Senate Probe Looms Over Irregularities in Road Users’ Tax

The Senate is set to investigate alleged irregularities and misuse of the Motor Vehicle Users’ Charge (MVUC), also known as the Road Users Tax under the past administration. 

Lacson joined Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Teofisto Guingona III in filing Senate Resolution 520 to look into the use of P8.547 million from the MVUC to a youth “emergency employment program.”

“These releases appear to be in violation of Republic Act 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act because … all monies collected under RA 8794 should have been earmarked solely and used exclusively for the maintenance and improvement of road drainage, installation of adequate and efficient traffic lights and road safety and air pollution control, and NOT established to address underemployment or drug problems of the youth,” they said in their resolution.

In their resolution, Lacson and Guingona questioned the Metro Manila units of the Department of Public Works and Highways and Philippine National Police entering a Memorandum of Agreement in November 2005.

Under the MOA, the DPWH-NCR transferred to the PNP-NCRPO P8.547 million for the alleged hiring of workers and payment of their salaries under an emergency employment program, the “Out of School Youth Serving Towards Economic Recovery” (OYSTER).

Also, the two noted a Commission on Audit report that liquidated documents submitted by the Philippine National Police to the Department of Public Works and Highways may be considered “defective.”

Worse, the COA report had noted the signatures appearing the payrolls and daily time records have the same strokes, and the signatures at times “appear to have been made by one and the same person.”

Republic Act 8794 requires owners of motor vehicles to pay the MVUC to the Land Transportation Office, with the funds to be used only for road maintenance, and improvement of road drainages, installation of traffic lights and road safety devices and air pollution devices.

“From January 2001 to December 2010, P70.393 billion MVUC collections were deposited (to four special trust accounts for the purpose),” Lacson and Guingona noted.