By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Former Majority Floor Leader and incumbent Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas has secured more than P277.4 million worth of projects for 2018 under the Road Board fund, according to the present House leadership.
Majority Floor Leader Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr. who replaced Fariñas following the July 23 House coup d’état said his predecessor based on the Road Board’s List of Approved and Ready for Release Allocations has five approved projects totaling to P277,441,211 that were funded using the proceeds of the Road User’s Tax officially known as the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC).
Among the Road Board-approved proposal of Fariñas include the road repairs of Laog-Balaccad Road and of the Laoag-Sarrat-Piddig-Solosona Road. The two projects cost P100 million each.
Fariñas was also able to secure the funding for slope protections projects along Laoag-Sarrat-Pidding Solsona Road (P36,250,000) and along Ilocos Norte-Apayao Road (P31 million).
The former House official also has a Road Board-approved road sign project along Laoag-Sarrat-Pidding Solsona Road amounting to P10.191 million.
In response to supposed list which was disclosed by Andaya, Fariñas said his district “has not received any Road Board Fund under the present administration” even when he was still the Majority Leader of the lower house.
“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,” said Fariñas.
Andaya said that he was forced to released the list of Request for Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) in response to the allegations made by Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno that he and Minority Floor Leader Danilo Suarez (Quezon Province) had asked the cabinet official about releasing the funds in the Road Board.
He stressed neither he nor House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo have secured the approval of any projects for their respective legislative districts under the Road Board funds.