I HAVE to hand it to all the employees of the Cebu City Government’s Department of Public Services (DPS) for doing a great job after the Sinulog Grand Parade.
What they accomplished last Sunday night and in the wee hours of last Monday morning was short of miraculous. After all, it’s not easy to clean up after two million people’s trash. (Again, I really don’t know how authorities come up with these figures but undeniably there were lots of revelers. Lots and lots of them.)
Anyway, you’d understand why I’m all praises if you saw what I saw in the aftermaths of the event.
The gutters along Osmeña Blvd. were filled to the brim with plastic water bottles and other whatnots. And that’s just the gutters. Don’t get me started on the state of the sidewalks.
But when I made my way to the office on foot yesterday, the plastic water bottles and the other whatnots had all disappeared.
Come to think of it, the men and women of DPS do the same thing every year.
Their feat reminded me of one of Heracles’s labors.
Remember when Eurystheus ordered the son of Zeus to clean up King Augeas’s stables in a single day?
To say that King Augeas owned many herds of cows, bulls, goats, sheep and horses would be an understatement.
So Heracles faced a daunting, almost impossible task., something I’m sure the city’s street sweepers can relate to. But unlike the street sweepers, Heracles had something to look forward to. He had asked the king for payment: a tenth of the latter’s fine cattle.
King Augeas agreed. But when he learned that Eurystheus put Heracles up to it, he refused to pay. Not only that, he denied ever making a promise to give a reward.
To make a long story short, Heracles went back to Mycenae empty-handed after the king banished him. Eurystheus, too, told him the labor didn’t count since he was paid for it.
To those who don’t know, Heracles had 12 Labors he had to perform as part of his sentence for killing his wife and children in a fit of temporary madness as a result of the goddess Hera’s machinations.
Hmmm. Maybe comparing the DPS personnel to Heracles was not such a good idea.
I mean, I don’t want them to be gypped. Quite the opposite.
The mayor should exercise magnanimity, which, by the way, he has, and give the street sweepers and garbage collectors something extra.
Last year, he thought of giving them P2,000 to P5,000 cash and a sack of rice. I don’t know if that ever pushed through since he first had to consult the budget office if the City could afford it.
Maybe it will be different this year.