Keeping ‘Juan Time’ For Pinoys

Being on time with an appointment is usually not a problem for me except when I get caught on the way with situations beyond my control like unexpected traffic jam. As a matter of practice, I set more than enough lead time so I can be early for a scheduled meeting or event. I learned to be punctual during my childhood especially in my high school days when we begin stage presentations without waiting for the audience to be there to watch us.

I am, however, sad to say that not all Pinoys (vernacular for Filipinos) are prompt on their timekeeping. The term “Filipino time” was coined to describe the Filipinos’ penchant for starting or arriving at meetings and events some 15 to 30 minutes later than the set time. It has become a notorious habit that annoys the early comers and unknown to many, pulls back the country in terms of lost productivity.

In an effort to help shift the Pinoy mindset from Filipino time and instill consciousness in keeping our time, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through the Science and Technology Information Institute, recently launched “Juan Time” (a word play on “One Time” with “Juan” being the idiomatic common name for Filipinos). Juan Time also aims to promote the nationwide use of the Philippine Standard Time (PST)  and sync timepieces with it to avoid the difficulties of having confusing, unsynchronized time. With Juan Time, it is hoped that Filipino time will come to mean ‘on time’ and no longer late.

By the way, PST, the country’s official time, 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. You can sync your timepiece to PST by clicking the Philippine Standard Time link at DOST-PAGASA website. Go set your watch to PST and let’s begin keeping Juan Time.

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