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House to heed Duterte’s call for Road Board abolition – Andaya

Rolando Andaya, Jr

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya, Jr. Noy Morcoso/Inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives would heed the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to abolish the graft-ridden Road Board, House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said Saturday.

Andaya issued the statement a day after Duterte said he was siding with the Senate on the abolition of the Road Board, citing that it has become a “milking cow” of corrupt politicians.

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READ: Duterte says ‘it’s time to abolish’ Road Board

The Senate and the House of Representatives had earlier approved the abolition of the Road Board but the lower chamber later moved to rescind it.

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Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier said he would submit to the Palace the Road Board abolition bill even without the signature of Arroyo.

“The President has spoken. We heard his message to the House. We will act based on his guidance. As an institution, we will heed the President’s call,” Andaya said in a statement.

“Finally,” he said, “we can concentrate on the scrutiny of the 2018 budget, parked pork and P75-billion DBM insertions.”

Andaya earlier claimed that he and Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo met with Duterte, and the President had agreed to keep the Road Board.

Duterte, however, belied this in a speech on Friday, saying “it’s now time to abolish” the corrupt-ridden agency.

“Let’s just go ahead and abolish it,” Duterte in a speech during the change of command of Philippine Air Force at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.

“I have always been wary about this office because it has been the milking cow of people who are in government,” he added.

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Deapite this, Andaya said “all is well.”

“The public, however, needs to understand not just the abolition phase but also what is sought after that,” he said.

“If the President wants an abolition of the road board, let it be real abolition. No residues. No Three Road Kings,” he added.

He said the House is “in support of putting proceeds from the MVUC (motor vehicle user’s charge) as part of the General Fund.

“Not an off budget item that will be spent by one person in an untransparent way,” he said.

The proceeds, he said, “need to be included as a line-item fund in the annual budget of the DPWH in the General Appropriations Act.”

“This way, the real and full funding level of the DPWH is reflected clearly, unlike today when MVUC spending is segregated and treated as a non-national budget expenditure,” he said.

The House, he said, “also prefers that non-road user activities like garbage collection be stricken off the spending menu.

“If the President will send a better bill and certify it as urgent, the House, convinced of its merits, will approve it without delay,” he added. /je

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