Senate body calls for Road Board abolition

Published January 20, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Restituto Cayubit

By Mario B Casayuran

The Senate public works committee has formally asked the Senate leadership to abolish the graft-ridden Road Board whose 2003 to 2014 collection of P112.5 billion were allegedly illegally utilized.

The Joint Session of the Senate and the House of Representatives on the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao commences in the Plenary of the Batasang Pambansa on December 13, 2017. (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Emmanuel D. Pacquiao, committee chairman, stressed the immediate need to review the functions of the Road Board “not just because it has become obsolete overtime but it has become a source of graft and corruption in the government.”

Pacquiao said past reports of the Commission on Audit (COA) exposed the illegal utilization of road users’ tax or the collection from the motor vehicle users’ charge (MVUC).

He said he and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Sherwin Gatchalian and Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito were thus prompted to file Senate Bill 1620 seeking to abolish the Road Board and transferring its functions to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The law creating the Road Board was signed on June 27, 2000.

The Pacquiao committee report stressed that under a one-fund doctrine, all funds collected under the MVUC law shall be deposited with the National Treasury and the actual board shall not participate in its allocation.

“The special road support fund, the special local road fund and the special road safety fund will be under the DPWH while the special vehicle pollution control fund will be under the DOTr.

The committee report recommended that, instead of allocating 80 percent of collected revenues to national roads only, 50 percent shall go to provincial and city roads so that all vehicle owners shall benefit whereever they may be in the country.