Senator Win Gatchalian renewed his call for the abolition of the Road Board at the Senate budget briefing with the Department of Transportation, explaining that the Road Board adds an unnecessary layer of bureacracy which makes the handling of Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC) funds prone to mismanagement and corruption.
“Over the years, the MVUC has become a sort of pseudo-pork barrel fund, which corrupt government officials and dishonest contractors have used to exploit public works contracts for their personal benefit. The pockets of these crooks have become thicker and thicker while our roads continue to fall apart,” said Gatchalian, a member of the Senate Committee on Public Works.
Republic Act No. 8794, passed in 1999, imposed the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge on vehicle owners and created special funds for the maintenance and repair of local and national roads, as well as for pollution control and safety works.
Along with the MVUC, RA 8794 also established the Road Board – composed of members from various government departments, as well as private motorist and transportation group representatives – to administer the fund.
Gatchalian’s measure, Senate Bill No. 986, proposes to amend RA 8794 by abolishing the Road Board and transferring administration of the various funds directly to the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of Transportation.
“Putting public discretionary funds in the hands of politicians and industry insiders is a recipe for corruption. The dilapidated state of our roads can attest to that. Instead, it will be much better to put these funds directly under control of the government instrumentalities directly responsible for conducting road safety and maintenance operations,” said Gatchalian.