Can Santiago's 'One Time Philippines Act' solve Pinoy tardiness?

What can a Philippine Standard Time (PST) solve?

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago thinks following a synchronized time in all government agencies may finally eradicate Filipino’s image of tardiness.

"Filipinos are notorious for their tardiness such that being late has become synonymous to Filipino time,” Santiago said.

“A definite time reference would remove inefficiencies brought about by different interpretations of time, particularly among government offices," she added.

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In her proposed One Time Philippines Act, Santiago wants Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) to maintain and disseminate PST.

The lady senator explained disparate interpretation of schedules and their observance based on discrepancies in time have been leading to unnecessary friction among government agencies.

She explained her bill, including similar proposal from Senators Antonio Trillanes and Edgardo Angara, would allow the government to provide more efficient services.

Since PST can ensure that public offices open and close at the same time, all citizens will benefit from this as they can now expect punctuality especially in service-based departments.

The consolidate measures of Santiago, Trillanes, and Angara also requires television and radio stations as well to follow the PST in their broadcasts.

"All private and government television and radio stations shall be enjoined to participate by using the Philippine Standard Time,” Trillanes said.

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He added the pieces of legislation will also designate National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) as as the enforcement agency to ensure time synchronization will include remote areas.
 
For her part, Santiago explained administrative actions shall also be taken against government offices that fail to comply with the bill once passed.

"A government office should therefore appoint one person responsible to oversee the monitoring and adjusting of time in addition to his regular duties,” Santiago said .

Related story: Close bars by 1 am to deter crimes, lawmaker asks

“The official time keeper could be administratively charged under the civil service rules for negligence if he fails to carry out his duty in accordance with the law," she added.

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