Makati: Taguig rejected free school supplies for students in disputed areas; offer still stands
MANILA, Philippines — The city government of Makati on Monday said that Taguig City rejected its offer to provide free school supplies to 14 public schools caught up in a territorial dispute between the two cities, which the Supreme Court (SC) resolved in favor of Taguig.
Makati City Administrator Claro Certeza said Taguig City officials rejected the offer in a meeting in July 2023 with both Makati Mayor Abby Binay and Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, as well as officials of the Department of Education present in the gathering.
He said 30,000 public school students could have benefited from the free uniforms, shoes, supplies, and other school needs.
“We have offered an arrangement that would benefit the students. But Taguig rejected it,” Certeza said in a statement released by the Makati government.
Certeza explained that Binay proposed a status quo where Makati will continue its services in the affected schools to avoid disruption in school operations, but Taguig officials rejected the proposal and instead told Makati to stop distributing the students’ school needs starting this school year.
Certeza urged Taguig anew to reconsider the offer for the sake of affected students, adding that it would greatly ease the burden of many parents.
“Alang-alang sa kapakanan ng mga kabataan at mga mamamayan ng sampung apektadong barangay, hayaan niyo na kaming magbigay ng libreng gamit at supplies ng mga estudyante. Sila po sana ang unahin natin,” Certeza said.
(For the sake of the youth and the residents of the ten affected barangays, please allow us to provide free school supplies to the students. Let us make them our priority.)
“Nawa’y mangibabaw ang malasakit sa mga mamamayan at magtulungan tayo upang hindi maapektuhan ang kanilang kapakanan at pamumuhay,” he added.
(May our concern for the residents prevail and let us all work together for their welfare.)
Certeza said Makati has already asked the Commission on Audit for guidance on proceeding with the proposal.
The SC third division denied the Makati City government’s request to file a second motion for reconsideration regarding its territorial dispute with Taguig, effectively declaring that Taguig has jurisdiction over Fort Bonifacio Military Reservation — where Bonifacio Global City is located — and ordered Makati’s city government to stop exercising its authority within the area.
Taguig City announced taking over all the public schools in barangays affected by the Supreme Court decision on the boundary dispute between the two cities.
Over the weekend, the city government of Makati accused Taguig of “forcibly taking over” the said public schools, even calling for appropriate criminal and administrative charges.
Makati explained that while the SC resolved a boundary dispute, “it did not transfer to Taguig ownership of properties owned by the City of Makati.”
The following are the 14 public schools affected by the dispute between the two cities:
-Makati Science High School
-Fort Bonifacio Elementary School
-Cembo Elementary School
-South Cembo Elementary School
-Pitogo Elementary School
-East Rembo Elementary School
-Rizal Elementary School
-Comembo Elementary School
-West Rembo Elementary School
-Pembo Elementary School
-Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino High School
-Tibagan High School
-Fort Bonifacio High School
-Pitogo High School.
INQUIRER.net reached out to Taguig City for a comment but has yet to receive a response as of posting time.