Duterte to uti­lize Road User’s Tax for hos­pi­tal needs, Manila Bay clean-up

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Nation -

PRES­I­DENT Ro­drigo Duterte has sought to use a por­tion of the multi­bil­lion-peso Road User’s Tax funds for hos­pi­tal needs and mas­sive clean-up of Manila Bay, Mala­cañang said on Tues­day, Jan­uary 8.

This de­vel­oped just days af­ter Duterte an­nounced that he would tap the funds col­lected by the cor­rupt-rid­den Road Board for the flood-mit­i­ga­tion projects in Bi­col Re­gion, which was dev­as­tated by Trop­i­cal De­pres­sion Us­man.

Duterte made the de­ci­sion dur­ing a meet­ing with his Cab­i­net of­fi­cials at Mala­cañan Palace on Mon­day, Jan­uary 7.

“The Cab­i­net also dis­cussed that the spe­cial road funds can be used to fi­nance hos­pi­tal needs and the clean-up of the Manila Bay,” Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Sal­vador Panelo said in a state­ment.

“A por­tion of the fund can also be used to ben­e­fit those af­fected by Trop­i­cal De­pres­sion Us­man es­pe­cially those in the Bi­col Re­gion,” he added.

Panelo also noted that dur­ing the Cab­i­net meet­ing, Duterte re­it­er­ated the

need to cre­ate a dis­as­ter depart­ment “to ad­dress the emerg­ing chal­lenges to dis­as­ter re­siliency.”

Duterte has main­tained his stance that the Road Board, which be­came a “milk­ing cow” of cor­rupt gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, must be abol­ished.

On Jan­uary 4, the Pres­i­dent said he would con­vince Congress to pass a mea­sure that would abol­ish the Road Board, which over­sees taxes col­lected from road users.

“We will work to­gether, con­vince Congress [to abol­ish Road Board]. Wala na­man si­lang ma­g­awa ta­laga diyan. Ayoko ta­laga. Maski saan niyo ila­gay, I will not re­lease any single cen­tavo there. Nanghi­hi­nayang ako,” he said dur­ing a Jan­uary 4 sit­u­a­tion briefing on the ef­fects of Us­man held in Pili, Ca­marines Sur.

(We will work to­gether, con­vince Congress [to abol­ish Road Board]. They can’t do any­thing be­cause I don’t like it. I will not re­lease any single cen­tavo there be­cause it would be a waste of time.)

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