Teachers’ coalition calls for smooth transition of 14 Embo schools
MANILA, Philippines — The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), which is composed of both public and private school teachers, appealed on Monday to Makati and Taguig to work for a smooth transition of the 14 public schools affected by a Supreme Court ruling on the two cities’ land dispute.
Around 30,000 public school students are affected by the dispute, which continues despite the ruling just a week before the opening of classes on Aug. 29, the TDC said in a statement.
“We hope the two parties could have reached an agreement to restore the normal school operation,” Noel Meneses, president of the Fort Bonifacio High School Faculty Club, said, speaking on behalf of the local TDC chapter.
Meneses said most of the teachers in those schools were affected by the issues “particularly when the documents are immediately needed for transactions like certifications, assignment orders, permits, or loan applications that are very much needed in time for the beginning of classes.”
He added that teachers should have been informed of the situation affecting the two cities,.
“They are at the frontlines in education, and directly involved with learners, their parents, and the community, and can help the Department of Education (DepEd) to disseminate proper information,” Meneses said.
The 14 schools, whose jurisdiction will be transferred from Makati to Taguig, are located in seven barangays — Pembo, Comembo, Cembo, South Cembo, West Rembo, East Rembo, and Pitogo — collectively known as Embo.
According to the TDC statement, the principals of those schools said they would not have any problem if they would be put under the jurisdiction of Taguig.
This year’s Brigada Eskwela, a yearly preparation of schools led by principals and teachers, was successful, Felix Bunaga, the principal of Makati Science High School, pointed out, noting that Taguig Mayor Laarni Cayetano participated in the activity.
Alma Adona, the principal of the West Rembo Elementary School, echoed the sentiment, saying she welcomed the assumption of the authority of the DepEd Central Office over the 14 as it would ease tension between the two cities.
For his part, Benjo Basas, national chair of the TDC, said: “With just a week until the opening of classes, our schools will need to make preparations, and in order to do this, teachers and other school personnel should be allowed to work, business as usual. We hope that things will get better sooner,”
The issue stemmed from a Supreme Court Decision that ruled that Taguig has the rightful jurisdiction over Fort Bonifacio Military Reservation — where Bonifacio Global City and the Embo barangay are located— and not Makati.
The dispute didn’t stop there, however, after Taguig City announced taking over all the public schools located in barangays affected by the Supreme Court decision, which Makati contested.
Last Aug. 16, DepEd created a transition committee composed of its representatives and those from Taguig and Makati to oversee the crafting of a transition plan for the affected schools.
It also affirmed that the opening of classes in those schools would not be deferred despite the dispute.
Both the Makati and Taguig governments welcomed this, assuring the public that they had ended their dispute over the schools.