Speaker seeks to abolish Road Board

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 30 2017 10:04 AM | Updated as of Aug 30 2017 10:33 AM

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez answers questions during a press conference at the House of Representatives, October 2016. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has filed a bill seeking the abolition of the Road Board, which has allegedly become an avenue for deep-seated corruption.

The Road Board, created under Republic Act 8794, collects taxes for the use of all types of motor vehicles. The law earmarked these funds exclusively for road maintenance, improvement of road drainage, installation traffic lights and road safety devices, and air pollution control.

Alvarez said the Road Board has not addressed Commission on Audit findings that it allegedly misused road users’ tax from 2002 to 2013.

Some board members, he said, also approached his own staff with a demand for 20 percent in kickback from a certain road project.

"Marami rin akong natanggap na reklamo sa mga congressman na hinihingan nila ng mga 20 percent. Medyo ayoko pa maniwala noong umpisa, kaya lang noong tao ko na ang hiningan, sabi ko talagang sobra na ito," he told DZMM.

"Tingin ko, panahon na para buwagin ito at isaayos natin para naman ang pondong nakokolekta doon ay hindi naman nasasayang."

(I have received numerous reports that the board allegedly demands 20 percent from congressmen. I did not want to believe it at first, but when they demanded money from my own staff, I said that's enough. It is time to abolish the board so that public funds will not go to waste.)

Alvarez said his House Bill 6236 seeks to transfer the Road Board’s functions to the Departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Transportation (DOTr).

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, he added, has filed a counterpart measure in the upper chamber.