Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto earned praises anew this month after sharing the city government’s feat during his first five months in office and his essay on his early political life that made rounds online.
Sotto shared on Facebook that Pasig City was able to save over P150 million within a five-month period by imposing transparency with the bidding process as part of his effort to curb corruption in his administration.
MGA UNANG BUNGA NG PAGLILINIS NATIN NG PAMAHALAAN NG PASIG…[Warning: Long post, for those who want to understand the…
“We have saved over 150 million pesos because of our open and honest to goodness public bidding for the city’s goods and services,” Sotto said on December 16.
He then detailed how they were able to achieve this.
He gave an instruction across the board to reduce all approved budget of contracts (ABC) by a minimum of 10%. This means the contracts will cost less than the initial approved bid.
He then opened the bidding process to the public through social media, including the use of the Facebook Live tool, and made sure to closely follow correct procedures.
The bidding contractors then became more competitive and consequently, made the prices go down.
“Previously, almost all winning bids were within 1% of the ABC, which is a red flag to some auditors. Now, it is common to see winning bids that are 10-50% lower,” he explained.
Sotto also showed the computation done for it. He said that all the data are available at the Full Disclosure Portal of the Department of Interior and Local Government.
He ended the post with hopes to have a higher budget allocation to finance the city’s services, particularly the health sector.
“Mas maraming pondo para sa iba’t ibang serbisyo, lalo na sa serbisyong pangkalusugan. Tuloy ang pagbabago!” Sotto said.
Filipinos expressed amazement even with the fact that what they consider an accomplishment is part of Sotto’s job as mayor.
Some noted that such showed the country’s lack of good government officials.
Filipinos are so deprived of good government officials that we applaud Vico Sotto for just doing his job
— romz (@romzzzzzz) December 17, 2019
Since he was elected Pasig mayor, Sotto had been using social media to update his followers and constituents on new policies he implemented, and events and other public activities being done within his jurisdiction.
Letter on his political life
Sotto wrote a lengthy letter on Facebook page Humans of Ateneo that tells of his goals and struggles as a neophyte mayor. It made rounds more than 12,000 times on the platform after.
I started in government a few years after graduating from Ateneo—very idealistic tapos parang nafrustrate ako with…
His victory during the previous midterm elections ended the 27-year mayorship of Bobby Eusebio and his family in Pasig.
He was very idealistic when he graduated from Ateneo de Manila University, Sotto recalled on the post, and later accepted “certain realities” which helped him decide on his intentions before entering public service.
“There are certain things in government that, before I entered or before I ran, are my non-negotiables. And I think that’s what’s most important for everyone who wants to get into government, kung malinis talaga yung intention,” Sotto said in the post on December 8.
“Ako, very minimal lang naman, I don’t claim to be the best person: No vote buying, di ako tatanggap ng kickback, di ako mananakit ng tao. Everything else, pwede ko pag isipan,” he added.
He cited his background in government watch and political democracy, as well as the good people he surround himself with, as reasons for being firm and grounded with his political views.
“When you’re in the middle of the storm, it’s very easy to lose sight of the future, it’s easy to lose sight of your principles and your beliefs. I need people who are with me and will be able to confront me and tell me that I’m at that point already,” he said.