Build A Shelter Project Appreciation Night at the Philippine Center in New York

More than eighty donors and supporters of the Build A Shelter Project (BASP) gathered together for an Appreciation Night on 8 April 2014 at the Philippine Center in New York where Consul General Mario L. De Leon, Jr. briefed them about the status of the shelter project for the survivors of super typhoon Haiyan. Hello Taiwan Concert (Taiwanese American Council of Greater New York, AsianInNY and Taiwanese Center) was one of the organizations that were honored at this special event.

Consul General De Leon said that he was making a progress report on the BASP as he gave details on the amount of BASP donations and the current state of the shelter projects on the ground. He emphasized that he wanted BASP to be very transparent.

He recalled that the BASP was launched on 26 November 2013, a little more than two weeks after Haiyan hit Central Philippines, to focus on the permanent shelter need of the millions of the typhoon victims when most donors at that time were giving relief assistance.

BASP, which works with a Convenors Group composed of community leaders and the Philippine Jesuit Foundation (PJF) of New York, has the four towns of Hernani, Giporlos and Quinapondan in Eastern Samar and Tanauan in Leyte – all widely devastated by Haiyan – as its beneficiaries.

Consul General Mario L. De Leon, Jr.

Consul General De Leon reported that Gawad Kalinga or GK (as BASP partner) and the Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (counterpart of PJF in Manila) had signed on 7 February 2014 the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the construction of the first BASP village of 36 houses in Hernani and the actual construction of the houses was expected to start in April. He personally witnessed the signing of the MOA in Manila and also visited the proposed site of the BASP village in Hernani.

Jong Yook Bae, CEO of The Korea Daily

BASP Village 2 will be built in Giporlos once the deed of donation for the one-hectare land donated by Mr. Alex Go has been completed. In Tanauan, BASP is coordinating with the National Housing Authority and the local government unit to identify the site for its third village.

According to Consul General De Leon and Ms. Nimfa Tinana, volunteer finance officer of BASP, the total BASP donations had reached US$276,177 as of 8 April. Out this amount, US$108,601 was already remitted to GK for the construction of the village in Hernani. The remaining amount will be used for the construction of two villages in Giporlos (22 houses) and Tanauan (22 houses). BASP is raising more funds for a fourth village (22 houses) in Quinapondan at an estimated cost of $70,000. BASP still has a US$ 80,032 funding gap to complete the four BASP villages.

Mr. Sonny Ramirez, Executive Director of GK-Northeast USA, commended BASP and SLB for immediately working out the MOA with GK.

Young Dae Kwon, CEO of Korean Radio Broadcasting

The major BASP partners and donors who came to the event and spoke about their contributions to the project were: K-Media Korea Disaster Fund, 1004 Foundation of Korea Daily, Taiwan Center/AsianInNY, Vorhees Foundation, Pilipino American Association of New England, Pilipino American Association of Connecticut, UN Philippine Cultural Society, Philippine-New York Jaycees, Yonkers Millennium Lions Club, Inc., and Handang Tumulong Foundation.

Patsy Fang Chen, VP of Taiwan Center

The Appreciation Night was also highlighted by the spontaneous donations and pledges of more support from various groups and individuals. Those who either donated additional funds for the BASP or committed to do so included the following: Philippine Pediatric Association of America, New York Department of Sanitation, GK-Northeast USA, Yonkers Millennium Lions Club, Inc., Sophia Kai New York, Handang Tumulong Foundation, Inc., Philippine-New York Jaycees, Drs. Emilio and Fely Quines, Ms. Patricia Berberabe and Dr. Lestrino Bacquiran.

Also launched at the event was the BASP website,, where the public can get information about the project.

Jared Martin, Suzanne Sabangan

Filipino American singers Suzanne Sabangan and Jared Martin also came to the Appreciation Night to regale the audience with their solo and duet performances. Jared sang “Thank You for Your Love,” composed for him by Dennis Garcia of Hotdogs band in Manila, to thank the donors of Haiyan survivors.

In describing the Appreciation Night, Consul General De Leon said, “I am overwhelmed by the support given by our community in the US Northeast for the BASP and I thank them profusely. After seeing for myself the unfortunate conditions of the Haiyan survivors in Hernani and Giporlos, I am sure that these BASP houses will matter to them a lot as they try to rebuild their lives and communities.”

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