CA affirms DepEd closure of Antipolo school

The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed a ruling that ordered the closure of a school in Antipolo City.

In a resolution dated May 26, the CA turned down the motion for reconsideration of St. James Colleges of Antipolo City Inc. on the 2021 decision that upheld the revocation of the school’s permit to operate.

The school appealed the Department of Education (DepEd) decision on the grounds that St. James failed to meet regulatory requirements that a private school should own its site.

Under DepEd regulations, a school that does not own the site is allowed a five-year grace period to acquire the property.

The school was originally the St. James Community Colleges of Antipolo City, founded in 1989 and which ceased operation upon the expiry of its corporate lifespan on May 25, 2014.

The original incorporators then put up the St. James Colleges of Antipolo City and applied for a new permit.

A private citizen, Jason Gene Baltao, opposed the issuance of the DepEd permit, citing that the land of the school was actually an “open space considered for public use and beyond the commerce of men” described in the subdivision plan of Antipolo Hills Subdivision.

The school claimed that it had already acquired the property through a deed of donation.

Ruling otherwise the CA said “in as much as the deed of donation appears to be void as the donor indicated in the deed of donation that it is not the owner of the property subject of the donation, it goes without saying that petitioner had not acquired ownership by said deed of donation”.

The tribunal said having failed to acquire the school site within five years from the time of its application for permit to operate, the Court cannot reverse the DepEd’s order for the closure. (PNA)

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