A recent story in the Philippine Daily Inquirer disturbed me. While GMA idles away her time under hospital arrest watching "Wil Time Bigtime" and Supreme Court Justice Corona facing an upcoming impeachment trial, Philippine Science Secretary Mario Montejo is calling on the nation to synchronize watches and clocks with Philippine Standard Time (PST) so everybody can greet 2012 at the same time. Worse yet, is news of this nefarious "Juan Time" project which is an initiative that aims to redefine the notoriously late “Filipino Time” by encouraging Filipinos to synchronize with PST and encourage timeliness. I find this extremely unsettling.
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The weather bureau, the country’s official timekeeper, displays the official time on its Web site www.weather.gov.ph. They use a precise time system that consists of a rubidium atomic clock and a Global Positioning System. I don't understand the need for this. What's wrong with having six or seven clocks in a household, business or government office with six or seven different times?
My OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, once controlled me so much I HAD to have the same time on my watch, cell phone, microwave, electric stove, alarm clock. clock radio, etc., back at our home in the States. I would absolutely cringe if any time piece was a minute off from any of the others. I worked for a company, AT&T, that disciplined a co-worker for being 20 seconds late to his desk at start time. And the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is worried about clocks being synchronized in the Philippines? I just don't get it.
The science department partnered with the local office of Discovery Channel (don't they have anything better to do?) for the Juan "initiative." DOST also tapped its fellow government agencies to synchronize clocks in offices to carry the national standard time.
The Inquirer article goes on to report that the Department of Education adopted the campaign earlier this year and ordered all offices and schools to synchronize clocks with PST.
“The national launch of Juan Time paved the way for Filipinos to understand the value of time. This socio-cultural initiative, where science is central, has made the public appreciate the existence of the PST…” said Montejo.
I urge the government to embrace Filipino Time and junk this "Juan Time" crap. And why pick on anyone named "Juan" in the first place? So what if you show up one or two hours late for a party? Or work, for that matter. And if you call the police to come out to your house and they show up the next day, what does that all matter? I'm just now adjusting to "Filipino Time," and the government wants to junk it? It's ingrained in the culture. What's next, Mr. Secretary? A ban on balut?