THE close to two million people who attended the 40th Sinulog Grand Parade last Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, left behind 131 metric tons of garbage on Cebu City’s streets.
They left most of it along Osmeña Blvd., around the Fuente Circle and Gen. Maxilom Ave., said Jigo Dacua, head of the Department of Public Services (DPS).
In the same period last year, DPS personnel collected 210 metric tons of garbage.
The drop in the volume of trash might be attributed to fewer people who attended the grand parade this year compared to last year. Police estimates placed last Sunday’s crowd at two million, 1.5 million less than the 3.5 million recorded in 2019.
DPS personnel started sweeping the streets and sidewalks at 8 p.m. By 4:30 a.m., most of the garbage was picked up, Dacua said.
He said the 600 DPS personnel who were involved in the cleanup had a hard time reaching garbage that got stuck in the drainage system. Some had to be taken out by hand. Street sweepers and garbage loaders in the downtown and uptown areas also had to contend with vehicle traffic.
Meanwhile, Mayor Edgardo Labella announced that DPS personnel and volunteers involved in the operation will receive 10 kilos of rice each from the City Government.
In a press conference on Monday, Jan. 20, Labella said he was grateful to them for working around the clock to return the streets and the sidewalks back to their normal state.
“I am so happy that when I went around 4 a.m., I no longer saw litter on the streets unlike when I passed by last night around 10 and 11,” he said.
Dacua; City Administrator Floro Casas Jr.; Assistant City Administrator Junine Aragones, who is also chief of the Cebu Environmental and Sanitation Enforcement Team; and Irvin Cabales, assistant DPS head, monitored and supervised operation along the six-kilometer carousel route.
Aside from the 131 metric tons of garbage collected along the carousel route, DPS personnel picked up an additional 669 metric tons of garbage in the rest of the city.
He pointed out that the volume of garbage has been going down each year since 2018. ( PAC / PJB, with a report from Mae Fhel Gom-os, USJ-R Intern )