Miriam eyes unified 'Filipino time'

Posted at 11/15/12 1:07 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a new Senate bill seeking to curb tardiness in the country, particularly in government offices.

Santiago's Senate Bill No. 1585, also known as the One Time Philippines Act, aims to synchronize the functions of government agencies through a single time reference.

“Filipinos are notorious for their tardiness such that being late has become synonymous to Filipino time. A definite time reference would remove inefficiencies brought about by different interpretations of time, particularly among government offices,” she said in a press statement.

The proposed law will require, all government offices, government-owned corporations, and local governments to observe schedules according to a Philippine Standard Time (PST).

“Discrepancies in time between government agencies have led to unnecessary friction brought about by the disparate interpretation of schedules and their observance,” Santiago said.

“By having a unified time reference system, government will be able to provide more efficient services by ensuring that their offices open and close at the same time. All citizens will benefit from this as they can now expect punctuality in the government workforce, especially in service-based agencies,” she added.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration will maintain and disseminate the PST using its network time protocol, according to the lawmaker.

Senator Antonio Trillanes has also sponsored Senate Bill No. 3284 to consolidate Santiago's bill and a similar proposed legislation filed by Sen. Edgardo Angara.

It will also require television and radio stations to follow the PST.