FROM how it looks, it’s not just the netizens who have nice words for Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto but also the US State Department, which had just named him as among the world’s anti-corruption champions.
Sotto, son of comedian host Vic Sotto to actress Coney Reyes, is among the 12 “brave individuals” who have been bestowed with the International Anti Corruption Champions Award launched by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The award aims to “recognize individuals who have demonstrated leadership, courage, and impact in preventing, exposing and combating corruption.”
According to the statement released by the US State Department, Sotto “is a standard-bearer for a new generation of Philippine politicians who prioritize anti corruption and transparency initiatives in their election campaigns and in office.”
The 31-year old local chief executive took Pasig by storm when he won over the formidable Bobby Eusebio whose family has been at the helm of Pasig City for a little less than three decades.
Prior to his mayoralty post, Sotto was a city councilor, whose legislative stint paved the way for a more transparent city government. Under his legislation, Pasig City residents need not have any reason for requesting documents from the city government.
When he became mayor, he instituted reforms – one of which is eradication of kickbacks in the awarding of government contracts. He also established a 24/7 public information and complaints hotline and formally involved civil society organizations in the city’s budgeting and policy making.
He also imposed that all city government contracts be reduced by at least 10 percent, a fraction that is usually intended for “SOPs” to the mayor.
“Sotto has sought to solidify his reputation as a fresh voice with a new, more transparent approach to governance,” the US State Department said.