SENATE Minority Leader Franklin Drilon yesterday insisted that there is no need to convene a bicameral conference committee on the abolition of the Road Board insisting that it is already approved.
“With all due respect to Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, the Senate has already taken the position that the bill to abolish the Road Board is already approved by virtue of its adoption of House Bill 7436 on September 12,” Drilon said.
Drilon stressed that this position is reflected in Resolution No. 134, which he proposed and the Senate adopted shortly before it went on Christmas break last December 13, urging the Office of the President not to release funds from the motor vehicle user’s charge (MVUC) following the Congress’ passage of the bill which would abolish the Road Board.
“Convening a bicam has no basis when there is no inconsistent or disagreeing provisions,” Drilon explained. “When we adopted the House bill on September 12, there are no more disagreeing provisions.”
He added that the Senate’s action made the bicam unecessary, which means the bill on abolishing the corruption-plagued agency is already considered passed by both chambers, and should have long been sent to the President’s desk for his signature.
The House leadership, however, refused to enroll the bill, saying it rescinded its own version of the measure on the same day the Senate adopted their version.
“The Senate, in several instances, has made clear its position that the Road Board abolition measure is already approved. The Senate President issued statements to assert the position of the Senate. We better stick to it and continue to urge the House leadership to abide and respect the legislative process and the decision of the President,” Drilon said.
Last week, the Senate’s stand to abolish the Road Board got support from President Rodrigo Duterte, who called for the immediate abolition of the agency, which he said was used as the “milking cow” of corrupt officials.