MANILA, Philippines – Following an impasse in the House of Representatives, President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, December 21, reiterated that the Road Board should be abolished.
In a speech during the Philippine Air Force (PAF) change of command ceremony, Duterte said he agrees with the Senate, which has already adopted a bill dismantling the board attached to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
“It’s nothing but a depository of money and for corruption at walang ibang purpose iyan (No other purpose),” he said. “I agree with the others and the senators that it is time to abolish it and return that function to the DPWH.”
Established under Republic Act 8794 under then president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Road Board evaluates requests for the funding of transport-related projects using motor vehicle user’s charge (MVUC) or road users’ tax.
The Commission on Audit earlier found that the board has misappropriated P90.7 billion in road users’ tax. Responding to allegations of graft, the Senate in February 2018 passed a bill seeking its abolition.
But when Arroyo became Speaker, the House voided its earlier approval of a counterpart bill, leading to the current impasse.
Duterte warned of another “constitutional crisis” if legislators fail to resolve the deadlock.
“I see now it’s about time na buwagin nila iyan (dismantle it) because, if not, I am on the side of the Senate, it will create another constitutional issue and maybe crisis,” he said. “Huwag lang sana (I hope not).”
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said that the need for Arroyo to sign the bill abolishing the Road Board may only be “ministerial.” – Rappler.com
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