MANILA - Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Monday discouraged his supporters from sending gifts to city hall to mark his birthday.
Sotto will be celebrating his 32nd birthday on June 17.
"Maraming salamat sa mga bumabati sa atin. 'Wag na po kayo magpadala ng regalo ha?" he said in a Facebook live video.
(Thank you to everyone who has been sending me their greetings. Please don't send gifts.)
"'Wag na po masyadong ano. Hindi naman talaga ako nagse-celebrate ng birthday... Bati ninyo sapat na, hindi na kailangan ng regalo. Baka may nagbabalak pa magpadala ng regalo, wag na po. Okay lang po ako," he said.
(Please don't send anything lavish. I don't really celebrate my birthday... Your greetings are enough, I don't need gifts. If there are those who are planning to send gifts, please don't. I'm okay.)
Should supporters insist on spending for his birthday, Sotto said he would rather send the packages to less fortunate communities or charitable institutions.
"Kung gusto ninyo, bumili na lang po kayo ng food pack, bigay niyo po sa nangangailangan," the mayor said.
(If you want, you can buy food packs, send them to those in need.)
"Gamitin ninyo na lang po 'yung pera, i-donate niyo po sa mas nangangailangan," he said.
(Use the money to donate something to those in need.)
Two supporters from Dubai and Hong Kong prepared 32 food packs to mark Sotto's 32nd birthday.
The Pasig City mayor shared the personalized hot meals with members of a homeowners' association who visited his office for a meeting.
Last year, the millennial mayor also discouraged his supporters from organizing surprise parties for his birthday as a precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, several constituents put up a tarpaulin with Sotto's face to greet the mayor a happy 30th birthday.
Sotto asked Pasig City officials to remove the tarpaulin and told his constituents not to post posters with his face on it.
Since his ascent to the Mayor's Office in 2019, Sotto - the son of celebrities Vic Sotto and Coney Reyes - has shunned patronage politics, saying his constituents should not be indebted to any politician including himself.
Earlier this year, the Pasig City mayor was the lone Filipino included in the US State Department's list of anticorruption champions around the world.
The International Anticorruption Champions Award launched by Secretary of State Antony Blinken was given to 12 leaders "who have demonstrated leadership, courage, and impact in preventing, exposing and combating corruption."