House OKs revised bill abolishing Road Board on 2nd reading

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2019 07:04 PM

MANILA - The House of Representatives has approved on 2nd reading a revised version of the bill abolishing the Road Board.

The approval of the bill paves the way for the lower chamber to approve it on the third and final reading by Monday.

This, after Senate Majority leader Miguel Zubiri, and Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto met with House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. over the issue on Tuesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte had sought the abolition of the board, and transfer its funds.

The Road Board oversees funds from the Motor Vehicle User's Charge, (MVUC) which are supposed to be used exclusively for road maintenance and improvement of road drainage, installation of traffic lights and road safety devices, and air pollution control.

The Commission on Audit however has said the MVUCs were being misappropriated, making it vulnerable to corruption.

The House leadership assured that the bill, approved initially by the past House leadership, is consistent with the President’s wishes.

Andaya said MVUC collections will still be used for the maintenance of roads and bridges but the measure will empower the President to tap the money for repairing roads and bridges destroyed by calamities.

Andaya explained that the House will remove the special account that houses proceeds from the MVUC so that the money can be covered by the General Fund, which is the source of the national budget. 

He said this must be done first before the MVUC funds can be used for the national budget as desired by the President.