Let LGUs, schools decide on extreme heat protocols —Pagasa

Posted by watchmen
April 13, 2024


The state weather bureau recommended that local government units and school officials have the final say in issuing extreme heat protocols.

“At the moment, our recommendation is that the recipients of heat-related information provided by Pagasa (e.g., the local government units, school heads, etc.) should have the final say on the decision-making process guided by the information that they received from the agency,” the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said in a statement yesterday afternoon

Its statement comes after a lawmaker recently suggested that Pagasa could set rules on work and class cancellations due to extreme heat.

Many schools have been canceling onsite classes due to the heat index forecast from Pagasa.

Another lawmaker recently suggested that the government should adopt a “temporary work break” to safeguard the employees from the dangers of extreme temperatures.

The weather bureau said it appreciates the trust and confidence of the stakeholders.

Pagasa has been providing heat index, or what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature, monitored in the past five days, as well as the forecast heat index for the next two days.

On April 12, Pagasa logged a 43 degrees Celsius heat index in Dagupan City, Pangasinan; Roxas City, Capiz; and Iloilo City. Heat index forecast in Dagupan City could reach 46 degrees Celsius on April 14.

Pagasa said that while it uses a four-tier effect-based classification to note the combined effects of temperature and humidity on the human body, the bureau acknowledges the limitations of its existing extreme heat-related warnings.

It welcomes the suggestion to tailor such information in the decision-making process, such as an extreme heat protocol relevant to school activities, Pagasa added.

The weather bureau said efforts were already being made to improve the heat index monitoring and early warning system.

“The agency’s technical working group on heat index operational issuance is exploring methods and resources to address challenges in the availability of data,” it said. (PNA)

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