Deped cools Taguig-Makati ‘tension’ over 14 schools
Citing the “growing tension” over the operation of 14 public schools caught in the turf war between the cities of Makati and Taguig, the Department of Education (DepEd) said that, effective immediately, it would “supervise the management and administration” of the affected campuses pending the creation of transition plan by a committee.
In an order released on Wednesday, DepEd said all activities in the 14 schools must first be approved by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte who directed their respective heads to directly report to her and to defer to her office matters regarding their schools’ daily operations.
Duterte also tapped the Philippine National Police to ensure the strict implementation of the order.
The agency also announced the formation of a transition committee composed of the two cities’ Schools Division superintendents and legal officers, along with a DepEd regional director from outside the National Capital Region.
The committee was tasked with preparing a physical inventory of all the properties involved, collate transition documents that include a complete list of existing contracts on the operations of the 14 schools, and a final transition plan.
In a statement, DepEd said it was looking forward to “a peaceful and orderly opening of classes on Aug. 29” after noting that the growing tension in the affected schools had caused uncertainty among students, parents, teachers and school employees.
LGUs back decision
The local governments of Makati and Taguig welcomed the DepEd’s decision, with both vowing to work closely with the transition team.
“This decision will greatly ease the worries and concerns of our students, parents and teachers,” Makati Mayor Abby Binay said in a statement.
The DepEd order is “a step forward in ensuring the uninterrupted and quality education students deserve,” she added.
The Taguig City government thanked Duterte for finding a way to balance out the issue “without a need for re-litigation.”
“With [the] DepEd order which specifically lists the collation of ‘transition documents’ as a priority, we hope to finally receive the data that we had been requesting from Makati that would allow Taguig to extend assistance to those affected more effectively,” it said.
Need for a writ
Tensions grew over the weekend after the Makati City government accused Taguig officials of trying to take over the 14 public schools without a writ of execution or legal order.
The Taguig City government, on the other hand, cited an order issued by the DepEd NCR office which placed the affected schools under the supervision of the Schools Division of Taguig-Pateros.
But Makati City Administrator Claro Certeza insisted that Taguig officials first secure a writ of execution from the lower court which first handled the land dispute case before they could implement the Supreme Court’s 2021 decision transferring to their jurisdiction the 10 “Embo” barangays, including the 14 public schools in these areas.