Lawmakers approved House Bill 7436, which is expected to be passed on third reading next week, approximately the same period when senators and congressmen will be holding a bicameral conference on the 2019 budget.
Boy Santos
Road Board abolition now a tax measure
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - January 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives approved on second reading the revised version of the Road Board bill, which Congress will now consider as a “tax measure,” as President Duterte called for its immediate abolition. 

Lawmakers approved House Bill 7436, which is expected to be passed on third reading next week, approximately the same period when senators and congressmen will be holding a bicameral conference on the 2019 budget. 

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said they will consider the piece of legislation as a tax measure, even if it underwent deliberations in the House committee on government reorganization.

“The creation of the Road Board is merely incidental to the establishment of the motor vehicles user’s charge and the collection of such by the Land Transportation Authority,” the Camarines Sur congressman explained.

“It will be a part of the national budget for the General Fund to be used in the General Appropriations Act,” Andaya said of the Road Board.

The Road Board whose collections now amount to P50 billion will be used by the President to fund calamity-stricken areas in the Bicol region. 

Rep. LRay Villafuerte, who was also present when Duterte visited Camarines Sur early this month after the onslaught of Tropical Depression Usman, appealed to senators and congressmen to “set aside a share” of the MVUC collections for flood mitigation projects in Bicol. 

“I am appealing to members of the bicam to consider President Duterte’s directive and set aside a share of the multibillion-peso collections for flood mitigation projects in the Bicol river and elsewhere in the flood-prone region,” he said. 

Villafuerte added the consensus reached by congressional leaders, or the senators and congressmen who earlier had conflicting versions in abolishing the Road Board, is a “welcome development” for the administration. 

Duterte visited Bicol and reiterated his desire for Congress to abolish the graft-ridden Road Board and committed the use of MVUC funds to solve the perennial flooding in Bicol, particularly low-lying areas in Camarines Sur. 

With the revised Road Board bill, Andaya – a former budget secretary – said the funds of the agency will no longer be off-budget, unlike before where only officials of the Road Board and Department of Budget and Management had access. 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ROAD BOARD ABOLITION
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