Road Board not source of graft — House leader

December 18, 2018

HOUSE Minority Leader Danilo Suarez denied allegations that the Road Board is a big source of corruption.

In a press conference, Suarez clarified that lawmakers cannot dictate on the Road Board where the motor vehicle users’ charge (MVUC) can be used because the law mandates limited allocations.

He said the Bureau of Treasury deposits the funds it receives from the Land Transportation Office to four special trust accounts which correspond to the specific purposes of the MVUC funds as mandated by Republic Act 8794.

The MVUC funds can be used for national road maintenance (80 percent); local road maintenance, (5 percent); road safety (7.5 percent) and vehicle pollution control (7.5 percent).

“The power of the Road Board is limited to authorizing the use of funds for eligible projects evaluated and endorsed by the implementing agencies, and to the monitoring of project status, funding status and periodic report preparations,” Suarez said.

“The Board does not act or authorize any use of funds,” he added.

The House of Representatives, under the leadership of former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, filed a bill abolishing the Road Board due to allegations of corruption. The bill was adopted by the Senate.

However, the present leadership of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wanted to recall the bill, and Suarez has filed a measure rescinding its own approved bill.

The measure is still pending in the House of Representatives.

Suarez added that the implementing agencies for MVUC funds are the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which is in charge of national and local road maintenance as well as the road safety projects, and the Department of Transportation for the vehicle pollution projects.

“The power of the Road Board is limited to authorizing the use of funds for eligible projects evaluated and endorsed by the implementing agencies, and to the monitoring of project status, funding status and periodic report preparations,” Suarez said.

He noted that the responsibility over the management of the MVUC funds is shared by the DPWH, DoTr, Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and transport representatives from the Road Board.

“If there are corrupt activities, the most vulnerable to corruption are processes under the stewardship of implementing agencies,” Suarez noted.