President Rodrigo has signed a law that abolishes the Road Board. Republic Act No. 11239 was signed on March 8 and made public on March 19, dismantling the board and mandating the government to remit the Road Tax or Motor Vehicle Users’ Charge (MVUC) into the National Treasury.
Under the new law, collections made from the MVUC will be channeled to a the National Treasury “under a special account in the General Fund to earmark solely for the construction, upgrading, repair, and rehabilitation of roads, bridges, and road drainages to be included in the General Appropriations act.”
President Duterte had earlier lobbied for the Board’s abolition, calling it a “milking cow” of corrupt government officials.
The law, called “An Act Abolishing the Road Board and providing for the disposition of the Motor Vehicle User’s Chage Collections,” will require concerned secretaries of the budget, public works, and transportation departments to create regulations on the channeling of the MVUC.
There will also be a Congressional Oversight Committee tasked to monitor the funds. It will comprise of five members each from the House of Representatives and the Senate. For its part, the Department of Public Works and Highways is tasked to absorb employees of the Road Board secretariat with retention of salaries and benefits.
Hounded by allegations of corruption, the former Road Board’s proposed abolition was among the issues that delayed the passage of 2019’s P3.757-trillion budget. It had reportedly spurred an argument between former Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and some legislators, the latter accusing Diokno of having added P75 billion in the budget without the President’s go signal.