MANILA, Philippines—Does the New Year come to your neighbor a few minutes ahead or late? How about welcoming 2012 at the exact same time?
The Department of Science and Technology is calling on the nation anew to synchronize watches and clocks with Philippine Standard Time so everybody greets 2012 at the same time.
Science Secretary Mario Montejo also appealed to organizers of public New Year countdown activities across the country, especially those that are broadcast, to carry time based on official timekeeping by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.
The weather bureau, the country’s official timekeeper, displays the official time on its Web site www.weather.gov.ph. Pagasa uses a precise time system that consists of a rubidium atomic clock and a Global Positioning System.
“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.
Montejo’s call is part of DOST’s “Juan Time” project, an initiative that aims to redefine the notoriously late “Filipino Time” by encouraging Filipinos to synchronize with PST and encourage timeliness.
The science department partnered with the local office of Discovery Channel for the initiative. DOST also taps its fellow government agencies to synchronize clocks in offices to carry the national standard time.
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– with the Pagasa as the country’s official time keeper,” said Montejo in his yearned message.
“An advocacy such as this proved that partnership can be strengthened especially when national interest becomes the common concern,” he said.
In 2012, Montejo said, DOST will pursue a five-point development plan aligned with the national development agenda.
The science department, he said, will pursue research and development in science and technology through public-private partnerships, tackling concerns such as health and nutrition, food security and disaster mitigation, among others.
Montejo also vowed to bring modern technology to the countryside, particularly for food processing and farming.