Press Release
November 9, 2010


SENATOR Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. today urged the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to hasten the repair of roads in typhoon-battered Cagayan Valley . Aside from being essential in the agricultural productivity of the region, Revilla also cited the importance of access and mobility.

"These roads connect farms to markets. Without them, transport of agricultural products such as rice, corn and sugarcane to the major market and food processing facilities will adversely be affected. Even the inflow of assistance and support to affected areas will be delayed," he said.

While the senator lauded the public works department for taking immediate action on the restoration of main roads, which were also destroyed by super typhoon "Juan" last month, he said the DPWH must now work double-time.

Presently, seven road sections in the Cagayan Valley Region are closed to traffic due to floods and landslide.

In Cagayan, the Divisoria Bridge along Cagayan Valley Road, Maguilling Overflow Bridge , Tuao-Orga Bridge and Sarabay Bridge along Cagayan-Apayao Road and Penge-Ruyu Section of Tuguegarao Diversion Road are still impassable.

In Isabela province, the Cabagan-Sta. Maria Overflow Bridge along Cabagan-Sta. Maria Road , Rang-Ayan Section along Ilagan-Bigao-Palanan Road , Kilometer 445 and 449 along Daang Maharlika Highway and Abbut-Quezon Section along Santiago-Tuguegarao Road are still affected by flood.

In Kalinga, the Balbalan-Pinukpok Road , Lubuagan-Batong Buhay-Abra Road and Calanan-Abbut Road and the Kilometer 403 Mt. Province-Cagayan via Tabuk Enrile Road are still not passable.

In Central Luzon, the Kilometer 181 along Nueva Ecija-Aurora Road , Brgy. Dianed Section, Dinadiawan Section, Brgy. Simbahan Section, Brgy. along Baler Casiguran Road are not passable because of flooded river and landslide.

Bong Revilla called on the government to fund the reconstruction and repair of secondary roads through the road user's tax collections.

"This is where the Motor Vehicle Users' Charge (MVUC) should go," he said.

In 2000, then President Joseph Estrada approved Republic Act No. 8794 which imposed a 100-percent increase in the registration fees of motor vehicles. This measure was implemented purposely to increase funds for road maintenance and improvement.

According to the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the road user's tax collections from 2001 to 2009 reached P60 billion. Recently, a resolution was filed to investigate the alleged misuse of road user's tax collections. According to the Commission on Audit (COA), the Road Board had irregular balances and unexplained expenses amounting to millions of pesos.

"These funds will sustain us to build infrastructure that will respond to the needs of the 21st century," he said, adding that "while we do not have control of natural calamities, we do have control of improving our infrastructure. It is about time that we do have smart system of infrastructure that will stand natural catastrophes."

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