‘Genuine’ road board abolition

Rodrigo Duterte

House,  Senate agree on measure that truly seeks scuttling of entity in charge of motor vehicle user’s tax.

IN accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s wish to abolish the Road Board, the House of Representatives and Senate agreed to come up with a genuine and effective measure on the use of the motor vehicle users’ charge (MVUC).

In a press briefing, Majority Leader Rolando Andaya said the House will immediately approve a tax measure and transfer it to the Senate by Monday for bicameral conference committee approval.

The new bill is totally different from the one filed by the group of former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and former Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas Jr.

“Common sense and real reform are winners in the agreement to genuinely abolish the Road Board,” Andaya said.

Andaya said this is a victory for transparency too because the lawmakers decided to put the MVUC into general funds and not turn them over to the Road Board.

Likewise, Andaya said, the road user’s tax will not be used exclusively for roads and bridges maintenance but also calamities, but upon the approval of the President.

The road user’s tax is now more than P50 billion.

“We have long advocated for a real, and not the fake abolition of the Road Board. The version that was pushed by the previous House leadership merely created Three Powerful Road Kings,” Andaya said.

“The present House leadership, on the other hand, insisted in treating MVUC collections as part of General Fund, and not as an off-budget, hidden account, controlled by a few, a status retained by the previous bill,” he added.

Andaya stressed the House-Senate consensus spared the President from signing a defective bill, which some powerful interests wanted him to.

“The attempt to hoodwink the President has been foiled,” he said.

“We are glad that, finally, a bill which will genuinely abolish the Road Board, and treat MVUC collections as part of the General Fund, under the one fund concept, is now on the way to the President,” the House leader added.