Abolishing the Road Board
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - December 19, 2018 - 12:00am

Control of the Road Board appears to be the real reason for the dispute between some members of Congress and Budget Secretary Diokno. This is the statement by former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. The Road Board oversees the fees collected from all registered vehicles, otherwise known as the Road Users Tax or Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC). The MVUC appears on the Original Receipts of vehicles. The Road Board holds billions of pesos in fees collected over the years, and has also disbursed billions for projects, mostly flood control projects by politicians and government officials. This is the reason why the Senate wants to abolish the Road Board. It is only a source of corruption.


He said the funds are being collected for road projects, anywhere from cat’s eye road markers to the paving of roads, most of it grossly overpriced. The Road Board and some members of Congress are in cahoots to get commissions from the contractors that they themselves choose. The Road Board was already abolished by law, this law even reached the Senate but House Speaker Gloria Arroyo has revoked the law that the House itself passed.

If the funds from Road User’s Tax are a continued source of corruption, then the Road Board must be demolished. But who will keep the MVUC still being collected from motorists? Why did House Speaker Arroyo revoke the dismissal of the Road Board? Because her allies still needed the funds from it? And why is Alvarez only talking about the Road Board’s controversies and the corruption involved today, if he knew all about the controversies all along?

President Duterte has the last word on the fate of the Road Board. Senator Franklin Drilon said Duterte will sign the abolition of the Road Board as soon as it is given to him, something the Palace also confirms. If billions are being collected by the Road Board, it is not hard to imagine why some lawmakers would want to dip their fingers into it. The Road Board has long been an issue, so if Duterte is serious about fighting corruption in the government, he should abolish it. Otherwise Senator De Lima would be right in saying that greed knows no bounds in the Lower House of Congress.


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