Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today said he will ask Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson to explain why some roads in good condition are unnecessarily being repaired while other roads damaged by recent typhoons have yet to be rehabilitated.
Pimentel issued the call after his office received several reports from local commuters and motorists questioning the indiscriminate and unnecessary repair of good roads in Metro Manila as well as the San Luis road in Pampanga and some roads in Mindanao.
"It is indeed puzzling why roads in perfect condition are being subjected to maintenance and improvement works while those damaged by Sendong have been neglected for months. Why do we have to rebuild good roads while other places do not even have roads at all?" he said.
"If these ongoing road repairs are indeed part of the so-called programmed works, the DPWH should go back to its drawing board and review its priority. Prudence and judicious use of public funds dictate that we set our priorities right," he added.
Local residents have complained about the waste of taxpayers' money for the repair of the 300-meter portion of the Sto. Domingo-San Luis-Bahay Pari road located at km. 70 near the Chapel of Sta. Monica, San Luis, Pampanga which used to be in good condition.
Pimentel noted the bad roads when he went from Cagayan de Oro City to Butuan City via Misamis Oriental province and asked why such an important highway has been left in a state of disrepair for a long period of time.
"We can save millions of taxpayers' money if we leave these good roads alone and channel the funds to other roads most in need of immediate repair. Whoever recommended the repair of these good roads should at the very least be made to explain," Pimentel added.
The Senator from Mindanao also asked Secretary Singson, who sits as chairman of the Road Board, to account how the multi-billion revenues collected from the motor vehicle users' charge (MVUC), also known as the road user's tax, are being used.
Revenues from the road user's tax are deposited in four special trust accounts for the road maintenance project: (1) Special Road Support Fund, 80%; (2) Special Local Road Fund, 5%; (3) Special Road Safety Fund, 7.5%; and (4) Special Vehicle Pollution Control Fund, 7.5%.
If the Road Board would once again fail to account in full the revenues from the road user's tax, Pimentel said he will ask Congress to exercise its oversight function with the end-view of abolishing the board that has become a milking cow for some unscrupulous officials.