May 27, 2024

The Heat is On: “Health” Over Socioeconomic Realities in Quezon City

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Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan has instructed all government units in the city to create a Heat Index Action Plan Matrix to address extreme heat during the El Niño season. The plan seeks to set guidelines for when residents should stay indoors, suspend outdoor activities, classes, and work, and reduce water usage by businesses during periods of extreme heat.

Editor’s Note: It’s essential to consider the practical implications of such policies. Not all individuals have the privilege to abstain from work or outdoor activities, as many rely on daily wages to sustain themselves and their families. This is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are still living the effects of their enforced lockdowns. Forcing individuals to stay indoors could exacerbate socioeconomic disparities and disproportionately impact marginalized communities. This is the collateral damage to their so-called “policies.”
While the government has a responsibility to safeguard public health, there’s a question of whether it’s appropriate for authorities to mandate such strict measures. The most frustrating thing is they impose restrictions on movement and economic activity without adequate support mechanisms in place. Is it worth the violation of individual liberties and exacerbate already existing inequalities? [ Also read: Are We Nearing Climate Lockdowns? 15-Minute Cities: From COVID Lockdowns to Climate Lockdowns]

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