Effective April 1, traffic enforcers and street sweepers of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority are getting additional 30-minute “heat stroke break” to protect them from illnesses during the hot season.
MMDA Chairman Atty. Romando Artes signed a memorandum circular re-implementing the "heat stroke break" policy to protect field personnel from heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and heat cramps due to severe heat wave.
Weather bureau PAGASA earlier identified 8 areas in the country under "danger" classification after reporting a heat index between 42 and 51 degrees Celsius.
The 8 areas are: Virac, Catanduanes; Dagupan City; Clark Airport, Pampanga; Sangley Point, Cavite; San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; NAIA Pasay City; Itbayat, Batanes; and Zamboanga City in Zamboanga del Sur.
Under the MMDA policy, on-duty traffic enforcers and street sweepers are
allowed to leave their posts in shifts and take a 30-minute break to rest.
For traffic enforcers who work from 5 am to 1 pm shift, the prescribed “heat stroke break” is from 10 am to 10:30 am or 10:30 am to 11 am.
For those working from 1 pm to 9 pm shift, the break time shall be observed from 2:30 pm to 3 pm or 3 pm to 3:30 pm.
For those working from 6 am to 2 pm, the prescribed “heat stroke break” is from 11 am to 11:30 am or 11:30 am to 12 noon; and for 2 pm to 10 pm shift, the break time shall be observed from 3 pm to 3:30 pm or 3:30 pm to 4 pm.
For street sweepers who work from 6 am to 2 pm shift, the prescribed “heat stroke break” is from 11 am to 11:30 am or 11:30 am to 12 noon; for 7 am to 4 pm shift, they shall observe 12 noon to 1 pm regular break time; and for those working from 11 am to 7 pm shift, the break time shall be observed from 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm or 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm.
"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.
Field personnel may also avail themselves of additional 15-minute break time in case the heat index or the “human discomfort index” in Metro Manila reaches 40 degrees Celsius and above.
PAGASA says the heat index gives the “apparent” temperature, or what humans perceive or feel as the temperature affecting their body.
The heat stroke break shall take effect until May 31, 2022.