Government agencies tasked to standardize Philippine time nationwide seem to be running late.
Days before a new law on the Philippine Standard Time (PST) takes effect, state weather bureau Pagasa, the lead agency for its rollout, admitted that they have yet to hammer out rules for its implementation.
Pagasa’s Time Service Unit has yet to meet with other government agencies to craft the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10535, the unit’s head Mario Raymundo said.
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He was referring to a law signed by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III on May 15, which requires all offices in the country to follow and display a standard time in official time devices, including bundy clocks.
“Kami ay timekeeper at time disseminator lamang. May kanya-kanyang initiatives ang mga iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno para bantayan ito (We are only the time keeper and disseminator. Each agency has a role to play),” Raymundo told Yahoo! Southeast Asia.
“Kailangan pa naming pag-usapan iyan dahil based sa batas, may coordinated agencies kung saan sila ay magtutulong-tulong kung pano ito mapapatupad (We still have to talk about these roles because according to the law, agencies are supposed to coordinate to implement the law),” he explained.
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Pagasa has nonetheless made PST available on its website via network time protocol, which has the capacity to transfer time over the internet.
All agencies under the Department of Science and Technology will automatically follow Pagasa-set time by staying connected to the state weather bureau’s web server.
But Raymundo said he was uncertain about which government agency should initiate efforts in laying down implementing rules for the PST Law.
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Pagasa needs to meet with National Telecommunication Commission (NTC), which has been tasked to require state-run and private TV and radio networks to use PST.
Also involved are the Interior and Local Government, National Defense, Health, Education departments, as well as the Commission on Higher Education.
Among the points that need to be clarified, Raymundo said, is the “maximum tolerable second” to say that an office is still following PST.
“Mayroon pa naman kaming 90 days para gumawa ng IRR (We still have 90 days to craft the IRR),” he noted.