MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte backed the proposal to abolish the controversial Road Board, which he said only serve as the “milking cow of corrupt government officials.”
In a speech on Friday evening at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, the President said the functions of the Road Board will be returned to the Department of Public Works and Highways.
“I agree with the others and senators that it is time to abolish it and return that function to the DPWH,” Duterte said. “I believe that the Senate has decided the right thing and has stated that the Road Board must be dismantled.”
“I’ve always been wary about this office because it has been the milking cow of people who are corrupt in government,” he added. “Ever since, I’ve really questioned the existence of this office. It’s nothing but a depository of money and for corruption.”
The House of Representatives, under the leadership of former speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, has approved a bill abolishing the Road Board. It was later adopted by the Senate.
But on Sept. 12, the House – now under Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – has rescinded the approval of the House measure calling for the abolishment of Road Board.
Duterte belied the statement of House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., who claimed that the President is in favor letting Road Board stay, saying that he is pushing for the board’s abolition since 2016.
“I had a talk with President Arroyo and apparently there was a misunderstanding because all along I really wanted to abolish the road tax and Andaya was one of those who said that it should be maintained. No, nagkamali sila doon,” the President said.
The Road Board oversees funds collected from the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge solely for road maintenance and drainage improvement, the installation of traffic lights and road safety devices, and monitoring air pollution./PN