Vico Sotto Has Been Stellar With His Proactive COVID-19 Initiatives
By: Jeline Malasig – March 18, 2020 – 8:19 PM
The keywords “Pasig,” “Vico Sotto” and “Mayor Vico” topped the trending list on local Twitter as constant initiatives of the local chief executive gained traction in light of the enhanced community quarantine imposed to curb the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sotto, the youngest mayor of a local government in Metro Manila, recently installed sanitation tents on the entrances of Pasig’s city hall and its two government hospitals.
He also provided the city’s workers who are exempted from quarantine transportation such as buses and continuously allowed tricycles to operate despite the mass public transport ban.
A Facebook post by another news outlet showed that Sotto also set up mobile kitchens to provide food for the city’s frontliners and responders.
The city chief also curbed hoarding fears by imposing an anti-hoarding ordinance so that supplies for basic necessities wouldn’t run out so fast.
According to a report by Esquire Philippines, Sotto also procured three disinfection drones that will help in sanitizing public areas and other places deemed necessary.
His efforts didn’t end there. He also provided the city’s disinfectant team with their own personal protective equipment and backpack sprayers.
Even before Metro Manila was initially placed in a community quarantine, Sotto’s initiatives to combat COVID-19 has been consistent.
A quick look at his social media pages shows that he has been disinfecting public spaces and telling his constituents to avoid panic buying, among others.
DISINFECTING PUBLIC SPACES. Bawat isa sa 45 paaralan natin ay ididisinfect habang walang pasok. Key spaces like the Mega Market disinfected every day. Isa lang po ito sa precautionary measures natin laban #Covid19.
Sotto’s efforts caught the attention of the local online community who lauded him for the consistently proactive efforts in light of serving his constituents.
“Vico Sotto’s competence in addressing this health emergency and his compassion for the working class are a rare gem. He is a true public servant — reasonably obedient yet critically dissentient. He acts based on his constituents’ interests. Pasig ngayon, sana Pilipinas bukas,” a Filipino said.
“When you think about it. Mayor Vico Sotto is doing what a public official should do. He’s doing the basic standard of what a public servant is obliged in doing, but since we’re all used to ineffective traditional politicians, we hold Vico’s leadership to a high standard,” another online user wrote.
“Our country needs more government officials like Mayor Vico Sotto. Science-driven, critical thinker, compassionate, and more importantly, dedicated to the welfare of his people,” said another Filipino.
Other mayors whose initiatives have also gained traction include Marikina City Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro and Makati City Mayor Abby Binay.
Teodoro previously set up misting and decontamination tents to be used in public areas in his city and free disinfectant solutions to households that can last for days.
He also procured a hundred of test kits for his constituents and planned to set up a laboratory testing center for earlier detection of COVID-19.
Binay also provided financial assistance to Makati’s tricycle drivers which is meant to cover the first two weeks of the community quarantine.
She also provided the city’s health workers with transportation like shuttles and tricycles to help them report to duty despite the mass public transport ban.
MAYORS TO TAKE CHARGE
When President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire region of Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine, he urged mayors and barangay officials to actively take charge of their communities.
He mentioned that mayors can now issue executive orders to “make the environment of their municipality more conducive to a healing process,” which supposedly gives them the go-signal to craft policies and guidelines without waiting for the national government.
The chief executive also said that mayors and other officials of local government units are supposed to ensure that their constituents get enough food and are being home-bound as much as possible.
Duterte also recently placed the whole country under a “state of calamity” which enables mayors to access their quick-response fund used “to immediately assist areas stricken by catastrophes and crises.”
“Kailangan gawin ito para ang mag-tap ng QRF (quick-response fund) ay mapadali para sa mga LGUs,” cabinet secretary Karlo Nograles said in a televised interview with GMA.
Quick-response funds are defined by the Department of Budget and Management as “built-in budgetary allocations that represent pre-disaster or standby funds for agencies in order to immediately assist areas stricken by catastrophes and crises.”