Senate adopts House bill on Road Board abolition

January 25, 2019 at 15:00

Senate adopts House bill on Road Board abolition

By Camille A. Aguinaldo, Reporter

The Senate on Tuesday adopted the House of Representatives’ revised version of the bill abolishing the Road Board.

With the chamber’s adoption, the bicameral conference committee is no longer required, so the measure will be directly sent to the President for signature.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri told reporters in a mobile phone message that House Bill No. 7436 may be transmitted to the President next week or the first week of February.

The Road Board abolition bill has been the center of disagreement between the Senate and the House of Representatives during its Christmas-New Year break. Last September, the Senate adopted the House version of the bill, which the lower chamber rescinded later on the same day.

The issue was finally resolved after then House Majority Leader Rolando G. Andaya, Jr met with Mr. Zubiri and Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto last week to discuss the amendments to the proposed measure.

The revised bill, which the House of Representatives approved on third on final reading last Monday, abolishes the Road Board, which was created by Republic Act No. 8794.

The proposed measure removes the provision in the law which separates the road user’s tax collection from the government’s general appropriations.

The road user’s tax collection will now be remitted to the national treasury under a special account in the general fund. The funds will then be used for the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges and road drainage, which will be included in the General Appropriations Act.

The bill also directs the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to absorb the employees of the abolished Road Board. All the assets, liabilities, records, property and equipment of the Road Board will be transferred over to the DPWH as well.

A congressional oversight committee is also created under the bill to monitor the use and the collection of the road user’s tax.


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