Pangasinenses cope with high heat index

UNDER THE SUN. A large umbrella shields students from the heat as they go home riding a bike with sidecar from Buenlag Central School in Calasiao, Pangasinan on Thursday (April 25, 2024). Pangasinan has been posting over 40 degrees Celsius heat index since a few weeks ago, and local government officials have implemented various measures to lessen the impact of the high heat index to the students.
UNDER THE SUN. A large umbrella shields students from the heat as they go home riding a bike with sidecar from Buenlag Central School in Calasiao, Pangasinan on Thursday (April 25, 2024). Pangasinan has been posting over 40 degrees Celsius heat index since a few weeks ago, and local government officials have implemented various measures to lessen the impact of the high heat index to the students. PNA Photo

DAGUPAN CITY – Pangasinenses have been enduring high heat index, ranging from 45 to 49 degrees Celsius, in recent weeks due largely to the impact of the El Niño phenomenon.

Renzo Maniacop, a traffic enforcer of the Public Order and Safety Office (POSO) here, in an interview on Friday, said staying hydrated and taking shelter in shaded areas when they can are essential to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

"I always bring my water bottle with me to stay hydrated. We try to shelter in shades like the shadow of an electric pole and if there is not much traffic situation, we take shelter in the shaded areas," he said in Filipino.

He also reminded colleagues who have hypertension to take their medication regularly.

Implementation of proper traffic management plan is also important to avoid traffic jams that intensify heat index on the roads that would affect not only the traffic enforcers but the motorists and commuters as well, he added.

Manuel, a delivery rider for a fast-food chain for 11 years, said the surging temperature greatly hampers him from effectively doing his job.

He thus asked customers to also be patient with the riders especially during this time.

"Sana po di mainit ulo nila at follow-up ng follow-up kasi dagdag pressure pa po yon. At wag na po sana sumabay init ng ulo nila sa init ng panahon (We hope they remain patient and not to regularly do follow-ups because it adds to the pressure of our job. And we hope they remain cool despite the heat)," he said.

Schedule adjustment

The municipal government of Binmaley in Pangasinan has been implementing a four-day work week since April 22 which stays until June 30 this year due to the high heat index.

In a post, the Binmaley local government unit (LGU) said working hours in the municipal government is from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Mondays to Thursdays, except for personnel assigned in the Office of the Economic Enterprise and Slaughterhouse, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, utility unit, waste management, and traffic management.

In Asingan town, municipal information officer Romel Aguilar said the air conditioning units in their offices lessen the burden of suffering from the high temperature outside.

He said outdoor activities have been limited to ensure the well-being of the employees.

Economic gains

While the heat brings discomfort to many, it is somewhat a blessing to Jovie Perochole, a buko (coconut) juice vendor in Dagupan City.

"Dati, nakaka-trenta (piraso) lang ako na buko sa isang araw. Ngayon, 50 na buko na (Before, I only sold 30 pieces of coconuts daily. Now, I am able to sell up to 50 coconuts)," he said.

Richard Podalla, a street vendor, said his juice drink products were mostly sold out at the end of the day.

"Before, I only sell about half of my products but now, it’s totally sold out," he said in Filipino.

Heat-related illnesses

Department of Health-Center for Health Development in Ilocos Region (DOH-CHD-1) medical officer Dr. Rheuel Bobis, in a phone interview, said they are monitoring heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke cases.

He said they have prepared the hospitals such as the provision of logistics to cater to these health concerns.

Bobis also reminded the public to stay indoors if possible, and to use umbrella, hats or caps to shield them from direct sunlight, especially between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"Wear cotton-based shirts and avoid heat-absorbing clothes. Stay hydrated by drinking water," he said.

As of April 2024, the Region 1 Medical Center in Dagupan City recorded one case of probable heat exhaustion.

The Center, in a statement, said it is still gathering data from the other hospitals. (PNA)

Trending

No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.
www.sunstar.com.ph