Koko Pimentel files bill to stop collection of road user’s tax, abolish Road Board

Senator Koko Pimentel is filling a bill that will stop the collection of Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC) also known as road user’s tax and abolish the Road Board created by Republic Act No. 8794. Senator Pimentel said the Road Board is accused of illegally diverting billions of pesos of special road user’s tax funds to highly questionable projects.

He said Road Board is just another layer of bureaucracy which became an avenue for massive graft and corruption and road user’s tax is a redundant tax item.

Pimentel cited a Commission on Audit report showing that billions of pesos from the road user’s tax were illegally used for other highly-questionable purposes over the years by the Road Board. It is estimated that Php90.72 billion road user’s tax was collected from 2001 to December 2012, but only Php10.69 billion was left of the funds as of the end of 2012.

The Road Board is tasked to manage and utilize the special road user’s funds exclusively for road maintenance and improvement of road drainage, installation of traffic lights and road safety devices and air pollution control.

But, Pimentel said, a Commission on Audit report showed that billions in pesos of the road user’s tax were illegally used for other highly-questionable purposes over the years by the Road Board.

During the period 2004-2008, Pimentel said the COA found out that the road fund was used for the payment of salaries, allowances, maintenance, and other operating expenses of the Road Board. Pimentel said these expenses should have been charged to the regular budget of the agency, amounting to Php515.50 million unlawful expenses.

He added that the COA again reported that in 2011, Php62.52 million was used for engineering and administrative overhead expenses instead of spending the fund for road maintenance.