MANILA – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will allow its traffic enforcers and street sweepers to take 30-minute "heat stroke breaks" starting April 8.
According to MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino, this is to ensure the safety of personnel while manning their duties under the intense heat of the sun.
Tolentino said MMDA personnel will be given rotating 30-minute breaks every day.
They will also be providing allowances for drinking water, he added.
"Bibigyan natin sila ng 30 minutes na break. Rotation naman yun, hindi saybay-sabay, to rehydrate at sumilong man lang," he explained.
Tolentino clarified, however, that this will not hamper personnel from doing their duties.
"May nakabantay pa rin namang isa o dalawang MMDA personnel para mangasiwa ng trapiko," he said.
MMDA street sweeper Melira Beti said, "Masakit sa balat ang bungang raw, naaalikabukan ka na, ang ulo masakit rin."
"Sa sobrang init po nakakahilo na rin minsan nararamdaman mo lumalabo na yung paningin mo," said MMDA traffic enforcer Rolando Chacon.
The temperature in Metro Manila reached 35.3 degrees Celsius on Thursday.
According to doctors, too much exposure to the sun can lead to heat exhaustion, which in turn may lead to the deadly heat stroke.
"Ang heat stroke ay yung ating katawan, yung inner temperature, reaches an average temperature of 40 degrees Centigrade or more. Ito ay dahil sa init ng panahon," Dr. Roland Cortez, medical director of the East Avenue Medical Center, told ABS-CBN News.
The Department of Health and state weather bureau PAGASA have also warned the public against extreme temperatures that may lead to heat stroke.
They are advising the public to drink 8 to 12 glasses of water a day. -- From a report by Bettina Magsaysay, ABS-CBN News