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Newsmakers

Action speaks louder than words

MIKE ABOUT TOWN - Atty. Mike Toledo - The Philippine Star
Action speaks louder than words
MVP with Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto.

Victor Ma. Regis Nubla Sotto, more popularly known as Vico, was born in June 1989. Even though he had two very popular parents, he was known to have shunned the limelight and opted not to enter the world of showbiz and entertainment that his parents were into.

As a child growing up, he avoided the spotlight and maintained a low profile. But even then, though in its nascent stage, the desire for public service was apparent.

This passion for government and public service went on into college as he graduated with a degree in political science from the Ateneo de Manila University. Later, he would pursue and complete a master’s degree in public administration from the Ateneo School of Government.

MVP and Mayor Vico.

After working for two years or so as a legislative staff officer in the Quezon City Sangguniang Panglungsod, and thereafter as a project officer for the Ateneo School of Government, he saw that elected officials could accomplish much in their positions, given the right framework and ideals.

His desire to serve and to do much in public office for the benefit of people outweighed his wanting to avoid the limelight. It was a necessary consequence, but he had a dream to pursue.

In the end, he ran as an independent and won a seat in the city council of Pasig City in 2016, the youngest city councilor then.

In 2019, he decided to kick it up a notch and ran and won as mayor of Pasig City, the youngest mayor ever in the whole of Metro Manila.

Mayor Vico is a man of few words, but the adage of “actions speaking louder than words” rings very true with him and with his track record so far as a local chief executive.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a true litmus test for local government leadership, and, in this sense, Mayor Vico was able to pass with flying colors. Consider some of the action points with which he dealt with the virus outbreak: free transportation for medical and health care workers and frontliners; mobile markets and kitchens; disinfection drones; early childhood care kits; a loan program for local businesses; a 24/7 hotline to City Hall; and a digital contact tracing solution, PasigPass.

Even the COVID-19 vaccination rollout of Pasig City was impressive. It was the first LGU that had a DOH/WHO-approved vaccination plan.

PLDT-Smart president and CEO Al Panlio

Small wonder then that Mayor Vico was the People’s Choice awardee in PeopleAsia’s People of the Year 2021 and was also named by the United States government as one of its global “anticorruption champions,” the only Filipino among the 12 chosen from around the world to be honored under the new initiative of the administration of US President Joe Biden.

It is within this context that the MVP Group of Companies supports and assists the good mayor and his constituency in their rapid response, as well as innovative and progressive approaches.

Last year, Smart Communications Inc. turned over SIM cards for the distance-learning initiatives of the local government and Pasig City DepEd division. These SIM cards were bundled with tablets from the LGU and were distributed to students in division schools and other tertiary institutions. Smart also donated four charging stations and additional SIM cards for contact tracing and for the hotline numbers of the city’s COVID-19 response.

Pasig City has gone the digital way, using PayMaya cashless technologies for its social amelioration program. PayMaya is also a major component in the city’s loan program, the Tulong at Pampuhunang Ayuda Para sa Taga-Pasig or TAPAT.

With this, plus the digital contact-tracing solution, there is much potential for full digitalization in Pasig, and the MVP Group would very much be an able partner of the city in this regard.

Also, just recently, foundations under the MVP Group of Companies initially donated bicycles and digital tools to Pasig City indigents, government contact tracers, and bike-lane enforcers. These were made under the Group’s Bike for Livelihood initiative and in celebration of World Bicycle Day. The bicycles will be used to help people commute to work safely or to make a living while we are still under the pandemic.

The author.

As chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan or MVP had said, “The best solution to poverty is livelihood. If you could provide people with the means of making themselves a livelihood, whether by delivering food, medicine, or water, I think that’s something we should support.

“At the end of day, that’s what we’re all here for. Social orientation is embedded in our group’s DNA,” he added.

MANUEL V. PANGILINAN VICO SOTTO
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