Argentina’s San Luis province plans to break away from the rest of the nation in observing a new time zone starting from April in 2009. The San Luis Chamber of Deputies recently approved of a project that allows for the province to observe a time zone that is one hour behind Argentina during the non-daylight saving period.
Changes to the Time Zone
San Luis’ Chamber of Deputies approved the proposed time zone and anticipates that it would serve as the province’s official time. With the new time zone, the province would be four hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (or UTC-4) when there is no daylight saving time and three hours behind UTC (UTC-3) when there is daylight saving time. If the plan are to go ahead, the non-daylight saving period will begin from the second Sunday of April to the second Saturday of October and the daylight saving period is expected to start from the second Sunday of October to the second Saturday of April.
During the non-daylight saving period, the province will have a one-hour time difference compared to the rest of the nation. During the daylight saving period, it will share the same time zone as provinces that do not to observe daylight saving time. This means that San Luis will only have a time zone difference with regions in the UTC-3 zone that observe daylight saving time. Regions in the UTC-3 zone that do not observe daylight saving time will observe the same time as San Luis during the summer months in the southern hemisphere.
Provinces within the UTC-3 zone that observe daylight saving time move to UTC-2 during the nation’s daylight saving period, which began on Sunday, October 19, 2008 and ends on Sunday, March 15, 2009. Interestingly, Argentina is located at a longitude that would naturally place it in the same time zone proposed for the San Luis province.
The proposed time zone change in San Luis hopes to satisfy many locals in the province who have been unhappy about the effects of the nation’s daylight saving schedule in the past. Moreover, this is not the first time that San Luis’ time will be different to the rest of the country. For example, the San Luis province reverted to its original time nearly one month after the nation began its daylight saving schedule on December 30, 2007, setting it one hour behind the rest of the country. When the federal government announced the 2008–2009 daylight saving schedule, San Luis was one of the 13 provinces that chose not to observe daylight saving time.
Opposition to San Luis’ Time Zone Change
Not everyone agrees with the chamber on the proposed changes. Individuals and associations, such as the Association for the Defense of Consumers, expressed their opposition to the plan. The association’s president Jorge Olguín expressed that there were not enough benefits to justify the proposal.