Whoever coined the term “Filipino time” will now find a stark contrast from its original use. “Filipino time” originally describes the Filipinos’ penchant for starting, or arriving at, events some 15 to 30 minutes later than the set time. It has become a notorious habit that, unknown to many, pulls back the country in terms of lost productivity.
In a bid to help shift this mindset and re-instill the value of time, the Department of Science and Technology, through the Science and Technology Information Institute, launches “Juan Time,” a campaign that promotes time-consciousness among Filipinos.
Juan Time aims to promote the nationwide use of the Philippine Standard Time (hence “Juan Time”, a word play on “One Time” and “Juan” being the common name for Filipinos) and sync timepieces with the PST.
“PST, the country’s official time, sets only one common time in the archipelago’s more than 7,100 islands,” DOST Sec. Mario Montejo says. “Juan Time reminds Filipinos that keeping to the PST avoids the difficulties of having confusing, unsynchronized time.”
“With Juan Time, Filipino time will come to mean ‘on time’ and no longer late,” Montejo added.
The PST was established decades ago under the auspices of DOST’s Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) but was never strictly enforced. DOST-PAGASA has been the country’s official timekeeper since 1978 per Section 6 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 8.
The PST is set via DOST-PAGASA’s timing system that consists of rubidium atomic clock, Global Positioning System receiver, time interval counter, distribution amplifier, and a computer. The system automatically calculates its time difference with every satellite within its antenna’s field of view. The PST is available online at the DOST-PAGASA website (http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph).
Official launch of Juan Time will be on 30 September at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia. Partnering with DOST in this nationwide campaign are the Metro Manila Development Authority, SM Supermalls, Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center, Team Manila, Lamoiyan Corporation, and Discovery Channel.
A pre-event featuring exhibits and a fashion show was held 23 September at the iMAX Ground Floor, Lobby Lounge, SM Mall of Asia. The show, hosted by Tessa Prieto-Valdes, had surprise celebrity guests, including the 2011 Miss Earth winners, to help reinforce the message that Filipino time is now on time.