By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano (left); DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. (center) and Makati Mayor Abigail Binay (right) (File photos)

MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday called on the local governments of Makati and Taguig to ensure the smooth delivery of services while fixing issues arising from their territorial row.

“Ang issue kasi rito is Number 1, dapat yung mga tao tuloy tuloy ang serbisyo. Hindi dapat sila maapektuhan, yun ang importante sa lahat. Hindi dapat, because of this SC (Supreme Court) decision hindi dapat sila maapektuhan dito sa eskwelahan, sa ospital, yung serbisyo tuloy tuloy (The issue here is No. 1, the services that people should not be interrupted. The people should not be made to suffer and that’s paramount. The SC decision should not affect schools, hospitals and services must be uniterrpted),” Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said in a press briefing in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Abalos said he already talked with Makati Mayor Abigail Binay and Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano on the matter, noting that the two sides are now coming up with ways to settle these issues amicably.

The DILG chief also said this should also apply to health facilities and other equipment that are located in the EMBO (Enlisted Men’s Barrio) barangays that would be transferred to Taguig’s jurisdiction.

This came after the two cities traded barbs over the control of the 14 public schools located in villages that would be transferred to Taguig’s jurisdiction in compliance with the ruling of the Supreme Court.

These include the 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 and South Cembo Elementary School.

Last week, Makati City Administrator Claro Certeza said the city plans to file criminal and administrative charges against Taguig for its “forcible attempt” to take over these public schools.

Taguig, however, dismissed Certeza’s claims as false and misleading and cited an Aug. 4 memorandum order from the Department of Education-National Capital Region ordering the transfer of the supervision of these schools from the Division of Makati to the Division of Taguig-Pateros.

On Monday, Cayetano led the kick-off of the “Brigada Eskwela” along with education stakeholders in the schools across the EMBO barangays. (PNA)