ROAD accidents claimed 418 lives last year, which means that there is a road fatality every 21 hours in Metro Manila (National apital Region or NCR).
Records of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) showed that there were 90,258 road accidents in 2014.
The alarming figures caught the attention of Senator Ralph Recto, who is now calling for the effective use of the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC) or Road User’s Tax in keeping roads safe and in preventing road fatalities.
Recto said under the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the MVUC law, road user’s tax can be used not only for “traffic signals, markings, lanes, traffic channelization techniques, traffic calming measures,” but also for “road safety, education and training programs.”
This, according to the senator, can be invoked in buying ambulances that can be stationed on traffic-prone highways, patrol cars that can run after speeding vehicles at night and tow trucks to clear roads of stalled vehicles.
Under Republic Act 8794 or the MUVC law, road user’s tax collections will be placed in four special accounts in the National Treasury: Special Road Support Fund (80 percent), Special Local Road Fund (5 percent), Special Vehicle Pollution Control Fund (7.5 percent) and Special Road Safety Fund (7.5 percent).
Aside from the P9.918 billion in Special Road Support Fund treated as an off-budget resource of the Department of Public Works and Highways, the agency can also access P1.04 billion for “Special Road Safety Fund” projects while the Department of Transportation and Communications can also tap P802 million for anti-pollution programs.
Recto said the money pooled from road users should be used in making the roads safe for motorist as well as pedestrians.