Senate bills seek to give gov’t workers more benefits
Government employees toiling in the wee hours or working in dangerous places may soon receive more benefits under two bills in the Senate.
The bills granting new night shift differential pay and hazard pay to civil servants have been endorsed for plenary approval in the Senate by the civil service committee chaired by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
Both measures state that the night shift differential pay and the hazard pay may be received by government employees “regardless of the nature of their employment, whether permanent, contractual, temporary or casual.”
Senate Bill (SB) No. 1562 sets a night shift differential pay for government employees “at a rate not exceeding 20 percent of the hourly basic rate of the employee for each hour of work performed between 10 in the evening and 6 in the morning.”
Recognition of sacrifices
Trillanes said the night shift pay was part of the committee’s recognition of the “sacrifices of government employees who work late at night and in the wee hours of the morning.”
“It is only fair that they should be given substantially the same benefits as those given to employees in the private sector,” he said in a statement.
“Our government workers have long suffered neglect and poor working conditions. This act is just a simple effort to repay them for their service and to recognize their role as the backbone of our government,” Trillanes said.
SB No. 559 grants hazard pay to all government employees assigned to work in the following posts:
• hazardous areas, as may be declared by the defense secretary;
• difficult areas or hardship posts characterized by distance, inconvenience of travel due to bad roads and conditions of the terrain, isolation, inaccessibility and extreme weather conditions;
• X-ray units, clinics, laboratories, sanitariums, leprosariums, observation posts and other similar station, which offer risks to health and safety due to exposure to radiation, contagious diseases and volcanic activity;
• institutions that tend or care for mentally deranged patients;
• places that are subject to depredation by criminal elements as those in prison reservations and penal colonies without adequate police protection;
• plants and installations of the arsenal;
• aboard aircraft and watercraft in crossing bodies of water; and,
• other similar work conditions that the Department of Budget and Management shall consider hazardous on the basis of exposure to environment, health and social risks.
“The committee believes that it is only fair and reasonable that the officials and employees of the government be provided with
appropriate compensation,” Trillanes said. —DJ Yap
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