After a string of accolades for excellence in government service, an international body of aid and development professionals named Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian as one of Manila’s top 40 “young, reform-minded, and spirited leaders” who are bringing positive impacts both here and abroad.
Dubbed as the "Oscars of Development," the Devex Manila 40 Under 40 International Development Leaders was organized by Development Executive Group (Devex) in partnership with energy firm Chevron and culminated with an awarding ceremony, February 19, 2013 at the Sky Garden of Zuellig Building in Makati City.
City Mayor Gatchalian received his award from The Honorable Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman and Devex president Raj Kumar. Gatchalian and Sarangani Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez were the only elected government officials among the honorees. Both leaders have placed education as the centerpiece for their respective development programs.
Secretary Soliman expressed her approval telling the mayor, “Valenzuela City is one of the most progressive cities, especially on social services.”
Mayor Gatchalian said in an earlier interview with Devex representatives at the city hall, “producing a highly educated workforce that can meet the needs and requirements of high-tech industries is the way to boost the city’s competitiveness.”
Valenzuela City has been strategically investing its resources on education reforms through the flagship WIN Ang Edukasyon Program to beef up the performance of its students on all levels.
According to Devex website, the leaders who are aged under 40 were selected “based on their influence on the development agenda and impact on development results.” The list of 40 represents a mix of Filipino and Manila-based expat leaders from international development agencies, the government, corporations and NGOs.
The 38-year old Valenzuela City chief executive has been invited to a number of high-profile forums and discussions as resource person to share his insight on human development following his accomplishments for the city.
Some of the local projects Gatchalian himself steered have become project templates for other local government units through active sisterhood relationships.
Mayor WIN is an awardee of The Ten Outstanding Young Men in the Philippines for Public Service in 2011 and emerged as the “best mayor” among highly urbanized cities brought about by Valenzuela City topping out the good governance indicators of the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s Local Governance Performance Monitoring System (LGPMS).
The Devex Manila 40 Under 40 selection committee comprised of Richard Hirsch, Chairman, Applied Planning & Infrastructure, Inc; Rafael Lopa, Executive Director, Philippine Business for Social Progress;John D. Forbes, Senior Advisor, American Chamber of the Philippines;Pete Troilo, Director, Global Advisory and Analysis, Devex; and Marites Dan?guilan-Vitug Editor-at-Large, Rappler.
Devex previously named its crop of 40 leaders in London in 2011 and in Washington DC in 2010. The Philippines is the first developing country to host Devex 40 Under 40. The Indian capital city of New Delhi will host the next 40.