Candon City, Ilocos Sur -- Amid simple ceremonies, the cities of Candon in Ilocos Sur and Laoag in Ilocos Norte officially switched on their time pieces conspicuously mounted in the center of their respective cities. The time pieces were put in sync with the Philippine Standard Time or PhST which is managed and maintained by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The launch, organized by DOST Regional Office No. 1, was within the celebration of the Regional Science and Technology Week held October 3 to 6 in various parts of the region with the main celebration held in Candon City.
"It is a continuing information campaign about the value of time and the need to respect the time of others in order that the people may realize the importance of synchronized time," according to DOST Region 1 Director Dr. Armand Q. Ganal.
Meanwhile, DOST Undersecretary Brenda Nazareth L. Manzano said, "Time is more valuable than money for we are all only allotted a certain amount of time in our lives. And so, we need to make sure that we use it wisely."
The importance to synchronize all time pieces is highlighted under Republic Act 10535 or the Philippine Standard Time Act of 2013. It is an act to set the Philippine Standard Time in all official sources throughout the country, to provide funds for the installation, operation and maintenance of synchronized time devices to be displayed in key public places and to declare the first week of every year as National Time Consciousness Week.
PhST is an advocacy of the DOST which it calls Juan Time the New Filipino Time. The advocacy's main aim is to synchronize the time in the whole archipelago and likewise to change the notorious "Filipino Time" of being late. The law says that all government offices and media networks are required to use the PhST as a basis to set their time pieces. The law also set penalties for institutions that do not comply with the requirements of the PhST.
In Ilocos Sur, Candon City Mayor Ericson G. Singson thanked the DOST for the partnership and for providing the digital clock that is in sync with the DOST-PAGASA atomic clock. "Respect time, value your time, and respect the time of others," he advised.
Meanwhile, Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte shared, "Whenever they see Juan Time, we are reminded that here in Laoag City we don't buy that reasoning na awan time." She explained that awan, Iloco term for "no" or "none" is not acceptable since everyone can have the time if they want to. "May time pag gusto (There is time [for something] if you want to have time)," she said.
Candon City's official digital clock is switched on by DOST officials led by Undersecretary Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano (fifth from left) and Candon City Mayor Ericson G. Singson and local officials.
DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña leads the switching of the PhST clock at the plaza of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. From left: DOST Ilocos Norte Provincial Director Jonathan M. Viernes, Ilocos Norte Senior Board Member Ria Cathrina Fariñas, Sec. de la Peña, Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas, DepEd Laoag City Superintendent Dr. Joel B. Lopez, and DOST-STII Chief Dr. Aristotle P. Carandang.