Vico Sotto: Philippine Mayor Wins Award From US State Department
Vico Sotto, the mayor of Pasig City in Metro Manila, has been named as one of 12 global anticorruption champions by US President Joe Biden's administration.
In a statement announcing the winners of the inaugural International Anticorruption Champions Award, the US State department recognised Mayor Vico Sotto, a Gen.T honouree, as "a standard-bearer for a new generation of Philippine politicians who prioritise anticorruption and transparency initiatives in their election campaigns and in office."
The goal of the US State Department's new initiative is to highlight individuals who "defend transparency, combat corruption, and ensure accountability in their own countries".
Mayor Sotto has risen to national prominence since his election in 2019 as a young, modern force in the country's politics. One of Mayor Sotto's achievements the State Department highlights in its statement is his successful campaign as a then-councillor for a freedom of information ordinance in Pasig, which allowed residents access to public documents. As mayor, he has pledged to stamp out kickbacks in the awarding of city contracts and established a public information and complaints hotline.
Last year, Gen.T awarded Mayor Sotto a place on the Gen.T List 2020 for his extraordinary efforts combating the Covid-19 pandemic in his district. Among other initiatives, his measures have included organising aid packages, creating an online market to encourage residents to stay home and make it easier to buy food during lockdown, organising electric buses to transport frontline workers, and procuring drones to disinfect the streets.
Thank you to the U.S. Department of State for this recognition.— Vico Sotto (@VicoSotto) February 24, 2021
But more than the recognition, I hope this helps raise awareness.
If we want better long-term governance, we need to fight corruption. We have to denormalize it, get it out of our culture. https://t.co/aeMUz3VFKd
Four of the 12 anticorruption champions come from Asia. The other three are Sophia Pretrick, an investigative advisor in the government of the Federated States of Micronesia; Anjali Bhardwaj, a member of the Right to Information Movement in India; and Bolot Temirov, editor-in-chief of Factcheck.kg in the Kyrgyz Republic.
In response to the news of the award, Mayor Sotto tweeted "Thank you to the US Department of State for this recognition. But more than the recognition, I hope this helps raise awareness. If we want better long-term governance, we need to fight corruption. We have to denormalise it, get it out of our culture."