-street parking management system. The City also said the firm was always late in remitting the 10 percent share of the City.

But Tan said they have acquired six electronic parking meters, which cost them P450,000 each. They wrote a letter to the City Engineer’s Office asking for the locations where the meters will be installed but they got no response, he said.

Tan said complaints from motorists are natural because no one would be happy about his or her vehicle getting towed. “There are as many complaints as there are violators,” he said.

He also denied that the towing firm was always late in remitting the City’s share.

The City Government itself violated the contract when it bought a towing truck, Tan said. Under the contract, Jadewell has the exclusive right to handle towing operations in the city.

But Tianero said the City acquired a towing truck “to prepare for the eventuality of the contract’s rescission.”

Tan said that he can file a separate civil case against the city officials and another case in the Ombudsman, but he will focus on the civil case against the City Government for now.