Press Release
February 3, 2016

Pimentel seeks abolition of Road Board

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today sought to abolish the graft-ridden Road Board, transferring its powers and functions instead to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

Pimentel, who is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, said the Road Board is just another layer of bureaucracy which became an avenue for graft and corruption in government to the consternation of the public.

"By abolishing this regulatory agency, the public funds will be re-channelled to the proper government agencies such as the DPWH and the DOTC, which will implement the road safety measure and projects," he said.

The Road Board was created to implement the prudent and efficient management and utilization of special funds collected via the Road User's Tax.

The funds are earmarked solely and used exclusively for road maintenance and improvement of road drainage, installation of adequate and efficient traffic lights and road safety devices, and air pollution control.

The collections of the Road Board from 2001 to December 2012 were estimated at P90.72 billion.

But Pimentel said past Commission of Audit reports showed vestiges of illegal utilization of the funds over the years.

He said for CY 2004-2008, the Road Fund was used for payment of salaries, allowances, maintenance, and other operating expenses of the Road Board properly chargeable to the regular budget, amounting to P515.50 million unlawful expenses.

Again, from 2001 to 2010, Pimentel said the COA pointed out discrepancies amounting to P1.495 billion in the total collection of the Road User's Tax as stated in the respective certifications of the Land Transportation Office and the Bureau of Treasury.

He said that in the 2011 report of the COA, the P62.52 million fund of the Road Board, earmarked for road maintenance and repair, was used instead for its engineering and administrative expenses.

And finally, Pimentel cited a 2013 COA report where findings of irregularities in the expenditure of more than P1.66 billion in funds were uncovered.

Senate Bill No. 3131 filed by Pimentel last January 25 would amend Republic Act No. 8794, where funds collected would now be deposited in four special trust accounts in the national treasury.

These are, he said, the Special Road Support Fund, Special Local Road Fund and the Special Road Safety Fund under the care of the DPWH, and the Special Vehicle Pollution Control Fund under the care of the DOTC.

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