Lawmakers got P1.2B from road fund
The Commission on Audit (COA) has found that some P1.2 billion worth of funds from the motor vehicles users charge (MVUC) were improperly released for unspecified road projects, and given to legislative districts instead of public works offices in 2010.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released the funds without a request for funding from the Road Board, the COA said in its 2010 audit report on the Road Board.
The DBM also released another P110 million for projects that had not been evaluated by the Department of Public Works and Highways, the audit agency said.
By contrast, no funds were released for P970 million worth of projects that had been approved for MVUC funding, the COA said.
The COA also called attention to the misappropriation of P167.2 million in MVUC funds for a Philippine National Police project, the Out of School Youth Serving Towards Economic Resiliency, or Oyster program, which hires jobless youths for road work.
All these fund releases were in violation of the purpose of the MVUC, COA said.
It said legislators were given the discretion to choose the projects for implementation. Moreover, the funds were released for projects that had not been evaluated by the DPWH or selected based on established criteria and procedures.
“Issuing the Saros [special allotment release orders] without specifying the names of the projects to be implemented and releasing the same directly to the legislative district gave the legislators of the concerned districts the preference to choose which projects to implement,” COA said.
The MVUC, also known as the road users’ tax, is collected from vehicle owners to fund the maintenance of public roads.
In its 2010 audit report on the Road Board, the COA said the DBM issued P1.12 billion worth of Saros without the corresponding request for funding from the Road Board Secretariat, and without the specific names of the projects to be implemented.
At the same time, the COA found that there were unreleased Saros for P970 million worth of approved projects.
It said the Road Board had requested the implementation of the projects, but the DBM had not released the funds, resulting in the further deterioration of roads.
Originally posted at 09:43 pm | Tuesday, October 25, 2011