A lot of us have been hardwired to think that utility workers are “just” utility workers: sweeping empty hallways, wiping windows with asthma-inducing aerosols, taking the trash out of buildings before the gates open for the day, and cleaning up the mess in parties when everyone else has left. Danilo Dizon, a utility worker for the City Hall, is, well, not too different. Danilo-or Danny, as he prefers to be called–comes to the City Hall the earliest and leaves the latest to maintain the cleanliness of the two male comfort rooms tasked to him: the one in front of the Mayor’s office, and the one beside the ATM on the first floor of the building. But beyond what most would expect, Danny is more than just mops and brooms.
Danny is known in the City Hall for being the “interior designer” of the main male CRs on each floor of the building. The CRs he maintains have more plants than the number of urinals, and it might not be a big-time supermarket but you are always welcome to come again. Each urinal has a rug, and all corners of the room, including the divisions of cubicles, have indoor plants to freshen not only the air, but also the people who use the CR. The lavatory is also enlivened with flowers and ornamental plants. The doors alone are bordered with tall plants, some courtesy of Danny himself. The CRs are more of gardens than public restrooms.
“‘Di ka pwede maglinis ng CR kung maraming tao. So dinevote ko ang Sunday morning hanggang 12 para maglinis at palitan yung mga bulaklak. Para pagdating ng Monday, ready na yung CR. Pagdating ng Friday tatanggalin ko na yung mga bulaklak kasi roses yun, magwi-wither na yun after 5 days. Babalik ulit ako ng Sunday para maglagay ng panibago,” Danny explains his weekly schedule.
Before his current job, Danny was a roadside inspector of the city’s Roadside Inspection Testing and Monitoring Team (RITMT), apprehending smoke belchers and owners of vehicles who need to get their engines cleaned. After four and a half years of confiscating license plates, testing car exhausts, and inhaling a considerable amount of roadside smoke and dust, Danny decided to apply as an administrative aide (utility worker) in the General Services Office (GSO) of the city hall. “I was looking for a change in my working environment,” Danny says. “Kabisado ko na yung mga mechanics sa smoke belching eh. Gusto ko ring makatulong sa ibang department naman. Luckily na-meet ko naman lahat ng requirements.” In 2014, Danny was permanently appointed by mayor Mauricio Domogan assigned in GSO.
When Danny got to the City Hall, he noticed that people were as busy as the cars in the streets where he used to work. “The people here in City Hall are very busy and stressed. I wanted to give something special na makakatulong sa kanila. Naisip ko yung CR, kasi madalas puntahan ng mga tao yun,” Danny shares. It was then when he decided to transform comfort rooms into actual comfort rooms, where people can feel relaxed and comfortable as they take their respective 3-minute breaks.
“Nung nasa smoke belching pa ako, I attended seminars about the environment in connection to the atmosphere, sa plants, at sa health,” Danny shares. “Health is very, very important sa mga tao to achieve their goals. Kasi pag sakitin ka, hindi mo mase-share ang knowledge mo and good services mo. So I decided to clean the CRs very well and gawin siyang environment-friendly para na rin sa health ng mga tao.”
Today, Danny continues to maintain the two main male CRs on the first and second floor of the City Hall. “Ginagawa ko din ito para yung mga gumagamit at nakakakita ng CR, gagayahin din nila. They will admire what they see sa loob ng CR. Mare-retain nila sa mind nila yun. ”
“If you really want to boost up, i-elevate mo yung job mo, then you can do it kung talagang interesado ka,” Danny says in closing./ Zarena Amado/PIO intern