File image of school students completing a project, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Image Credit: Reuters

State-run schools in a city in the Philippine capital region have shortened class hours due to extreme heat, the latest measure as sweltering temperatures in Asia raise health risks and present challenges to governments and businesses.

"Our utmost priority will always be the welfare of our children," Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement. "Since the summer heat is too much to bear, especially in classrooms, we welcome the implementation of blended, modular, or shortened class periods for public schools."

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The Philippines has been experiencing a scorching summer, with the heat index already reaching "danger" category. The Southeast Asian nation on May 2 raised an El Nino alert, forecasting the weather pattern associated with drier conditions and reduced rainfall to emerge from June and may persist until the first quarter of 2024.

Temperatures have also been climbing across other parts of Asia in recent months. While this time of year is typically the hottest for parts of Southeast Asia, the soaring heat continues a pattern of severe weather over the past few years that's testing the ability of governments to protect public health and prevent disruptions to recovering economies.

The Quezon City local government said shortened classes will be from 6am to 10.30am for the morning group and 2pm to 6.30pm for the afternoon group.