The End of Filipino Time?

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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Pinay Swag

“Let us synchronize our time pieces with the PST so that we will all celebrate at the same time the coming in of the New Year. We will be one nation using one standard time,” Montejo said in a statement. 

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?

8 comments

  1. Relax Dave, after a lifetime of being on time it might be nice to be the only late person around. Besides as it is a government program it will never work anyway!

    1. You’re right about that, Tony. I couldn’t believe the story when I read it. Just what we need in the Philippines. More big government like back in the States.

  2. They can legislate it but it does not matter. The mind state there is that being late is no big deal, unfortunately.. I been in phils alot and its funny watching people rush to do simple things that if done timely would be simple.. They rush themselves into accidents. Its why I NEVER drive when in Phils.

  3. You know how government works. Campaign costs money. If there is an expense, there is an opportunity to personally gain from it (if you know what I mean). With the mention of tie up with Discovery Channel, I’m pretty sure it’s all about personal gain. Duhh, talk about jacking up the costs.

    1. I don’t doubt that someone gained personally through the connection with the Discovery Channel, Carol. I personally consider this government project to be a complete waste of money. I’m all for “Filipino Time.”

        1. After 2 1/2 years in the Philippines, Carol, I’m adjusting. I’m completely happy with the status quo. Glad you agree, thanks. And yes, SPW is an excellent teacher and sometimes I actually listen to her. 🙂

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