DOST campaign hopes to redefine 'Filipino Time'

For years, the Pinoys' penchant for arriving late at an appointment has been described as "Filipino Time." Most Pinoys, apparently, are habitual late-comers that it has earned for them a virtually new timezone.

With the new campaign launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), however, "Filipino Time" may just have its definition changed to being on time, on-the-dot.

In a statement on Friday, the DOST said it is launching "Juan Time," a campaign that aims to promote time-consciousness among Filipinos.

The agency said that the Filipino Time has become a "notorious habit" that, unknown to most, "pulls back the country in terms of lost productivity."

The campaign aims to promote the nationwide use of the Philippine Standard Time (PST), a timing system established under PAGASA decades ago but was never strictly enforced.

DOST-PAGASA has been the country’s official timekeeper since 1978 per Section 6 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 8.

“PST, the country’s official time, sets only one common time in the archipelago’s more than 7,100 islands," DOST Sec. Mario Montejo said. “Juan Time reminds Filipinos that keeping to the PST avoids the difficulties of having confusing, unsynchronized time."

According to Montejo, it is the hope of the project that Filipino Time will "come to mean 'on time' and no longer late."

The PST is set through the DOST-PAGASA's timing system which consists of a rubidium atomic clock, a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, a time interval counter, a distribution amplifier and a computer to process all the data.

The system automatically calculates its time difference with every satellite within its antenna’s field of view, the agency said. To view the PST time at any given moment, Internet users would just have to go to the official DOST-PAGASA website.

The DOST will officially launch "Juan Time" on September 30 at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia.

Partners of the campaign include the Metro Manila Development Authority, SM Supermalls, Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center, Team Manila, Lamoiyan Corporation, and Discovery Channel. — TJD, GMA News