By Marita Moaje
MANILA – Due to the intense summer heat, traffic enforcers as well as street sweepers will be entitled to a 30-minute heat stroke break and water break starting from April 1 until May 31, a Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) official said on Wednesday.
“As ordered by Chairman Attorney Artes, simula po April 1 o Sabado hanggang May 31 may summer heat stroke break at water break ang MMDA traffic enforcers at street sweepers laban po sa exhaustion, heat stroke at heat cramps dahil po sa severe heat waves ngayon (starting April 1, Saturday until May 31, we will have a summer heat stroke break and water break for our MMDA Traffic enforcers and street sweepers against exhaustion, heat stroke, and heat cramps due to the severe heat waves we are experiencing right now),” MMDA spokesperson Melissa Carunungan said during the Laging Handa public briefing.
To further protect the health safety of its field personnel, Carunungan said the MMDA has partnered with private companies that will distribute free water and energy drinks to deployed enforcers and street sweepers to avoid dehydration.
In case the temperature reaches the 40 degrees Celsius heat discomfort index, these field workers will be given an additional 15-minute break time.
To encourage its personnel to observe a healthy lifestyle and better take care of their bodies, the MMDA, through its Traffic Discipline Office recently launched its “Batak Trapiko” program where more than a hundred traffic enforcers participated.
In line with the observance of the Holy Week, the MMDA will set up a multi-agency command center starting April 3, to monitor the actual status of major transport hubs such as bus terminals, seaports and airports.
Carunungan said the agency will also conduct joint inspections in various bus terminals before Holy Week.
“Ang multi-agency task force na ito ay binubuo po ng MMDA, LTO, nandoon din ang PNP kung sakali pong may gulo sa mga lansangan, at ang LTFRB kung kailangan po ng mga special permit. On the part naman of the MMDA ay handa na po kaming mag-deploy ng 2,104 personnel para bantayan ang mga pangunahing lansangan sa Metro Manila lalo na po sa mga lugar na malapit po sa terminals, airport at seaports (The multi-agency task force will be composed of the MMDA, the Land Transportation Office, the Philippine National Police and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in case there is a need to issue special permits),” he said.
Carunungan said the MMDA alone is ready to deploy a total of 2,104 personnel to monitor major thoroughfares in Metro Manila.
She added that they will also implement a “no day-off, no absent” policy for its deployed personnel for April 5, 6, and 10, while a skeletal deployment will be in place on April 7, 8, and 9 that will focus on the ‘Visita Iglesia’.
The number coding scheme will also be suspended from April 6 to 10.
Meanwhile, Carunungan advises those planning to go back to their home province for the Holy Week to book their tickets early to avoid long lines and ending up as chance passengers.
“Para naman po sa mga motorista lalo na po ang dumadaan sa Commonwealth Avenue araw-araw – nagsimula na po ang istriktong pagpapatupad ng exclusive motorcycle lane noong Lunes, March 27. Inaasahan po namin na dahil sa bagong polisiya na ito na mababawasan po ang road crash incidents at maiibsan din ang daloy ng trapiko sa Commonwealth Avenue (For motorists passing by Commonwealth Avenue daily, please be reminded that the strict implementation of the exclusive motorcycle lane starting last Monday. We hope that through this new policy, road crash incidents and heavy traffic will be avoided),” she said. (PNA)