Duterte signs law abolishing Road Board
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a bill abolishing the Road Board.
Republic Act No. 11239, which Duterte inked on March 8, a copy of which was only released on Tuesday, provided that "all monies" collected under this Act shall be remitted to the National Treasury under a special account in the General Fund.
The fund to be collected would be "earmarked solely for the construction, upgrading, repair, and rehabilitation of roads, bridges, and road drainage to be included in the annual General Appropriations Act," the law said.
Former Budget Secretary and now central bank governor Benjamin Diokno earlier said the House of Representatives did not want to pass the proposed P3.757-trillion budget for 2019 because the executive department refused to release the fund collected by the Road Board to lawmakers, particularly to those running in the May elections.
Diokno gad said the road users' tax was one of the sources of corruption, thus, the Duterte administration pushed for the Road Board's abolition.
To date, the proposed 2019 budget is still pending in Congress and has not yet reached the Office of the President.
Meanwhile, for those employees who would be affected due to the Road Board's abolition, the law said the Department of Public Works and Highways shall, as needed, absorb the employees of the secretariat, without diminution of their salaries and benefits.
Employees who are separated from the service as a result of the abolition of the Road Board and its secretariat shall receive separation benefits under the provision of Republic Act No. 6656 or "An Act to Protect the Security of Tenure of Civil Service Officers and Employees in the Implementation of Government Reorganization."
Those who are qualified to retire under existing laws shall be allowed to retire and receive retirement benefits to which they may be entitled under applicable laws, rules and regulations.
The DPWH shall be subrogated to all the rights and assume all the obligations and liabilities of the Road Board.
The law provided for the creation of a Congressional Oversight Committee to monitor the implementation of RA No. 8794, the law which imposes a motor vehicle user's charge on owners of all types of motor vehicles, as amended, and the use of the special funds established.
The Act shall take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation. Celerina Monte/DMS