Reiterating Provincial Ordinance No. 034-2018, which gives provincial employees the “right to stand during work,” Senior Provincial Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc emphasized the importance of workplace health and wellness.
The ordinance, sponsored by Manotoc, was approved by Governor Imee R. Marcos last April 16, 2018, and is based on the Philippine Constitution’s declaration that the State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people.
It is intended to combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle linked to desk or office work and allows employees to have a standing or walking break of five minutes every two hours, or 10 minutes every four hours, as scheduled by their supervisors to ensure that public service is not impaired.
“Very passionate ako na none of us should be sitting for longer than half an hour to an hour maximum,” said Manotoc, “So I think that [the ordinance] will help encourage more activity.”
He likened this purpose to that of the public playgrounds, which have been a continuous project since December 2016. So far, a total of 27 playgrounds have been installed throughout 14 towns and cities and 13 public elementary schools in Ilocos Norte.
“I encourage mayors to enhance and add to the playgrounds, so they can be full-fledged parks katulad ng parks natin dito sa Laoag at sa Batac na may mga adult fitness equipment – that is really my hope for these playgrounds.”
The senior board member also noted that the media and workplace authorities, including those in the private sector, should promote a healthy lifestyle, emphasizing not only health and wellness of employees, but also the camaraderie and team-building that could come from engaging in group physical activities.
Aside from putting up public playgrounds, Manotoc is also behind the offering of athletic scholarships in the province as well as the yearly Ilocos Norte Youth Games to encourage sports involvement among the youth. – Mizpah Grace G. Castro, PGIN-CMO