Evolution of the Philippines’ Time Zone: How it Came to Be?

Evolution of the Philippines' Time Zone The world can be confusing at times. In the Philippines, it may be morning, and it can be the opposite of other areas of the world. Because time is an integral part of everyone’s lives, it is interesting to understand how time became an ultimate indication of days, months, and years. This article tackles the Philippines’ time zone’s evolution and other interesting facts of how time came to be.


A Brief Overview: PHT

Also referred to as Philippine time, Philippine Standard Time is the Philippines’ time zone’s official identification. Contrary to most people’s impressions, it was noted in Philippine history that it utilized daylight saving time. As for the moment, the Philippines’ time Zone is set at UTC+8:00.


Geographic Details and Considerations

If you try to locate the Philippines, you’ll discover that it is situated within 116°40′ and 126°34′ east of the Prime Meridian. This location is one of the significant considerations for the evolution of the Philippines’ time zone. Moreover, if you look at a world map, you’ll notice that the Philippines is designated within the UTC+8:00 time zone.

As for the government agency responsible for this matter and the maintenance of Philippine standard time, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geographical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) are responsible. Not only the Philippines, but there are other countries that also use The UTC+8:00. These countries include Hong Kong, Macau, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Western Australia, Central Indonesia, and Mongolia.


Evolution of Philippine Time Zone: a Glimpse in Its History

The Spaniards colonized the Philippines for 333 years. As a result, Filipinos have adapted to the custom and traditions of the Spaniards. Among those that the Filipinos adopted is the Spaniards’ time zone. From 1521 to 1844, Filipinos followed the time and the calendar of the Spaniards.

On January 1, 1983, the Philippine standard time was instituted through Batas Pambansa Blg. 8. Because of this special law, the Philippines became one of the few nations that officially utilize the 12-hour format instead of the 24-hour reporting, which is used for military situations.


Periods and Time Zone Used

Although you can trace it back to the Spaniards for the evolution of the Philippines’ time Zone, there are periods in Philippine history where time is different. Here’s a quick overview of how the Philippines’ time Zone evolved.

  • Before December 30, 1984 – UTC-15:56 (identified as local mean time)
  • January 1, 1845 – May 10, 1899 – UTC+08:26 (identified as local mean time)
  • May 11, 1899 – October 31, 1936 – UTC+08:00 (identified as Philippine Standard time)
  • November 1, 1936 – January 31, 1937 – UTC+09:00 (identified as Philippine Daylight time)
  • February 1, 1937 – April 30, 1942 – UTC+08:00 (identified as Philippine Standard Time)
  • May 1, 1942 – October 31, 1944 – UTC+09:00 (identified as Tokyo Standard Time)
  • November 1, 1944 – April 11, 1954 – UTC+08:00 (identified as Philippine Standard Time)
  • April 12, 1954 – June 30, 1954 – UTC+09:00 (identified as Philippine Daylight Time)
  • July 1, 1954 – March 21, 1978 – UTC+08:00 (identified as Philippine Standard Time)
  • March 22, 1978 – September 20, 1978 – UTC+09:00 (identified as Philippine Daylight time)
  • September 21, 1978 – May 20, 1990 – UTC+08:00 (identified as Philippine Standard Time)
  • May 21, 1990 – July 28, 1990 – UTC+09:00 (identified as Philippine Daylight time)
  • July 29, 1990, to present – UTC+08:00 (identified as Philippine Standard Time)

Nowadays, the PAGASA strengthens reinforcement of the synchronized time identified as Philippine Standard time by enacting the Republic Act 10535. The primary purpose of this law is to provide a consistent timeframe for Filipinos everywhere in the nation.

Evolution of the Philippines' Time Zone