MANILA MalacaAang on Saturday said that it is pleased to know that the House of Representatives has decided to heed the call of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to abolish the Road Board which he said was involved in corruption surrounding the use of road tax.
House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said Congress will support Duterte's call a day after the President expressed support to the opinion of senators' that the graft-ridden Road Board should be abolished.
We are pleased to know that the House of Representatives has listened to the voice of the people who have long been outraged by the corruption surrounding the use of the said tax, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Earlier, Andaya claimed that Duterte wanted to keep the Road Board and rejected statements made by Panelo and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno that he wanted it abolished.
Rep. Andaya is finally in touch with reality contrary to his claim that Secretary Diokno and I were out of touch with the President in the matter of the latter's position on the road users' tax, Panelo said.
Panelo, meanwhile, reiterated the President's strong stand against corruption and his insistence to punish those who participated in corrupt practices.
The President, pursuant to the command of the Constitution to serve and protect the people, has laid the basis of his governance at the inception of his presidency that the people's money shall only be spent for their welfare, and those who steal from it shall be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, Panelo said.
He urged all government officials and employees anew to take seriously Duterte's call for a corrupt-free government.
Let the President's call for a clean and responsive government to the needs of the governed be taken to heart by those who temporarily wield political power so that our country could commence to traverse the path righteousness and progress so long denied them by those they have entrusted with authority, he added.
Earlier, the Senate and the House of Representatives approved the abolition of the Board, but the lower chamber moved to revoke it.
Under the leadership of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the House withdrew its approval of the bill that was passed during the time of former House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
The Road Board manages the Motor Vehicle User's Charge (MVUC) which has a balance of PHP45 billion.
MVUC funds are supposed to be spent exclusively for road maintenance and improvement of road drainage, traffic lights and road safety devices installations and air pollution control.
In a speech in Pasay City on Friday, Duterte said he wanted to Road Board abolished describing it as a milking cow of people who are corrupt in government.
Ever since, I've really questioned the existence of this office. It's nothing but a depository of money and for corruption. Walang ibang purpose 'yan (It has no other purpose), Duterte said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency