Measures to protect workers, students amid sweltering heat pushed

April 21, 2024 People's Journal 79 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go expressed support for adaptive measures to protect workers against the escalating heat index in the country, prompted by the ongoing El Niño phenomenon.

Go also emphasized the importance of revisiting work and educational setups to prioritize public health and safety.

During an ambush interview after aiding displaced workers in Manaoag, Pangasinan, responding to queries about proposed actions to safeguard workers during the extreme heat, Go stressed the proactive steps that must be considered by the Department of Health and the Department of Education.

He further expressed affirmation for flexible working arrangements: “Ako po ay nakikiusap sa ating mga iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno na kung pwede magkaroon tayo ng tinatawag na ‘heat breaks’… i-explore natin itong ‘work-from-home’ options. Ikonsidera natin ang kaligtasan ng mga empleyado natin na naiinitan.”

The senator also highlighted the necessity for ‘heat breaks,’ especially for field personnel like construction workers who are directly exposed to the scourging heat outdoors.

Reflecting on the pandemic-induced shift to remote work, he suggested, “Nakasanayan naman natin ito noong panahon ng pandemya na ‘work-from-home’ tayo. Baka pwedeng i-consider po ito ng ating gobyerno kung sakaling magkaroon tayo ng work from home arrangement kung kailanganin.”

Go added: “Bigyan sila ng mas mahaba o mas frequent na heat breaks in one day. At sa mga may sakit, bigyan ng leave of absence kapag kailangan.”

He pointed out the availability of a PhilHealth benefit for heat stroke victims, emphasizing the entitlement of every Filipino to this assistance: “Pwede silang mag-avail ng tulong mula sa gobyerno. Libre ito.”

“At sabi nga ng DOH, workers have a right to heat breaks. Unahin po natin ang kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino. Lahat naman ang Pilipino ay miyembro po ng PhilHealth,” Go said.