By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
Incoming Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto said his exposure to the civil society was “a big factor” in preparing him to become the leader he is today.
In an interview with Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo over her radio program “BISErbisyong LENI” on Sunday, Sotto said his exposure to programs for the civil society have honed him as a young leader.
“Ang isang malaking factor siguro sa formation ko as a young leader ay yung exposure ko sa civil society (A big factor, I believe, in my formation as a young leader is my exposure to civil society),” Sotto said.
The 29-year-old Sotto also credited his experience working for the government that helped him to identify with the people and their problems.
“And then may experience din ako working for government. So nakita ko yung problema, nakita ko yung mga taong were trying to solve the problem, so nakita ko from both perspective (So I saw the problem, I saw the people trying to solve the problem, so I saw it from both perspectives),” he said.
Sotto previously worked as a legislative staff officer at the Quezon City Council. He was also a volunteer at the office of Rep. Roman Romulo.
Due to frustration
However, after two years of working for the government, Sotto said he got frustrated that he resigned and transitioned his career to working for a civil society organization.
“Ang totoo po niyan sa frustration ko po sa gobyerno,” Sotto said when asked by Robredo on why he worked for civil society.
Sotto bared that it is not a secret that the government has lots of problem, “and it’s not even the fault necessarily of the leader.”
“Hindi po isang tao ang may problema. ‘Yung institutionalized problems na napakatagal na (The problem is not that one person. It is the institutionalized problems that have always been there for so long),” he said.
“’Yun na-frustrate po ako, nag-resign po ako (I got frustrated [so] I resigned),” Sotto further said, adding that he took up his master’s degree in public management at the Ateneo School of Government while thinking of what to do next with his life.
“And then nagkaroon ng job opening in an organization called Government Watch. Dun po napasok ako (And then there was a job opening in an organization called Government Watch. That’s where I got myself in),” Sotto said.
Sotto is presently a member of the board of directors of Government Watch, an independent action research organization that promotes transparency, participation and accountability in governance.