Garbage collectors are the real heroes — Tom
80th Charter Day: Cebu City also awards traffic enforcers, bar topnotchers
Garbage collectors and traffic enforcers took center stage yesterday morning as they were recognized by the Cebu City government during a program in celebration of the city’s 80th Charter Day.
The Department of Public Services (DPS) and Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) were given the Mayor’s Special Award yesterday morning together with Engineer Nilo Igot of the Department of Engineering and Public Works.
In his speech, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said these employees had worked very hard especially during the holidays as well as the Sinulog Festival this year.
“I think the garbage collectors are the real heroes in the past few months. Let us give them a big round of applause. They worked very hard. We had limited equipment but they strived; they didn’t sleep,” he said adding that traffic enforcers also brave the heat and the rain to make sure there are no traffic congestion in the city.
No sack of rice
The mayor said he would have wanted to give one sack of rice to each of the garbage collectors under the DPS and the traffic enforcers under CCTO as a reward but was not able to do so since City Hall’s Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (Praise) committee did not approve enough funds for the plan.
He said they only approved an amount that would be equal to P80 for each employee.
Osmeña specifically blamed Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera, a member of the Praise committee, for the non-approval of the amount.
Sought for comment on the allegation, Pesquera said the amount the committee approved was intended for the department and not for the individual employees.
She added that if the mayor had really wanted to give more to the employees, he could have overridden the committee’s decision.
“Why blame me? If he wants to give more to the employees, then let him give one sack of rice to each employee charged to his discretionary fund. If it was his intention to give to each employee, then he should have directed his administrator to have it included in the agenda and indicate how much will be given to the employees,” she told CDN.
Nevertheless, the recipients of the awards were grateful for the city’s recognition.
DPS head Roberto Cabarrubias recalled that they were earlier promised by the mayor at least P200,000 as incentive. He said they already thought to use the money to organize a big party with all DPS employees.
But he said they were still happy for the acknowledgment especially since they were just doing their job.
CCTO Executive Director Rafael Yap also thanked the mayor for the recognition and promised to top their efforts in the future.
Despite only being with the city government for the past three years, Igot, who is now the acting assistant city engineer, was also recognized by the mayor.
Igot said he did not expect the award and was happy to receive it.
Igot spearheaded the construction of a bridge made of culverts connecting the South Road Properties to the Inayawan landfill at no additional cost to the city government. Osmeña ordered that the bridge be built so that garbage trucks could have easy access to the landfill.
Aside from the City Hall heads and employees, the city also awarded 13 licensure and bar topnotchers as well as 14 awardees of the city’s Young Sugbuanon Exemplary Action-Driven Leader (Youseal) awards.
Councilor Mary Ann De Los Santos, in a speech, said that the recognition for Cebuano topnotchers is mandated under a city ordinance authored by her and Councilor Hanz Abella in 2014.
Aside from plaques, the 13 topnotchers also received cash incentives ranging from P15,000 to P100,000 depending on their rank as well as the nature of their exams.
One of those recognized was lawyer Athena Plaza, 25, a graduate of the University of San Carlos (USC), who ranked No. 2 in the November 2015 Bar exams, the results of which were revealed on May 2016.
“I felt grateful that the city gave due recognition to the achievements of Cebuanos. I saw it as an opportunity to inspire other young Cebuanos to aim for the top in the national level. We’ve proven it over and over. I think there’s no doubt we can best those who are in Manila schools,” she told CDN.
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