MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law an act that abolishes the Road Board and channels the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC) into the National Treasury.
Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11239 on March 8. A copy of the measure was made public over a week later on Tuesday, March 19.
The Road Board, which was hounded by allegations of corruption and misuse of funds, had managed the multibillion-peso MVUC. Under the new law, the MVUC will be “remitted to the National Treasury under a special account in the General Fund.”
It will be “earmarked solely for the construction, upgrading, repair, and rehabilitation of roads, bridges, and road drainage to be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.”
The Budget Secretary, Public Works Secretary, and Transportation Secretary are tasked to craft the implementing rules and regulations on the allocation of the MVUC.
RA 11239 creates a Congressional Oversight Committee to monitor the funds. This committee is to be composed of 5 members each from the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The employees of the Road Board secretariat will be absorbed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DWPH).
The abolition of the Road Board had been fraught with controversy. After the Senate and House passed bills abolishing the graft-ridden body, the House took back its bill when former president and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assumed leadership of the chamber.
After a weeks-long standoff, the two chambers agreed on changes to the bill, allowing it to become an enrolled bill ready for Duterte’s signature. – Rappler.com