MANILA - Traffic enforcers and street sweepers in the capital will get a 30-minute "heat stroke break" starting April 1, the Manila Development Authority said on Wednesday as the temperature rises during the dry season.
In a statement, the MMDA said it signed a memorandum to impose the 30-minute "heat stroke break" for its field personnel until May 31, which aims to protect them from heat exhaustion, heat stroke and heat cramps.
On-duty enforcers and street sweepers will be allowed to leave their posts in shifts to seek shelter from the sun and to allow their bodies to cool down, MMDA Acting Chairman Don Artes said.
“This move is part of the agency’s efforts to prevent heat-related illness among our outdoor workers who brave the searing heat every day to fulfill their duties and responsibilities. Their safety is of paramount importance,” he said.
Artes said the heat stroke break would be implemented daily through the following rotation schedules for traffic enforcers:
- Traffic enforcers who work from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. shift are given "the heat stroke break" from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- For those working from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., the break will be from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. or 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- For those working from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., the break is prescribed for 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- In the 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. shift, the break is from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
For street sweepers, the break will be as follows:
- For the 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift, the break will be from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- For 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift, they shall observe the usual 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. break time
- Those working from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the break will be from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. or from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
"The heat stroke break shall be done alternately by those who are assigned in a particular area to maintain visibility of traffic enforcers and street sweepers and to ensure field operations are not hampered," said Artes.
The MMDA said field personnel could also take an additional 15-minute break time in case the head index or the "human discomfort index" in Metro Manila reaches 40 degrees Celcius and above.
State weather bureau PAGASA releases a timely heat index report.