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Classes in Disputed Makati-Taguig Schools to Push Through on August 29, Says DepEd

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The Department of Education (DepEd) confirmed that the previously announced opening of classes on August 29 will proceed in the 14 public schools currently embroiled in a territorial dispute between the cities of Makati and Taguig.

“Yes, of course, precisely,” affirmed DepEd Assistant Secretary Francis Bringas during his appearance on GMA Integrated News’ Unang Balita. He was responding to queries about whether the academic commencement would proceed as planned in the aforementioned institutions.

“Kaya tayo nag-assume ng authority over these schools para ma-assure ang ating mga parents at mag-aaral na tuloy pa rin ang pago-open natin sa August 29 in the 14 schools,” Bringas elucidated.

(Translated: That is the reason we assumed authority over these schools, to assure our parents and students that classes will open in these 14 schools on August 29.)

Read more: DepEd Adjusts K to 10 Curriculum, Excludes Mother Tongue as a Separate Subject

A department order from August 16 detailed DepEd’s concerns regarding the “increasing tension” due to the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Makati-Taguig territorial contention, which resulted in doubts over the “peaceful and orderly reopening of schools on August 29, 2023.”

The department revealed that the Office of the Secretary (OSec), led by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, will now oversee the disputed schools directly while they work out a transition strategy.

In 2021, a pivotal judgment from the Supreme Court declared parcels 3 and 4, psu-2031 of the Fort Bonifacio Military Reservation to be within the jurisdiction of Taguig City. Subsequent pleas from Makati for a review of this decision were rebuffed in 2022 and 2023.

The implications of this ruling are vast, as around 30,000 pupils from the enlisted men’s barrios (EMBO) schools in 10 barangays, formerly under Makati’s jurisdiction, now find themselves at the epicenter of this urban contention.

Additionally, Assistant Secretary Bringas, in the same television discussion, mentioned DepEd’s anticipation of approximately 28 million students enrolling for the current academic year.

He also touched upon contingency plans for areas still grappling with flooding due to adverse weather conditions. Alternative teaching modalities will be introduced in these regions. Moreover, in educational establishments where certain classrooms remain inundated, the department intends to conduct classes in shifts.

Read: Matatag Curriculum Detailed Subjects Per Grade Level


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