Road Board abolition bill hurdles House 3rd reading

MANILA The House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon unanimously approved on third reading a measure seeking the abolition of the Road Board to prevent the misuse of billions of pesos of road users' tax.

With 172 affirmative votes, zero negative, and no abstention, the House passed 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 has already approved its own version last February. This means the bill will now be up for bicameral negotiations and will soon be forwarded to the Palace for President Rodrigo R. Duterte's signature.

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 jeopardize 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

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