Exclusive glimpse inside Kapuso Village Tacloban City

Kapuso Village is the first permanent housing project awarded to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). 

403 houses in Kapuso Village Tacloban City were turned over on MAY 22 to victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Photo by Danilo Fausto.

It was nearing the end of the first quarter of 2014, barely 5 months after the landfall of monstrous Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), when the construction of Kapuso Village in Tacloban City was started.

So much of a giant dream. At first, it seemed like an overwhelming task for the people in GMA Kapuso Foundation. Composed of 25 people, with only three site engineers in the frontlines, GMA Kapuso Foundation was undaunted. Fueled by their intense passion for service, their team pushed every roadblock to finally rooting the first  pillar of this major housing project in March last year. 

The grand archway to Kapuso Village Tacloban City.

Mel Tiangco, EVP and COO, would always emphasize the importance of credible utilization of donations amassed during typhoon coverages. In a speech addressing the beneficiaries of Kapuso Village, she said, “Walang katapusang pagpupursige dahil napakalaking halaga ang ipinagkatiwala sa amin ng sambayanan. Marapat lamang na ‘yon ay aming ingatan at tiyakin na magamit sa maayos na pamamaraan.” (We will work relentlessly because the entire nation entrusted us with a very huge amount of donation. It is but right that we take care and make sure that the money is utilized properly.)

After all, quick-response rehabilitation and speedy implementation of sustainable projects is tantamount to honesty and credibility, especially in public service. Thus, I believe, is the inspiration behind the expedited construction of Kapuso Village in Tacloban City.

Finally, after a little more than a year, Kapuso Village in Tacloban City was completed. Four hundred three houses stood proud in 3.5 hectares of land.  Kapuso Village is the first permanent housing project awarded to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

As of press time, Kapuso Village is also the only completed housing project, and the only fully functional, among all the existing housing constructions in Tacloban City intended for Yolanda victims.

Cristina Romualdez, city councilor and wife of Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, said in an interview with GMA News, “Kasi kayo [GMA Kapuso Foundation] talaga ang unang una na nag-bless sa amin dito na magkaroon ng permanent housing ang mga taga Tacloban.  Nagbigay talaga kayo ng hope sa aming mga taga Tacloban, especially sa mga nakatira sa danger zones sa [Barangay] San Jose. (GMA Kapuso Foundation was really the first to provide permanent housing units to the people of Tacloban. You gave us hope, especially those living in the danger zones in Barangay San Jose.)

Twenty classrooms are also expected to rise on the site. Another Kapuso Village, composed of 169 houses, is under way its completion in Palo, Leyte.

With all the peoples’ smile, who would think that they were the same victims that the entire world mourned with, amidst the massive loss of hard-earned properties and death of loved ones, after Super Typhoon Haiyan?

True to GMA’s famous battlecry, this is, without doubt, “Serbisyong Totoo” at its finest. RO

Outtakes’ Notes:

I am proud that I was part of the team documenting the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda on field. The turn-over ceremony was an emotional occasion for me as well, because, finally, I was also witnessing the fruit of our sacrifices during the difficult and depressing coverage of the aftermath. It was an honor being part of the team who was  in the forefront of fundraising for this project.

Here is the story that aired on 24 Oras on May 25:


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