Following the announcement of the state weather bureau that the public should expect high temperatures as the dry season nearly peaks, Mayor Honey Lacuna took a series of actions aimed at protecting Manilans, particularly students, against the adverse effects of the hot season and sun exposure.
The mayor said that the six public hospitals being run by the city government are prepared to handle heat-related incidents.
Authorities specially principals from the city’s public elementary, high school and universities were called upon to ensure that the food being sold in school canteens are able to withstand high temperatures and to also avoid serving food that easily spoil during hot weather.
As much as possible, she said, food must be served two hours at the most, after cooking based on advise from health authorities.
Lacuna also urged school authorities to find ways to provide their students with proper ventilation and encourage them to drink water from time to time in order to keep themselves hydrated and avoid heat stress.
The mayor also urged that outdoor activities and exercises or drills be limited as much as possible and if these are necessary or cannot be avoided, they should be done not during the critical hours when heat is at its peak and harmful to health.
Health authorities warned against direct exposure to the sun from 12 noon to 3 p.m.
It will be recalled that hundreds of students landed in hospitals after a school in a province held a fire drill. The affected students were reportedly exposed under the scorching heat of the sun too long that they began falling dizzy and fainting.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced that the dry season which will last until May and that warmer temperatures are expected in the coming days.
Heat index records to warn the public of rising temperatures are being released by the weather bureau on a daily basis. Heat index refers to the temperature that people feel, based on the air temperature and relative humidity in an area.