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Quezon City 3rd District Councilor Coseteng introduced sustainable solutions that transformed the lives of her constituents, ensuring that their simple dreams become lifechanging realities.




In the past six years of her two terms as councilor of the third district of Quezon City, the vibrant and energetic Kate Abigael Galang Coseteng has woven an awe-inspiring tapestry of projects—over and beyond her expected legislative duties—that she herself literally dreamt of for her constituents.

Through these projects, Konsehala Kate as she is fondly called has turned the lives of their beneficiaries for the better, especially during the most challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coseteng has turned simple dreams into reality, relieving the plight of the poor and the marginalized in her sprawling 46-squarekilometer district that covers 37 barangays including the commercial areas of Cubao and Libis, and the residential areas of Loyola Heights, Projects 2, 3, and 4, Matandang Balara and exclusive enclaves like Corinthian Gardens, Blue Ridge, Green Meadows, and White Plains.

“I wake up every day thinking of how to help my constituents, particularly those with small businesses,” Coseteng tells LEAGUE Magazine, acknowledging the power of a fertile imagination and the resulting creativity from her own dreams that come from reading letters requesting assistance every day.

“Binabasa ko talaga yung mga sulat nila (I read all their letters),” she proudly says.

Coseteng, who has served as a city councilor for almost 15 years, including three terms in the second district of her birthplace Valenzuela City, could be her generation’s dreamweaver, albeit in an urban setting.

In the celebrated artistry of some of our country’s indigenous peoples, particularly the T’boli people of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, a dreamweaver is blessed by a higher being to dream and bring to life colors, patterns and symbols on which their tapestries of sacred designs called t’nalak are woven from the abaca fabric.

On the other hand, Coseteng—who also draws inspiration from her dreams—introduces projects, resolves concerns and provides practical forms of assistance that make a lasting impact on the lives of her district’s more than 300,000 residents and transient workers in bustling commercial areas.


Coseteng’s business management degree and firsthand experience working as secretary to her mother Helen Grace dela Vega Galang at her family’s garment factory in Valenzuela City may have given her the impetus to ensure that small businesses thrive even during the pandemic.

While she gave nebulizers, hygiene kits, food packs and other forms of ayuda (assistance) at the start of the pandemic, she also thought of a more sustainable solution for her constituents who lost their jobs—by supporting small businesses and helping them start their own.

“Kung nawalan ka ng trabaho at binigyan kita ng bigas o ayuda, ano ang kasiguraduhan na may makakain ka kinabukasan? (If you lose your job and I give you rice or assistance, where’s the assurance that you would have something to eat the next day?)” was what prodded her to “teach her constituents to stand on their feet.”

Having learned from her late father Rodrigo’s business acumen— shifting from garments to manufacturing road signs even before globalization forced businesses, including a couple of theirs, to close—Kate only knows too well how small businesses can have lifelong benefits to their owners while also helping rev up our country’s economy.

Coseteng explains why supporting any small business is akin to supporting a dream.

“Kapag tinuruan at tinulungan mo sila sa kanilang mga maliliit na negosyo, habambuhay silang kakain basta magsipag o ipagpatuloy lang nila (When you teach and support small businesses, they will have food for life as long as they work hard and never stop),” she says.

“Usually, napapamana nila iyan sa kanilang mga anak at diyan din nanggagaling ang kanilang pang-tuition at ang pinagsisimulan ng malalaking negosyo (Their children may inherit the business, which pays for their tuition fees and also give them the opportunity to make the business grow),” she says.

She first started giving food carts and bicycles to jumpstart or sustain small businesses.

Last year, however, she began providing dagdag-puhunan (additional capital) to small business owners. This sustained and even saved some 3,000 small businesses from closing down.

Coseteng also ensured that other government programs like the Tulong Panghanap-buhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/ Displaced Workers or TUPAD for the displaced, underemployed or seasonal workers were also aligned with her support to small business owners.

Coseteng also created an online marketplace to boost awareness and patronage for these small businesses whose growth, she believes, will spur economic activities and productivity to rise above the challenges of the pandemic.

“These small businesses can display and promote their products there, while I raffle off additional capital as one of its perks every week,” she says.

Instead of spending millions of pesos teaching how to make soap or other livelihood products, Coseteng and her staff also extend funding for those who already have sources of livelihood, such as makers of native foods and delicacies.


The COVID-19 pandemic aggravated the plight of many poor families, especially those who rear their children alone or the solo parents, a sector close to Coseteng’s heart.

“When I was the Gender and Development (GAD) Committee chairperson in the city council during my first term, I helped form what are now very successful and much-admired solo parents’ associations in my district,” she says.

Over the years, Coseteng’s advocacy has supported and empowered between 9,000 to 10,000, mostly unregistered, solo parents through legislation and relevant projects and activities including seminars informing them of their rights and privileges under Republic Act 8972 or the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000.

Today, the district’s solo parents’ associations have been recognized as models for other districts of Quezon City.

She continuously conducts livelihood and orientation programs, provides additional capital for their small businesses and helps them get perks such as discounts on tuition and school fees and their other expenditures.

Every year, Coseteng also provides incentives to solo parents, including a pamaskong handog (Christmas gift) package which includes groceries and other essential items.

