The Federal Government Must Make DST Survey Public: INAIBy María José Goytia | Wed, 08/10/2022 - 10:15
The National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI) urged President López Obrador to publish the survey on which he based his bill to eliminate Daylight Saving Time (DST). The transparency request revives the debate surrounding the elimination of DTS.
Following the refusal from the Office of the Presidency to honor the inquiry request made by a private individual, INAI urged the administration to make the information available publicly. The Ministries of Health and Energy conducted the survey, which supported a bill sent by President López Obrador to Congress to remove DST in the country.
The Office of the Presidency replied to the request by declaring itself “unqualified" and suggested the individual should address the information request to the Transparency Unit of the Ministry of the Interior.
DST has been maintained as a policy in the country for 26 years. According to public statements made by President López Obrador, the survey showed that 71 percent of citizens reject DST. Despite the commonly-held idea that the measure saves energy, only 0.16 percent is saved with its application.
Adrián Alcalá Méndez, Commissioner, INAI, stated that President López Obrador has explicitly agreed to the survey, therefore the Office of the Presidency must provide access to its results. "I consider it to be of the utmost relevance to know the way in which this survey was carried out, the methodology used and the results obtained, so that society is in a position to give its opinion and to understand the arguments that support the initiative presented by the head of the Federal Executive toward DST’s elimination," said Alcalá.
Past July 5, López Obrador presented the bill to eliminate DST, arguing that the savings in energy and money are minimal compared to its repercussions regarding public health. His initiative proposed a return to standard time throughout the year.
In Mexico, DST begins on the first Sunday of April, when clocks are moved forward one hour. It ends on the last Sunday of October, except in the states of Quintana Roo and Sonora, which do not switch at all, in addition to the northern border area, which adopted the US’ change.
Instead of DTS, the government aims to implement a seasonal schedule, which would be implemented on an exceptional basis in the municipalities of the northern border, as explained by Minister of Energy Rocio Nahle.
DST was implemented in 1996, when a Summer Time and a Winter Time were established. Its implementation was justified because the measure was thought to reduce the consumption of electricity and fuel, reducing pollution and allowing more activities to be carried out in daylight, leading to enhanced safety.