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Understanding Overtime Pay for Government Employees

I must have been so busy trying new recipes in November 2015 that I missed out on the new policy issued by the CSC and DBM on overtime services and overtime pay for government employees (CSC-DBM Joint Memorandum Circular No.1, s. 2015). Shameful but I have to admit, it was only tonight that I actually put my attention on this. Consistent with my commitment to you guys, here’s a simplified guide to the new policy:

When can Overtime Services be allowed?

Overtime services shall be authorized only when extremely necessary, such as when a particular work/activity cannot be completed within regular work hours and it’s non-completion will either –

  1. Cause financial loss to the government or its instrumentalities;
  2. Embarrass the government due to its inability to meet its commitments; or
  3. Negate the purpose for which the work/activity was conceived. (Item 3.1, JMC)

Will the rules on Compensatory Overtime Credits and Compensatory Time Offs still apply?

Yes. As a general rule, remuneration for overtime services shall still be through CTOs, in accordance with CSC-DBM Joint Memorandum Circular Nos. 2, s. 2004 and 2-A, s. 2005. The payment of cash may only be authorized in exceptional cases when the application of CTO for all overtime hours would adversely affect the agency’s operations. (Item 3.2 and 3.3, JMC)

Who are authorized to render overtime services with pay?

  1. Appointive and salaried civilian government employees with regular, contractual, and casual appointments to positions of division chief or equivalent level and below; and
  2. Incumbents of positions of division chief or equivalent level and below who are designated as OICs of higher level positions since they are still bound to observe their agency’s prescribed work hours. (Item 6.1-6.2, JMC)

Who are NOT authorized to render overtime services with pay?

  1. Civilian personnel holding positions higher than division chief or equivalent ranks;
  2. Those already enjoying other forms of allowances or benefits for overtime services under existing laws/rules/regulations;
  3. Those in travel status;
  4. Elective officials in the national and local governments;
  5. Elective and appointive barangay officials and employees; and
  6. Military and uniformed government personnel.

For what activities can overtime services be rendered?

The following priority activities may justify the rendition of overtime services:

  1. Implementation of special or priority programs/projects embodied in Presidential directives with specific dates of completion;
  2. Completion of infrastructure and other projects with set deadlines which, due to unforeseen events, cannot be met without resorting to overtime work;
  3. Essential public services during emergency or critical situations that required immediate response;
  4. Relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and other work or services during calamities and disasters;
  5. Seasonal work such as preparation of budget and annual reports, in order to meet scheduled deadlines;
  6. Preparation of financial and accountability reports required by oversight agencies such as COA, DBM, NEDA, Congress, and Office of the President;
  7. Services rendered by drivers and immediate staff of officials when they are required to keep the same working hours as the official; and
  8. Other activities determined by the agency head as needed to meet performance targets or deliver services to the public. (Item 4.1-4.8, JMC)

What are considered as overtime services?

  1. Those rendered beyond the normal 8 work hours/day or 40 hours/week exclusive of time for lunch and rest;
  2. Those rendered beyond the prescribed work hours in a shift of 8 hours or more, such as in government hospitals on scheduled work days;
  3. Those rendered by drivers and other immediate staff of officials who are required to keep the same work hours as these officials, which are beyond 8 work hours or the prescribed work hours in a workday; and
  4. Those rendered on rest days, scheduled day off, holidays, or special non-working holidays exclusive of time for lunch and rest. (Item 8.2, JMC)

What shall be the rate used as basis for the overtime pay?

The overtime pay of a full-time employee shall be computed on the basis of his/her hourly rate. The hourly rate is computed using this formula:

HR formula

Where: HR – Hourly Rate; S- Monthly Salary

How will the overtime pay be computed?

The total overtime pay will be computed using this formula:

ot pay formula

Where: N1 -number of hours of overtime service rendered on a scheduled workday; and N2 – those rendered on a rest day, scheduled day off, holiday, or special non-working day

What are the limitations on Overtime Services and Overtime Pay?

  1. Only employees who arrive on or before the start of the workday will be allowed to render OT work with pay, provided that they render at least 2 hours of OT work;
  2. One hour breaks shall be observed for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and rest, and every 3 hours of continuous OT service, or as may be necessary;
  3. Rendering overnight overtime service shall be resorted to only when extremely necessary. In no case shall an employee be allowed to render overnight service for more than 2 consecutive nights. This is for health reasons and to ensure employee productivity;
  4. Period of OT services cannot be used to offset undertime;
  5. Only a maximum of 12 hours OT services on rest day, scheduled day off, holiday, or special non-working day, shall be compensated through OT pay. Anything in excess must be compensated through CTO;
  6. The total OT pay of an employee in a year must not exceed 50% of his/her total basic salary for the year; and
  7. The total OT pay to be spent by an agency must not exceed 5% of its total budget for Personnel Services for a given year. Any grant in excess of that shall be subject to DBM’s approval. (Item 10, JMC)



The exact words and arrangement provided in the JMC were not used in this post. Miscellaneous provisions were not covered as well. To read the full text of the Joint Circular, click here.

9 thoughts on “Understanding Overtime Pay for Government Employees

  1. good day! can a municipal accountant i with salary grade 24 render overtime services with pay especially at year end when they prepare thr year end financial reports required to be submitted to coa? how about cto? are they entitled to cto for ot services in excess of 12 hours during rest days? thanks.

  2. I just want to check if I can claim COC for the out of town travel made on a Saturday. I am a rank and file employee.

    Thank you.

  3. What is the validity of CTO? Our agency advice us to use it within the year it was acquired otherwise it will be forfeited. Should I use all my CTO this year because the agency does not monetize any OT we rendered .

  4. Who are NOT authorized to render overtime services with pay?
    3. Those in travel status;

    Atty. Gelene, can you still expound on this? As this is being used to argue against claim for Overtime/CTO. We travel to the regions to conduct 10-15 days training with weekend sessions. Thank you in advance.

    1. We have the same query. We also render service beyond working days like weekends and/or holidays. the JMC no. 1 s. 2015 excluded “3. Those in travel status”. As far as I know, the purpose of per diem is for lodging and meal allowances and CTO is for the overtime service rendered like weekends and/or holidays. How do we intepret this “3. Those in travel status?”

  5. We are confused as to how should ”3. Those in travel status” be interpreted. I think it would be unfair for those government employees who rendered overtime service outside their station (50 km. away) during holidays and/or weekends. Would ”3. Those in travel status” mean that when we render service during weekends and/or holidays, we are not entitled to earn a COC if we claim per diem? as I understood, CTO and per diem are different from each other. CTO is for the overtime service rendered during weekends and/or holidays and per diem is the allowance given when the rendered service is outside the station. The interpretation of our office is that if you claim per diem, you are not entitled for COC. I think this is unfair, does that mean that the service we rendered during weekends and/or holidays outside our station is pro bono? I hope we can be enlightened by your guidance. thank you!

    1. I’m afraid your agency’s interpretation is correct. But if you wish to be clarified, the Civil Service Commission nearest your agency may render a legal opinion expounding on the matter. Just write or e-mail them.

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