By Prince Golez
President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the bill seeking to abolish the Road Board, according to Malacanang.
“Yes (we are in favor of the Board’s abolition). You know, kailangan eh,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a media briefing on Tuesday.
“We want that the fund be returned to the Treasury and then let Congress appropriate again for specific purpose,” added Panelo.
In February 2018, the Senate passed Senate Bill No. 1620, seeking to abolish the controversial Road Board due to misuse of funds allegations.
The House of Representatives, on one hand, approved its version, House Bill No. 7436 three months after.
Then, the Senate adopted the House version on September 12, 2018, which rendered any bicameral conference committee unnecessary. Later that day, the lower chamber rescinded approval of the said bill.
On former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s statement that differing positions of Malacanang and some House members over the abolition of the Road Board were the reason why lawmakers want Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno out, Duterte’s mouthpiece said it could be a possibility.
“Could be. We do not know exactly the reason why. That’s the statement of former Speaker Alvarez. We can always speculate. We are not privy to that, so how can we give a categorical statement,” Panelo said.