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MMDA reinstates 30-minute heat stroke break

by Kiko Cueto

THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Friday that they had reinstated the 30-minute “heat stroke break” policy for its field personnel, particularly traffic enforcers and street sweepers, to protect them from heat-related illness amid the impact of the El Niño phenomenon.

MMDA Acting Chairman Atty. Don Artes signed a memorandum circular reinstating the “heat stroke break” policy, which will take effect from March 15 until May 31, to be implemented daily through a rotation schedule.

“We must understand the plight of these traffic enforcers and street sweepers who work under the scorching heat of the sun every day to fulfill their duties and responsibilities,” Atty. Artes explained.

Atty. Artes added 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.

MMDA Traffic Discipline Office Director for Enforcement Atty. Victor Nuñez, together with members of the MMDA Road Emergency Group, conducted a blood pressure monitoring and distribution of cold water to deployed traffic enforcers at EDSA-Timog base to avoid dehydration.

Under the heat stroke break policy, on-duty traffic enforcers and street sweepers are allowed to leave their posts in shifts so that they can rehydrate, seek shelter from the sun, and take a 30-minute break to avoid heat stroke.

Courtesy: MMDA

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.

Meanwhile, 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.

Field personnel could also take an additional 15-minute break time in case the heat index, or the “human discomfort index” in Metro Manila reaches 40 degrees Celsius and above.

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