Photo Courtesy of the office of Mayor Vico Sotto

This youthful mayor is setting an example for a new generation of leaders in the Philippines


Pasig City mayor Vico Sotto is the son of two popular Filipino celebrities, but this isn’t why he’s influential. He has made a name for himself—hardly using his parents’, or his uncle’s (who is a senator since 1992)—as the mayor of Pasig, a city with a booming central business district and upscale residential addresses. Serving a term on the city council before his mayorship, which unseated a 27-year-old political dynasty, Sotto only had nine months before the pandemic hit to enact a platform of universal health care, greater access to public information and anti-corruption. Yet, he accomplished these and even more when the coronavirus put the entire country in a gridlock.

His tenure has been modern, progressive and highly accessible due to his candid but informative social media presence and ease of public appearance. Sure, he discusses policy and current events, but as an eligible 32-year-old bachelor that is easy on the eyes, he has a fanbase that shows upstanding public officials with integrity are the new sexy. In 2021, he was one of 12 global recipients of the US State Department’s International Anti-Corruption Champion Award.

He spearheaded an effort of sanitising the densest barangays with drones, organised a transportation system for frontliners and set up an efficient vaccination drive.

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Sotto was a professor at a local university before he filed for his candidacy as mayor. If he didn’t win the seat, he says he would have pursued a career in teaching. Education places high in his agenda today, too. Over the pandemic, he distributed early learning kits to home-locked parents and students that were forced into the e-learning model of the New Normal.

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