Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 16) — Taguig on Tuesday denied it rejected Makati’s offer to continue providing school supplies to public school students affected by their territorial dispute.
“Makati City Administrator Claro Certeza is again lying to the public when he announced that officials of Taguig City rejected an offer from Makati to continue providing free uniforms, shoes, supplies and other school needs of some 30,000 public schools students,” the local government said in a statement.
“Atty. Certeza alleges that the offer was made during a meeting called by the Department of Education (DepEd) which was attended by both Mayors Abby Binay of Makati and Lani Cayetano of Taguig. What he deliberately fails to disclose is that he himself was not present during the meeting held on July 18,” it added.
WATCH: Around 30,000 students in Makati affected by territorial row with Taguig
During the meeting, Taguig said Binay threatened to close down all enlisted men’s barrio (EMBO) public schools unless it pays for the cost of the school buildings or pays rent for their use.
“That was the first and only matter she wanted to talk about during the meeting… She (Binay) was using the students as bargaining chips for her misguided cause,” it added.
In response, Mayor Lani Cayetano said the issue of ownership or reimbursement should be deferred as it only distracts the two cities from urgent issues that need to be addressed.
She added that focus should be for the opening of the upcoming school year.
READ: Taguig denies ‘forcible’ takeover of EMBO schools from Makati
The local government said Binay withdrew her threat after DepEd agreed with Taguig’s position.
“Despite all the obstacles, delays, and difficulties thrown its way, Taguig is ready to extend to our new students in EMBO all the benefits that we presently give to our students,” it added.
Taguig also vowed to grant ₱15,000-₱110,000 worth of scholarships for students taking vocational and two-year or four-year courses, master’s and doctorate degrees, and those reviewing for board and bar exams.