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PNoy signs law setting PHL Standard Time

(Updated 4:10 p.m.) "Filipino time" may become a thing of the past for government offices in the country after President Benigno Aquino III signed a law setting the Philippine standard time.

Under Republic Act 10535 signed by the President last May 15, government offices are directed to synchronize all their timepieces to follow a standard time, which will be determined by PAGASA.

"Lahat po ng ahensya ng pamahalaan ay minamandatuhan na sundan na po ang Philippine Standard Time," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said at a press briefing Thursday.

The new law also directs PAGASA's Time Service Unit, in coordination with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), to "monitor, maintain and disseminate" the Philippine Standard Time throughout the country.

R.A. 10535 likewise gives the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) the power to require government and private television and radio stations to help in the dissemination of the Philippine Standard Time even in remote parts of the country.

The law also imposes a fine of up to P50,000 on owners of private television and radio stations who "shall fail to calibrate and synchronize their time devices" with the Philippine Standard Time.

The legislation also sets every first week of the year as the "National Time Consciousness Week." — LBG/KBK, GMA News