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MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) appealed to teachers in the 14 Enlisted Men’s Barrio (EMBO) barangays not to engage in partisan activities in the tussle between Makati and Taguig over their areas.
“We should not be in the middle of any controversy but make them focus on their studies. We are counting so much on the teachers as balancers of the issues and do not engage in any partisan activities,” DepEd Undersecretary Francis Bringas told school heads of Pitogo High School on the first day of classes on Tuesday, August 29.
Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that EMBO barangays and Fort Bonifacio, which had long been under the jurisdiction of Makati were part of Taguig.
Despite the finality of the decision, the two cities fought over some properties in the contested areas. Makati said that Taguig should lease the public schools in the EMBO areas since it was their local government which funded these.
Bringas stressed the need to prioritize the welfare of the students.
“Whether you’re originally from Makati and now you’re Taguig, what’s important is you put the best interest of the learners,” he said.
“You guard and spare the learners from all these controversies because they need to focus on their studies and that’s why you are here,” he added.
A few weeks before the start of classes, the DepEd central office assumed control over 14 EMBO schools.
Before this, during the Brigada Eskwela, tension emerged between the two cities after Taguig took over the 14 public schools in EMBO.
Some students and parents said that the dispute between the two cities caused the delay in the distribution of school supplies and uniforms.
As the Makati government provides uniforms to students, while the promised uniforms from Taguig are underway, Bringas said that students should be allowed to wear both uniforms and receive school supplies. – Rappler.com