“Tinutukan ko iyan kasi maraming solo parents pero walang nagaasikaso sa mga pangangailangan nila. Tayo nga na merong mga asawa, nahihirapan nang magpalaki ng mga anak, ano pa kaya kung mag-isa ka lang sa buhay? (I focused on helping solo parents because they are a sector whose needs have not been met. If we who have spouses find it hard to provide for our children, how about those who do it all by their lonesome?),” she says.


Coseteng considers her co-authorship and the passage of the 2019 ordinance converting the Quezon City Polytechnic University to Quezon City University (QCU) her biggest legislative accomplishment.

The ordinance was aligned with Republic Act No. 10931, known as the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, to provide free higher education in state and local universities and colleges.

“It was first in my platform when I campaigned in 2016, knowing that Quezon City, being the richest city in the country, should have its own free higher education institution to fulfill the dreams of financially disadvantaged but talented, qualified and deserving students,” she says.

Coseteng’s experience as a member of the board of regents of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela when she was a city councilor helped her push this initiative.

Last year, Coseteng’s dream of finally having a Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Quezon became reality with the passage of the ordinance creating the Quezon City University Charter of 2021.

This amendment made into a reality a dream that was 30 years in the making since the Quezon City Polytechnic was created in 1994 for the training and development of skilled and technical workers.

QCU offers bachelor of science degree courses in electronics engineering, entrepreneurship, industrial engineering, information technology, and accountancy.

“With the funding support given by Mayor Joy G. Belmonte, QCU now offers engineering courses after our laboratories passed the standards of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED),” she says.

Last year, CHED gave QCU its certificate of recognition as a fullfledged higher education institution (HEI), entitling QCU to receive the benefits allotted under the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education or UniFAST, according to Republic Act No. 10687.

The UniFAST program will cover full tuition fee and miscellaneous fees of more than 8,000 qualified QCU scholars.


In 2019, as chairperson of the Committee on Tourism, Cultural Affairs and Heritage, Coseteng pushed for the passage of the ordinance that declared Quezon City as the “Medical Tourism Capital” of the country.

“If you are from Saipan, Guam or other U.S. territories where there are no big hospitals, you may avail of high-technology facilities and high-quality medical services of our health and wellness institutions in Quezon City,” she says.

Coseteng says that hospitals based in the city such as the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), St. Luke’s Medical Center, Lung Center of the Philippines or the Philippine Heart Center offer the latest equipment as well as affordable medical packages.

Coseteng believes the city’s health tourism program could be one of the key drivers of economic resiliency in our country’s pandemic recovery efforts.

As a health tourism destination, the Philippines ranked 24th out of 46 countries in the 2020 Medical Tourism Index and among the 25 leading growth markets for wellness tourism trips from 2015 to 2017, according to the Global Wellness Tourism Economy Report.

In 2016, according to a report published by the Manila Times, ASEAN-Kenan Foundation, Joint Commission International and Maeil Business Korea, the Philippines hosted between 80,000 to 250,000 foreign medical tourists that generated a total revenue of between US$200-290 million, while Thailand grabbed 3.2 million tourists with revenue of US$1.2 billion.


Although Coseteng grew up looking at beautiful clothes and fashion while working at her family’s garment business and dabbled into television and modeling during her youth, she has always been more comfortable wearing a simple shirt and jogging pants while visiting her constituents at their barangays.

Public service, Coseteng says, is a long-term decision because “meron kang mga gustong gawin para makatulong sa kapwa (there are things you want to do to help others).” On her decision to seek a third and last term as councilor of Quezon City, Coseteng shares, “My constituents are very close to my heart and I would like to continue serving and taking care of them.” She first ran in Valenzuela City in 2004 as a councilor at 22 years old, the youngest to be elected then. During her first term, Coseteng got married to Julian, a former councilor of the third district of Quezon City. After her third term, in 2013, she focused on taking care of their children and focused on their household for three years before running for Councilor in Quezon City.

“Grabe, na-miss ko talaga (I really missed it),” she says beaming with pride. “I love going to all the barangays. That is my favorite thing to do. Totoo talaga (That is very true).” To say that Coseteng loves public service would be an understatement—it is actually her fulfillment. “As a mom, dapat fulfillment mo naman talaga yung pamilya mo, magkaroon ka ng anak and all that (As a mom, your family is really your fulfillment, having children and all that). But being a woman who has advocacies, I won’t be complete if I don’t get them done. They complete me.” Having been married for 15 years now, Coseteng spends quality time with her family as a way to balance her roles as a mom, a wife, and a public servant.

Coseteng, however, doesn’t look up to any particular public figure, hero or leader as a role model, but she is reminded by her father’s constant advice before he suffered a stroke and passed on in 2019.

“He would always tell me that we only live once so we should leave a mark,” she says. “Huwag natin sasayangin ang buhay na binigay sa atin ng Panginoon (We should not put to waste the life that our Lord gave us). This is one of the things that guides me in everything I do.”

Coseteng also hopes to run for higher office in the future “Tatakbo ako kung may pagkakataon (I’ll run if there is an opportunity).”

“I thank my constituents for trusting and supporting me, and rest assured that I will wholeheartedly support them with love and joy in my heart,” she closes.

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