Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Limited Cabinet Meeting (Through Video Conference) on Mitigation of COVID-19 Impact on Employment Sector, 30 April 2020, at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Date 2 Mei 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Distinguished Vice President,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a very broad impact, especially on employment. Based the information I have received, there are more than one million informal workers who are on unpaid leave and 375,000 formal workers have been laid off. As for informal workers, it is estimated that around 315,000 have been affected.
For that matter, I would like to address our concerns.
First, to prevent the spread of layoffs, we have to make sure that the economic stimulus program that we have designed can be immediately implemented, immediately applied, and truly run so that the benefits can felt by business people.
Let me also remind you that these various economic stimulus packages should be provided for companies who are committed to refraining from laying off their employers. This is substantial.
Second, for workers in the formal sector in which the number of reaches 56 million, We have to ensure that program schemes that can ease their burden. We have tax incentives, as well as relaxation of the BPJS fee, delay in credit or loan repayments. I suppose this is a very good scheme, but once again please monitor to ensure that the implementation can really be well-targeted.
Third, for workers in the informal sector, I have ordered their inclusion for them to be included in the social safety net program. Based on the data I received, there are 126.5 million workers in the country with 70.5 million of them working in the informal sector. For informal workers who are categorized as poor and vulnerable, make sure they will get social assistance, both from the Central Government and regional governments.
Fourth, for workers who have been on an unplaid leave or have been laid off, I want them to be prioritized to receive Pre-Employment Card. Based on the latest information I received, as many as 8.4 million people have registered for the Pre-Employment Card program even though there are only 5.6 million quotas. So, once again, it should prioritize those that have been laid off.
Fifth, I have ordered Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration, Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing, Ministry of SOEs, and other ministries to intensify cash-intensive programs in order to provide more employment.
Sixth, we have to provide protection for our migrant workers, both those who have returned home and those who are still abroad so that they continue to remain protected. We have also sent food packages for our migrant workers in Malaysia and I would like this to continue.
This concludes my introduction.
Translated by Fairuzzamani Inayatillah
Reviewed by M. Ersan Pamungkas