By Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan

A MINORITY leader at the House of Representatives said he hopes a bill seeking to provide night differential pay to government workers will pass before the close of the 18th Congress.

House Bill (HB) 9458’s enactment will depend on how soon the measure is harmonized with its counterpart Senate Bill in bicameral conference committee, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos T. Zarate said.

“I hope this becomes a law before the 18th Congress ends in June,” Mr. Zarate told BusinessWorld in a Viber message.

The House approved the bill in August by a vote of 225-0.

Night differential pay is a form of compensation for workers that take on less-desirable hours, such as the night shift.

Senator Ramon Bautista B. Revilla, Jr. said that the Senate was unable to take the measure up in plenary session on Thursday.

“The House of (Representatives) was able to designate their conferees to the Nightshift Bicameral Committee only last night (Wednesday night). In (Thursday’s) plenary session of the Senate, the matter was not taken up because the House conferees had not been transmitted to the Senate; thus we will not be able to (assemble) the bicam on Monday,” Mr. Revilla told BusinessWorld in a Viber message.

“Tuesday is a holiday so bicam will most probably be held on Wednesday morning and the bicam report will be reported out to the plenary in the afternoon.”

If enacted, government employees at salary grades 1 to 24 will be qualified to receive night differential pay worth around 20% more than the hourly basic rate.

Government salary grades run between 1 to 33, with 33 being the highest.

HB 9458, or the proposed Act Granting Night Shift Differential Pay to Government Employees Including Those in Government-owned or -Controlled Corporations was referred to the bicameral conference committee late Wednesday.