Senator Antonio Trillanes IV urged his colleagues to pass a bill which grants night shift differential pay to government employees, including employees of government-owned or controlled corporations, who work during night time.
“The work at night is more strenuous than work done during the day, hence, the former deserves greater compensation. It is a universal fact that the normal work is performed during the day and the work done at night is exceptional and justified only on grounds of inevitable necessity. Hygienic, medical, moral, cultural, and socio-biological reasons, moreover, show that night work entails various inconveniences and when there is no alternative but to perform it, it is only just that the laborer should earn greater salary than the ordinary work so as to compensate the laborer to some extent for the inconvenience,” said Trillanes who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Civil Service.
Trillanes added, “There are government employees, however, whose regular working hours fall between 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. of the next day, such as our personnel in the Bureau of Immigration and our uniformed personnel in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police. The case of our BI employees is more lamentable because of their lack of compensation or monetary allowances considering the nature of their work.”
“This bill seeks to recognize the sacrifices of government employees who work late at night until the wee hours of the morning, when they are supposed to be asleep, by providing them premium pay for hours work during the night.”
Recently, a number of BI employees resigned, while others went on leave, due to the suspension of their overtime pay, causing the lack of personnel and prompting long queues in the immigration area of the airport terminals. It was divulged later on that these employees do not receive hazard and night differential pay for the strenuous work that they do. Under Senate Bill No. 642, government workers who render work between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. shall be given a night shift differential pay at a rate not exceeding twenty percent (20%) of the hourly rate of the employee. This incentive shall be given to all government employees, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations, regardless of their nature of employment, whether permanent, contractual, temporary or casual.
There are government personnel, like public health workers, who were already given night shift differential in past laws. Under Republic Act No. 7305, public health workers are paid night-shift differential of ten percent (10%) of his/her regular wage for each hour of work performed during the night-shifts customarily adopted by hospitals.
“It must be highlighted that the government employees should be given the same benefits as those given to employees of the private sector. Our government workers have long suffered neglect and poor working conditions. This is just a simple effort to repay them of their service and to recognize their role as the backbone of our government,” Trillanes said.