Catholic Church

In Makati-Taguig dispute, here’s one thing that won’t change for EMBOs

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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In Makati-Taguig dispute, here’s one thing that won’t change for EMBOs

NO CHANGES. The five Catholic parishes in EMBO barangays won't move to another diocese.

Mary Mirror of Justice Parish

‘The five parishes in the EMBO barangays will remain in the Archdiocese of Manila,’ spokesperson Father Reginald Malicdem tells Rappler

From postal addresses to the management of schools and hospitals, many changes have rocked EMBO barangays nearly a year after the Supreme Court ruled they belong to Taguig, not Makati. 

Now, it’s the Makati Park and Garden that the Taguig City government padlocked on Sunday, March 3, for operating without a permit. Makati shot back by calling Taguig a “bully,”  while a group called “Defend Makati” held a prayer vigil.

What else do the heavens have in store for EMBO residents?

If it’s any consolation, at least for the Catholics among them, here’s one thing that will stay the same: jurisdiction over parishes.

For the longest time, the five parishes of the 10 EMBO barangays belonged to the Archdiocese of Manila, which covers the cities of Makati, Manila, Pasay, San Juan, and Mandaluyong. The Manila archdiocese is led by Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula

It’s the Diocese of Pasig – under Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara – that handles the cities of Pasig and Taguig, as well as the town of Pateros.

But no, the EMBO parishes won’t move to the Diocese of Pasig.

Father Reginald Malicdem, vicar general and spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Manila, told Rappler on Monday, March 4: “The five parishes in the EMBO barangays will remain in the Archdiocese of Manila. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction does not necessarily follow the civil jurisdiction.”

The following are the Catholic parishes in the EMBO barangays, according to Malicdem:

  • Saint John Mary Vianney Parish, Cembo
  • Mater Dolorosa Parish, East Rembo
  • Santa Teresita Parish, West Rembo
  • Mary, Mirror of Justice Parish, Comembo
  • Saint John of the Cross Parish, Pembo

While dioceses are named after prominent cities, their composition is oftentimes mixed and – if viewed through the lens of local government units – inconsistent. 

It’s one reason, for example, why the Diocese of Kalookan (spelled with a K) covers not only the southern part of Caloocan City (spelled with a C), but also Malabon and Navotas. And did you know that the northern part of Caloocan is under the Diocese of Novaliches, along with the northern part of Quezon City?

The jurisdiction of the dioceses, Malicdem explained, depends on the Vatican.

Whew, at least a little stability for EMBO residents in these tumultuous times. –

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email