The Road User’s Tax or more formally known as the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC) Act of 2000 has had varying degrees of support from both Houses of Congress – Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III sought its abolition in 2016 citing mismanagement and corruption whereas Representative Sharon Garin filed a bill in July 2017 to increase the MVUC annually.

Last September 27, 2017, the House Committee on Public Works and Highways chaired by Rep. Celso Lobregat (1st District, Zamboanga City) convened to hear new bills that were filed to amend the MVUC Act of 2000.

Approval of House Bill 3680 on the third reading during the 15th Congress was discussed and its stipulations brought up. It cited the need to create four special trust accounts in the National Treasury, namely the Special Road Support Fund (85% of the MVUC), Special Local Road Fund (5% of the MVUC), Special Road Safety Fund (5% of the MVUC) and Special Vehicle Pollution Control Fund 5% of the MVUC).

The bill states that “The Special Road Support Fund, the Special Local Road Fund and the Special Road Safety Fund shall be under the Department of Public Works and Highways, whereas the Special Vehicle Pollution Control Fund shall be under the Department of Transportation and Communications (which is now the Department of Transportation DOTr).

New bills to appropriate Road User’s tax for road safety and Driver’s Ed

It also specifies that 70% of the Special Road Support Fund will be used exclusively for the maintenance of, and the improvement of drainage of, national primary roads.

The remaining 30% will be allocated and used for the maintenance and improvement of drainage of national and secondary roads around the country.

Special Road Safety Fund will be used for the installation of traffic lights and road safety devices all over the Philippines.

New bills filed in the 17th Congress are as follows:

HB 943 authored by Navotas City Rep. Tobias "Toby" Tiangco seeks to exempt tricycles from paying road user’s tax citing the fact that tricycles are not allowed to use national roads and to also reduce their expenses.

HB 5570 filed by Rep. Mario Vittorio "Marvey" Mariño (5th District, Batangas) wants a portion of the MVUC to be used to pay for the electricity costs used by street lights, traffic lights, and other road safety devices installed on national roads.

HB 5804 from Rep. Luis Raymund "LRay" Villafuerte Jr. (2nd District, Camarines Sur) wants to increase the rates of the MVUC based on inflation rates from 2005 to 2017. After which it will automatically increase by 4% annually.

HB 4467 sponsored by Rep. Ana Cristina Siquian Go (2nd District, Isabela) instructs the inclusion of driver’s education subjects in the Senior High School curriculum and will use 5% of the MVUC to fund the proposal.

HR 1259 authored by Rep. Evelina Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon) calls for an investigation into the alleged mismanagement of the MVUC funds based on the findings of the Commission on Audit regarding the ‘unreconciled balances of the MVUC funds as per the records of agencies involved in the collection, remittance and use of the said funds.’

Expressing support for the various bills were representatives from the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Road Board, Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Committee Chair Lobregat is in the process of creating a technical working group to consolidate all the bills.