THE Senate and the House of Representatives have agreed to push for a measure that will abolish the corruption-plagued Road Board, House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said on Wednesday, January 16.

According to Andaya, the consensus between the Congress leaders was reached after a meeting with Senate Leaders including Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on the evening of January 15.

“Common sense and real reform are winners in the agreement to genuinely abolish the Road Board,” Andaya said in a statement.

The majority leader did not divulge if there is a forthcoming bicameral conference committee on the controversial provisions of the Road Board bill or the House Bill 7436.

Senators earlier said the bicameral conference committee into House Bill 7436 is no longer needed as it already adopted the House’s version of the measure last September while Andaya insisted on pushing for the bicameral conference committee hearing as the House of Representatives earlier rescinded the third reading approval of the measure.

Andaya earlier explained that the House junked the bill as it did not completely abolish the seven-man road board but only sought to enable the “Three Powerful Roadboard Kings” — DPWH (Department of Publc Works and Highway), DOTR (Departent of Transportation) and DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) secretaries to hold and dispose of the road users’ tax.

Andaya also clarified that under HB 7436, the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge collected will not go to the general fund. He also said that the House also opposes the new spending criteria under the bill that is not road-related.

Andaya said the bill that will abolish the Road Board is now on its way to the president.

“The House-Senate consensus spared the President of signing a defective bill, which some powerful interests wanted him to. The attempt to hoodwink the President has been foiled,” Andaya said.

“We are glad that, finally, a bill which will genuinely abolish the Road Board, and treat MVUC collections as part of the General Fund, under the one fund concept, is now on the way to the President,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)