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Mandaue City dad pushes ‘heat break’ for field workers

By: Mary Rose Sagarino - CDN Digital Correspondent | April 22,2024 - 06:43 PM

heat break

Mandaue City Councilor Atty. Joel Seno/Contributed

MANDAUE CITY, Philippines — A councilor in Mandaue City is advocating for a ‘heat break’ for the city’s field personnel to shield them from extreme heat and ensure a safe and conducive work environment.

Councilor Joel Seno proposed his resolution during the city council’s regular session on Monday, April 22.

Under the draft resolution, field personnel such as traffic enforcers, clean and green workers, and other personnel whose jobs expose them to scorching heat will be granted a 30-minute ‘heat break’.

The heat break will be implemented through a rotational schedule and will be alternated among those assigned to specific areas.

All agencies and offices of the city are encouraged to observe hydration to combat heat-related illnesses, ensure sufficient ventilation in work environments for adequate air circulation, and implement the buddy system to support their coworkers by monitoring each other’s well-being.

Seno stated that his aim is to protect employees from heat-related illnesses amidst the impact of El Niño.

“The management should also grant a heat break policy because even if we know already that they must take shade from the sun, it is also imperrative that we have to make that known that we are after the welfare of the employees,” said Seno.

The draft resolution is also co-sponsored by councilors Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, Cesar Cabahug Jr., and Andreo Ouano-Icalina.

The proposed resolution will be referred to the committee on labor and employment after a few councilors, namely Cynthia Cinco-Remedio, Jennifer Del Mar, and Marie Immaline Cortes-Zafra, insisted on its evaluation.

Lawyer Jamaal James Calipayan, the city administrator, stated that field workers are not prohibited from taking breaks and seeking shelter.

Calipayan mentioned that personnel from other offices, such as the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (TEAM), seek shade around 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., only going out when there are traffic issues that require them to be on the streets.

“We are in a tropical country. Dili kini ang first time nga naka-experience ta og heat wave nga ingun ani. Naa na gyud na silay (offices) protocol nga ingun ani. Kung sobra kainit palandong gyud sila (field personnel). In fact, we have been practicing this, mura na ni siya og unspoken nga practice but there is no prevention by policy,” said Calipayan.

Calipayan said they will consider the recommendation and further study it.

“If ever we are passing a resolution like that, it needs further study. Naa unya’y mahitabo nga traffic jam unya muingon nga heat break man nako ron. There is a need for a written policy. Of course kami sa executive, we will consider this,” he added.


EXPLAINER: Why do we monitor the heat index?

‘Danger’ level heat index hits 11 areas on Sunday, April 21

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TAGS: heat stroke, Mandaue City

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