MANILA (Mabuhay) — Not wasting time following the favorable Court of Appeals ruling, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay Jr. on Tuesday kicked off what he said was the “transition period” for taking over Fort Bonifacio, a former military base turned economic center, from the adjacent city of Taguig.
A day after the CA ruled that large portions of Fort Bonifacio belong to Makati City and not Taguig, Binay met with the city administrator, assessor and engineers to discuss steps in taking over the upscale Bonifacio Global City and Barangays Southside and Northside.
“We believe that this is a big win for the city of Makati,” he said at a press briefing after the meeting. “We are now in the period of transition and we can exercise jurisdiction in the area.”
City officials also met with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the government agency tasked to convert military bases to economic centers, to discuss the takeover.
In a 37-page decision, the CA’s Sixth Division ordered Taguig City to immediately “cease and desist from exercising jurisdiction within the disputed area and return the same to Makati.”
Binay, meanwhile, was unfazed by Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano’s statement that they would raise the issue to the Supreme Court.
“Hindi pa kami nag-uusap ni Mayor Lani Cayetano at hindi naman personal ito, trabaho lang. Hindi ito personalan. Hindi naman pag-aari ng mga Binay ang Makati at hindi naman pag-aari ng mga Cayetano ang Taguig,” he said.
“If the case will be raised in the Supreme Court, we are confident that the court will still (give) a favorable decision (to Makati City),” he added.
Once Makati takes over the BGC, Binay said they would implement color coding, plastic and smoking ban in the area, which are being implemented in Makati City.
Binay also said they would prioritize the development in Brgy. Northside and Southside.
“Ang immediate plan, ayusin ‘yung kalye, tubig, at kuryente sa Brgy. Northside at Southside. May mga barangay pa sa tagiliran ng BGC na kasama sa kaso. ‘Pag nakita ninyo, napag-iwanan na talaga parang probinsya,” he said.
Binay also brushed aside the idea of revenue-sharing with Taguig, saying it has no legal basis. Instead, he said the local government of Taguig is even obliged to pay Makati the taxes it had collected in the area for the past 20 years.
“May utang pa sila sa amin. Kami ang naagrabyado dito. Kukuhanin lang namin kung ano ang nawala sa amin for the past 20 years. Ang laking pera ang nawala,” Binay said.
He admitted that Taguig may suffer greatly from revenue losses collected from BGC, resulting in the city being reverted back to municipality status. (MNS)