PAGASA enhancing dissemination of Philippines standard time

MANILA, (PNA) -– Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) improving its nationwide dissemination of Philippine Standard Time (PST), the country’s official time.

Republic Act No. 10535 (PST Act of 2013) tasks the Time Service Unit (TSU) of the state weather agency with monitoring, maintaining and disseminating the official time nationwide.

”I’m preparing a proposal on providing timing equipment in each of PAGASA’s regional and field stations nationwide for better PST dissemination,” said the agency’s Astronomical Observation and TSU chief Mario Raymundo.

Under RA 10535, PAGASA must operate and maintain a timekeeping system as well as “install and maintain sufficiently large and prominently displayed synchronized time devices in all their field stations and in key public places.”

Raymundo said the estimated PhP 15 million proposal covers purchase and installation of the timing equipment.

”About PhP 10 million is needed to purchase the equipment as PAGASA has five regional stations and about 60 field stations around the country,” he said.

He noted around PhP 5 million more is needed for activities related to the units’ installation.

According to RA 10535, “all national and local government offices shall display PST on their official time devices, including bundy clocks, in accordance with the official time being provided by PAGASA using its network time protocol.”

”The National Telecommunications Commission shall require the participation of all government and private television and radio stations in order to ensure the synchronization of timekeeping devices can be undertaken even in the most remote parts of the country,” RA 10535 also reads.

Aside from such means, people can know the prevailing PST by either calling up PAGASA or accessing the agency’s website.

Installing the target equipment in PAGASA regional and field stations will further enhance dissemination of PST, Raymundo noted.

”People will be able to check PST in PAGASA stations nearest them,” he said.

Such access is important particularly in areas lacking phone and Internet services.

Raymundo plans submitting the proposal to PAGASA management this year for approval.

If approved, he hopes the equipment can be installed around 2015.

Earlier, Raymundo said all television stations nationwide must air PST so people can be guided on the country’s official time and synchronize their time-keeping devices accordingly.

“All television stations must display PST as doing so is the simplest mode of time dissemination since people just need to turn on their television sets to know the official time,” he said.

He also noted all Philippine radio stations must air PST to help disseminate the country’s official time.

Government will penalize parties violating RA 10535.

In May 2013, government enacted RA 10535 and commenced implementing this law the following month.

RA 10535 institutionalized the country’s celebration of ‘National Time Consciousness Week’ every first week of the year.