PASIG Mayor Vico Sotto has been selected by the US State Department as one of 12 global anti-corruption champions. The 31-year-old Sotto has been cited as both Pasig City Councilor and Mayor for his commitment to transparency initiatives.

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As a Pasig City Councilor in 2018, Sotto spent a month on the Des Moines Public Information Board in Des Moines, Iowa, as part of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Professional Fellows program in the United States. “He used this experience to help him draft and pass Pasig’s first freedom of information legislation when he returned to the Philippines,” the US embassy in the Philippines said in a statement. During his first year and a half in the mayor’s office, Sotto continued efforts to ensure easier access to city information for Pasig’s citizens and made a commitment to improve transparency in the city’s budgeting and contracting process. “Today’s award recognizes the early work of Mayor Sotto in making government more transparent and open to the citizens of Pasig. I am particularly proud that the Mayor was able to use his participation in a YSEALI Professional Fellows program in Iowa to drive transparency initiatives here in the Philippines, ”said John Law, Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy. This award underscores the importance of the United States worldwide on fiscal transparency, which helps in the fight against corruption and protects economic prosperity. In Pasig, USAid is currently advising the city on delivering an effective government for competitiveness and inclusive growth (Deliver) and a program to support regulatory reform for national development (Respond) Modernizing the tax administration system and streamlining business processes and frontline services to improve business operations. Pasig City has met good financial management standards set by the Department of Home Affairs and Local Government and has been recognized by the Presidential Communications Operations Office for its transparency efforts. Pasig’s reforms are expected to encourage new businesses in the city, an indication of the growing confidence in the city’s anti-corruption efforts. YSEALI Scholarships are intensive short-term academic programs designed to provide young leaders with a deeper understanding of the United States. while they gain experience on a specific topic and improve their leadership skills. To date, 663 Filipinos have traveled to the US on YSEALI exchanges since the program started in 2013. (SunStar Philippines by PR)

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