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04/26/2006, Philippines - "DST in the works", By Elaine Ruzul S. Ramos

The Department of Trade and Industry is considering the implementation of Daylight Saving Time or DST to cushion the impact of the oil price increase on government and private sectors.

Trade Secretary Peter Favila said: “We’re looking at a time horizon of four to six weeks, or until the third week of June when the rainy season begins.”

The DST was implemented for a month during the tenure of then President Corazon Aquino to conserve energy. Under the scheme, the official work-time in government and private sector is adjusted an hour or two earlier to fully take advantage of daylight and reduce energy use.

Favila is confident the DTI will easily get other government agencies and the private sector to agree on the DST program.

He said the feedback on the DST has been favorable so far, and that it could be implemented by next month.

The DTI will be holding extensive consultations with the private sector to identify other mitigating measures and that he expects a feedback within the week.

“We’re looking at additional mitigating measures in anticipation, if at all, of a continued upward surge in oil prices.”

Favila said the other measures being looked into are the four-day workweek scheme, one-day holiday per week and shortened mall hours.

The price of crude has exceeded $75 per barrel. The country depends on imported crude for its fuel supply needs.

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