House cancels passage of Road Board abolition bill

MANILA The House of Representatives on Wednesday moved to rescind the passage of a bill seeking the abolition of the Road Board.

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. moved the motion on the floor during Wednesday's plenary session.

In May, the Lower House approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 7436, which seeks to abolish the Road Board and transfer the management of the road users' tax to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

The Senate approved its own version last February. The bill has reached the bicameral conference committee level.

"With the leave of the House, I move that we rescind approval of the said bill and that we will no longer pursue its passage," Andaya said.

No objection was raised and the motion was approved.

The Road Board abolition bill was co-authored and spearheaded by former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

The Road Board was created under Republic Act No. 8794, which imposes a motor vehicle users' charge (MVUC) on owners of all types of motor vehicles.

The MVUC is earmarked solely for road maintenance and improvement of road drainage, installation of traffic lights and road safety devices, and air pollution control.

However, previous Commission on Audit reports flagged irregularities in the use of the MVUC funds, such as unauthorized, unnecessary, and irregular expenses, excessive contract costs for projects, delayed and uncompleted projects, and technical deficiencies and defects in projects that could put at risk motorists and pedestrians.

Under the bill, the collections of the road fund shall be allocated in four special trust accounts in the National Treasury: 40 percent each in the national and local road support funds, both managed by the DPWH; 10 percent in the vehicle pollution control fund managed by the DOTr; and the pollution control fund managed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency