Senators deny Andaya’s claim they asked for Road Board funds
MANILA, Philippines — Senators Franklin Drilon and Sonny Angara on Thursday disputed the allegation of House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. that they had requested funding from the Road Board.
Andaya revealed in a document that Drilon and Angara had asked the Road Board for allocations in some government projects.
The Road Board manages the proceeds of the road user’s tax, also known as the motor vehicle user’s charge (MVUC), which motorists pay yearly for the registration of their vehicles.
Drilon admitted that he had endorsed the request of Ed Tayao, former Region 6 director of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), for a P16-million budget for the lighting of a road in Iloilo City.
“I recall that sometime in 2014-2015, during the term of President [Benigno] Aquino, I endorsed the request of then DPWH Region 6 Dir Ed Tayao for a PhP16M allocation from the Road Board to fund the lighting of Sen Benigno Aquino Ave, a national road being built in Iloilo City at that time,” Drilon said in a statement.
Drilon then said the request was made because the lighting of the roads could only be asked from the Road Users Tax and not from the General Appropriations Act (GAA), or the national budget.
“The request was made to the Road Board only because the lighting of national roads could only be sourced from the Road Users Tax, not from the GAA,” he said.
He then clarified that the Road Board had not implemented the said project, noting that the allocated funds for the project were also not released.
“No action was taken by the Road Board. Up to now, the road lighting project has not been implemented. No fund has been released,” he said.
Meanwhile, Angara said that the request for the funds were conducted before President Rodrigo Duterte and the Congress proposed the abolition of the Road Board.
“We voted with the rest of the Senate for the Boards abolition,” Angara said in a separate statement. “Any requests for projects were made before the President and Congress worked for abolition.”
The Senate has been pushing for the abolition of the Road Board, saying it committed irregularities in the use of the MVUC.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.