Taguig blasts Makati: It is operating on premise it owns the establishments
MANILA (UPDATE) — Makati City on Sunday accused Taguig City of rejecting an agreement on the transfer of data, services, and health facilities in the areas affected by the Supreme Court decision, saying this was "unreasonable."
In a statement, Makati City Administrator Claro Certeza said they proposed a memorandum of agreement for 8 barangay health centers, the Ospital ng Makati, and data of its patients "aimed to facilitate the smooth transfer of Makati-owned health facilities to its jurisdiction."
The Taguig city government has dismissed the claim as false information, and accused Makati of acting in bad faith.
The agreement includes a credit line in the Ospital ng Makati to Taguig, Certeza said, which would help ensure that affected residents would still have access to the hospital's services.
This credit line will have millions in funding from Makati City to "avoid any disruption in health care services," he said.
"[The credit line shall] function as a financial safety net, enabling Taguig City to provide essential health care services to its residents without immediate upfront payments, particularly in cases where beneficiaries may not have the means to cover their medical costs themselves," the Makati statement read.
The City of Taguig, based on the statement, rejected the agreement "without valid reason."
"Unfortunately, Taguig seems adamant about taking over our hospital and health centers without acknowledging our ownership rights,” Certeza said.
"Mayor Cayetano refused to even consider the proposal, opting to put off any discussions regarding OsMak, purportedly in deference to the wishes of the Health Secretary,” he added.
Cayetano said the Department of Health will facilitate the discussions on the Ospital ng Makati instead, based on the statement.
Makati Mayor Abby Binay also supposedly offered Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano the option to lease, buy the land, and improve the 8 health centers appraised by the Commission on Audit.
This has also been rejected, the Makati local government said.
"Cayetano has declined the offer, again citing a supposed directive from the Health Secretary to 'exclude the issue of ownership in the transition process,'" the statement read.
Aside from these, the Taguig government also thumbed down the proposed data sharing agreement with Makati City.
The Makati government said this data sharing deal sought to safeguard the privacy of the previous and current patients of the 8 health centers in Cembo, Comembo, East Rembo, Pembo, Pitogo, Rizal, South Cembo and West Rembo.
ABS-CBN News has sought comment from Health Secretary Ted Herbosa regarding the facility and data transfer at the Ospital ng Makati, but he has yet to respond as of this story's posting.
WHAT TAGUIG SAID
The Taguig government on Monday criticized Makati City for spreading what it described as false information.
In a statement, Taguig said the local government was operating on a "false premise" that it owns the land and the health centers.
The health department will facilitate the transfer of health facilities beginning next month, said Taguig.
"This 'unwavering stance' that the land and facilities built thereon 'unequivocally remain firmly under the purview of the City Government of Makati' shamelessly violates the agreement with the DOH for both Makati and Taguig NOT to take up ownership claims of the land and buildings while the transition discussions are on-going so as not to derail the prime objective of a smooth transition of jurisdiction from Makati to Taguig," the statement read.
"In making its ownership claim non-negotiable, when the agreement with the DOH was to temporarily shelve the issue, Makati acts in utter bad faith and with reckless disregard to the welfare of their former residents," it added.
"Makati took DOH and Taguig for a ride as Makati had no intention all along to negotiate unless Taguig yields first to Makati’s baseless claim of ownership."
The Taguig government challenged Makati instead to show the public its land titles on the said establishments, saying it defied previous injunctions and went through with the improvement of the 10 affected barangays "despite being aware of the flaws in its titles."
For decades, Taguig City and Makati City have been at odds over the ownership of the disputed properties, as well as the renowned financial district BGC, also known as Fort Bonifacio or The Fort.
Following battles in lower courts which started in 1993, the Supreme Court in December 2021 ruled that the area's territorial jurisdiction falls under Taguig City. The Makati City government then filed an omnibus motion for reconsideration before the SC.
But in a resolution in September last year but only made public in April, the High Court's Special Third Division denied with finality Makati City's motion for reconsideration, saying that the basic issues it raised had been resolved and "duly considered" by the court in its earlier decision.