Alan Cayetano on Fort Bonifacio row: Nothing final
MANILA, Philippines – As far as Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is concerned, Fort Bonifacio is "legally, factually, historically" part of Taguig and not of Makati.
The former Taguig congressman – whose wife Lani Cayetano is now the city mayor – was reacting to possible changes that the Court of Appeals' decision might bring. On Monday, the court said 730 hectares of Fort Bonifacio, which covers among other areas the Bonifacio Global City development, belongs to Makati.
In an interview with reporters Tuesday, August 6, the senator acknowledged the decision would be a huge blow to Taguig's finances, but said he was confident this would not be implemented.
"Aside from [Taguig's claim] being legally sound, this will be a long process. Taguig can file for motion for reconsideration and we can bring this up to the Supreme Court," Cayetano said.
A huge chunk of taxes collected by Taguig comes from establishments and properties in Fort Bonifacio, said Cayetano. "Napakayaman na ng Makati. Napakalaki ng budget nila," he added. (Makati is already wealthy. They have a huge budget.)
Cayetano also linked the Makati-Taguig boundary row to a bigger national issue – the distribution of funds among cities. "Ang nangyayari, ang mga siyudad at mga municipality na mahihirap, lalong humihirap. Ang mayayaman, lalong yumayaman," he said. (What's happening now? Poor cities become poorer, while rich cities become richer.)
Cayetano also addressed the concerns of the business sector in Fort Bonifacio. "There will be no sudden or immediate change. The decision is not yet executory," he said.
Taxes for businesses are lower in Taguig, sparking concerns that business who've set up show in Fort Bonifacio would change the way their business are run.
A lot of businesses have moved their headquarters to Fort Bonifacio, said Cayetano, "not because of location but because of the way the city is run." – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com