LGUs in the Philippines

DepEd intervenes in Makati-Taguig tiff, takes over schools in EMBO barangays

Ryan Macasero

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DepEd intervenes in Makati-Taguig tiff, takes over schools in EMBO barangays

SCHOOL. A huge tarpaulin that reads 'This property is owned by Makati City' is posted on the gate of Fort Bonifacio Elementary School on August 14, 2023.


(1st UPDATE) The Department of Education central office places under its direct authority 14 public schools in the Fort Bonifacio EMBO barangays

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) central office has placed under its direct authority 14 public schools located in the Enlisted Men’s Barrio (EMBO) barangays in southern Metro Manila that were recently transferred by the Supreme Court from Makati City to Taguig City.

Vice President Sara Duterte, in her capacity as concurrent DepEd secretary, signed Memorandum No. 23-2023, which was released on Wednesday, August 16.

Duterte’s memo hopefully defuses the tension between the two cities. What snapped the already taut atmosphere in Fort Bonifacio’s EMBO areas was Taguig’s taking over of the public schools in the barangays on Monday while Makati was insisting that a writ of execution from the High Court was needed to do this.

On August 14, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano led the Brigada Eskwela activities in the EMBO public schools. Her actions were backed by a DepEd memorandum dated August 4, 2023, from National Captial Region Director Wilfredo Cabral. The memo said that 14 public schools in the EMBO localities were now under the management of the Division of Taguig-Pateros. 

Duterte’s memo superseded that DepEd NCR notice.

“Hence, in pursuit of protecting the best interest and welfare of our learners, teachers, and non-teaching personnel, the Office of the Secretary shall directly supervise the management and administration of all 14 schools, pending a transition plan, effective immediately,” Duterte’s memo read.

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Taguig takes over public schools in EMBO barangays 

Taguig takes over public schools in EMBO barangays 

The schools that would be under DepEd’s supervision include:

  • Makati Science High School
  • Comembo Elementary School
  • Rizal Elementary School
  • Pembo Elementary School
  • Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino High School
  • Tibagan High School
  • Fort Bonifacio Elementary School
  • Fort Bonifacio High School
  • Pitogo Elementary School
  • Pitogo High School
  • Cembo Elementary School
  • East Rembo Elementary School
  • West Rembo Elementary School
  • South Cembo Elementary School

The Vice President’s memo said: “During the transition period, all activities to be conducted within the premises of and/or in relation to the subject public schools, including those from the Local Government Units of Makati and Taguig, shall require prior approval from the Office of the Secretary (Osec).”

“Further, the concerned school heads shall directly report and defer to the Office of the Secretary on matters pertaining to the daily operations of the subject public schools,” it added.

The mayors of both Metro Manila cities “welcomed” the intervention while a transition committee prepared for the proper turnover of the schools.

“We welcome the decision of Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte to take over the management and supervision of the 14 schools. We look forward to working wholeheartedly with the transition team created by the Vice President,” Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay said in a statement.

“This decision will greatly ease the worries and concerns of our students, parents and teachers. Kaisa kami ni Vice President Sara sa kanyang layunin. Unahin natin ang kapakanan ng ating mga guro, mga kabataan at kanilang mga magulang (Let’s prioritize the well-being of our teachers, youth, and their parents),” she added.

Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano said in a statement that the takeover by the central office allowed all parties to “move forward.”

“Her decision to immediately form a Transition Committee without the need for a Writ of Execution, a move that was welcomed by Mayor Binay herself, puts an end to that issue and allows all parties to move forward for the benefit of the community,” Cayetano said. – Rappler.com

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Nobuhiko Matsunaka


Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at ryan.macasero@rappler.com