Press Release
November 14, 2012


It's about time.

Aiming to synchronize the functions of government agencies through a single time reference, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago filed Senate Bill No. 1585, also known as the One Time Philippines Act.

"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," Santiago said.

Under the proposed law, all government offices, government-owned corporations, and local governments are compelled to observe and maintain their 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," the senator explained.

Santiago's bill mandates the Philippine Atmospherical Geophysical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) to maintain and disseminate the PST using its network time protocol Senator Trillanes, chair of the committee on civil service and government reorganization, sponsored last 5 November 2012, Senate Bill No. 3284, which consolidated both Santiago's bill and a similar bill filed by Sen. Edgardo Angara. The consolidated measure enjoins not just government agencies, but television and radio stations as well, to follow the PST during broadcasts.

"All private and government television and radio stations shall be enjoined to participate by using the Philippine Standard Time, with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) as the designated enforcement agency. Under the Act, the NTC shall make sure that these television and radio stations will comply with the provisions of this measure to ensure that time will be synchronized even in the remotest parts of the country," Trillanes said.

Santiago, who promised Trillanes she will help him defend the bill during the Senate plenary, said that administrative action should also be taken against government offices that fail to comply with the bill once passed.

"It has been a perennial problem for citizens to get the most out of government services because government offices allegedly close earlier than office hours. A government office should therefore appoint one person responsible to oversee the monitoring and adjusting of time in addition to his regular duties. 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," Santiago said.

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