P57-B MVUC fund not included in 2020 national budget
MANILA, Philippines — Funds from the Motor Vehicle Users’ Charge (MVUC) amounting to P57 billion is not yet included in the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020, and thus, could not be released and utilized next year.
This was revealed Monday, during the Senate hearing on the 2020 budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said MVUC funds has not yet been appropriated in the 2020 National Expenditure Program (NEP) as the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) has yet to be finalized by the concerned agencies.
“At this point, it (IRR) is with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for signature,” Villar said.
“We’re in discussions with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on the character of the funding because it’s there. So we will coordinate on how we will access and utilize the funds,” he added.
Under Republic Act No. 11239 signed last April 8, MVUC funds will be solely used for road rehabilitation and road drainage projects that shall be itemized in the national budget.
Asked on how DPWH plans to access and use the funds, Villar said the agency is waiting for the inputs of DBM on the “best methodology” to access the said funds.
However, Senator Sonny Angara, chair of the Senate finance committee, pointed out that without Congressional appropriation or authority, “there is no way the DPWH can really release those funds.”
This was echoed by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.
“You cannot have access to these funds unless there is an appropriation. We are already going to October, barely three months left, and the IRR has not been issued and there is no indication that a special budget has been submitted insofar as the MVUC is concerned,” Drilon said.
Drilon also pointed out that the MVUC funds could not also be accessed this year pending the issuance of the IRR.
Senator Imee Marcos then proposed that Congress could pass a supplemental budget following the completion of the IRR. However, she noted that Congress has “had no success at all in passing a supplemental budget.” /kga
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