VOTING unanimously, the House of Representatives passed on third and final reading the controversial Road Board Abolition bill.
House Bill 7436 got 180 affirmative votes. No one objected to its passage during Monday's plenary session.
The measure was approved days after the Senate and the House of Representatives agreed to abolish the Road Board and transfer its funds to the general fund under the General Appropriations Act.
Former House majority leader Rolando Andaya Jr. earlier said the Congress will hold a bicameral conference committee hearing on the measure as requested by the Senate to make sure that it will be elevated to Malacañang for signing.
The two chambers of Congress earlier had a standoff on the Road Board Abolition bill as the Senate leaders claimed it is already up for President Rodrigo Duterte's signing after it adopted the House’s version of the measure.
The House leaders argued, though, that there is no bill to sign and there is no bicameral conference committee hearing forthcoming as they have rescinded the third reading approval of the measure.
Andaya earlier said the third reading approval was recalled as the original bill did not seek to abolish the Road Board but only transferred the power of the seven-man board to disburse the road users’ tax to the secretaries of the Department of Public Works and Highway, Department of Transportation, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The standoff stemmed from former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s exposes that lawmakers allied with House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo rescinded the approval of HB 7436, as they do not want the Road Board abolished so they could get more kickbacks from the board and control the proceeds of the road users’ tax. (SunStar Philippines)