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Ex-VP Binay claim on Makati’s free public school education misleads

The official Facebook page of former vice president and now senatorial aspirant Jejomar Binay has posted a misleading claim that he made public education free during his term as Makati mayor. A provision for free public elementary education has been in place since the 1935 Constitution while the 1987 Constitution mandated free public high school education.

However, Binay’s claim in his Nov. 18 post that the Makati government has been giving free uniforms, textbooks, school supplies and school bags to public school students is true

The post reads:

Bilang punong lungsod ng Makati, ginawa nating libre ang pag-aaral sa elementarya at haiskul sa mga pampublikong paaralan sa lungsod (As Mayor of Makati, we made studying elementary and high school at public schools in the city free.)

Binay was appointed officer-in-charge of Makati by former president Corazon Aquino in 1986. In 1988, he was elected and served as mayor until 1998 and again from 2001 to 2010.

Before his appointment, Makati had been operating public high schools for free. An Official Week in Review for June 1 to 7, 1983 from the Office of the President mentioned the implementation of Ordinance No. 2 of the Metro Manila Commission which gave public schools the option to collect tuition fees which Makati chose not to exercise:

Pasay City and Makati, which have always provided free education, decided to continue operating their high schools free.

In addition, free public education at the primary level was mandated under Section 5, Article 13 of the 1935 Constitution:

The Government shall establish and maintain a complete and adequate system of public education, and shall provide at least free public primary instruction, and citizenship training to adult citizens.

This provision was retained in both the 1943 and 1973 Constitutions.

Meanwhile, Section 2, Article 14 of the 1987 Constitution, expanded free public education to high schools:

Establish and maintain a system of free public education in the elementary and high school levels. Without limiting the natural right of parents to rear their children, elementary education is compulsory for all children of school age.

Republic Act 6655 or the Free Public Secondary Education Act of 1988 provided that funding for free public secondary education be part of General Appropriations Acts under the Department of Education, formerly the Department of Education, Culture and Sports.

While RA 6655 coincided with Binay’s term as mayor, free public education was legislated nationally. (RP)


Official Week in Review: June 1 – June 7, 1983: GOVPH. (1983, August 1). Official Gazette.

Republic Act No. 6655. Free Public Secondary Education Act of 1988.

Const. (1973), art. XV, § 8 (Phil.).

Jojo Binay. (2021, November 18). Bilang punong lungsod ng Makati, ginawa nating libre ang pag-aaral sa elementarya at haiskul sa mga pampublikong paaralan sa lungsod [Video Attached]. Facebook.


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