By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Former Majority Floor Leader and incumbent Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas denied the claim of a fellow lawmaker that he was able to secure the approval of multi-million worth of projects projects using the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC).
In his message to members of House media, Fariñas said Ronnel Tan, Regional Director of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Region 1 told him neither his nor his office any funds coming from the Road Board.
Fariñas made the statement after his successor, current Majority Floor Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr. disclosed a list of Road Board-approved Request for Special Allotment Release Order (SARO), wherein the Ilocos Norte secured more than P277.4 million worth of projects for 2018 under the MVUC which came from the collection of Road User’s Tax.
“I just checked with DPWH Region 1 Director Ronnel Tan and he says that his office or my district did not receive any road board funds… my district has NOT received any Road Board Fund under the present Administration, even when I was the Majority Leader,” said Fariñas.
Fariñas stressed that it was him and ousted Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who were the principal authors for the abolition of the Road Board under House Bill No. 7346 which was approved on final reading under their watch.
The former House official said that the present leadership under Andaya and Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo should should explain the reason for their desire to continue with the present Road Board, even to the point of doing an unprecedented act of recalling a bill already finally approved and transmitted to the Senate.
The Arroyo Speakership last has rescinded the approval of HB 7346 which seeks to transfer the function of the Road Board to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).