Foreign entry into Indonesia tightened over COVID-19Friday, 20 Mar 2020
GENERAL NEWS AND HEADLINES
Foreign entry into Indonesia tightened over COVID-19
As a preventative measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, foreign entry over Indonesian borders will be tightened.
Foreign Ministry acting spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah explained that policies regulating visa-free visits, visas on arrival and free diplomatic/service visas were to be suspended for one full month.
However, Teuku said that foreign entry has not been completely barred. Foreigners who have applied and obtained visas through an Indonesian representative office in their respective countries would be allowed to enter the country.
Medical officers to go on strike over lack of protective equipment
CNN Indonesia (https://tinyurl.com/vubn8tq)
Complaints regarding the lack of personal protective equipment for medical personnel handling patients infected with the coronavirus have been heard from several regions across Indonesia.
A number of medical officers at Bahteramas General Hospital (RSU) in Southeast Sulawesi are planning to go on strike unless standard personal protective equipment is made available for the officers to use, as the officers did not want to risk exposure to the virus.
RSU supervisory board member Abu Hasan admitted that his team currently lacks hazardous materials suits and N95 masks to use as protection when working in isolation rooms. Abu said 200 masks have been sent by the Southeast Sulawesi Health Office. However, as of Friday the hospital only had 13 hazardous materials suits for the 13 medical officers currently handling infected patients.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has granted a deadline extension for government officials to submit their periodic wealth reports (LHKPN) for 2019.
KPK acting spokesperson Ipi Maryati stated that the submission deadline was extended by one month, giving officials until April 30 to submit their reports. The extension was issued through letter No. 100/2020 on the Extension of Submission Period for the 2019 LHKPN and was implemented because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Ipi added that face-to-face services for LHKPN submissions would remain available amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Ipi encouraged government officials to opt to use indirect channels when submitting their wealth reports.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS NEWS AND HEADLINES
KSSK reactivates 2008 crisis protocols to manage coronavirus economic impact
Kontan, (https://tinyurl.com/rtlsm7o); CNBC Indonesia, (https://tinyurl.com/tla6gue); Bisnis Indonesia, (https://tinyurl.com/weovufc)
The Financial System Stability Committee (KSSK) has activated crisis protocols based on the 2008-2009 global financial crisis while making some adjustment to manage the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The protocols will be used to monitor liquidity, sovereign debt papers (SBN), exchange rate as well as investor sentiment in the financial market. It will also help Bank Indonesia (BI) and the Financial Services Authority (OJK) in monitoring the credit market. The KSSK has set four categories to assess the pressure on the country’s financial system: normal, alert, warning and crisis.
Jokowi orders state-budget reallocation
CNBC Indonesia, (https://tinyurl.com/w4sxvdz); Bisnis Indonesia, (https://tinyurl.com/s4uyduk); Detik, (https://tinyurl.com/r69qr7o); Kontan, (https://tinyurl.com/w7zb2xo)
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has ordered all ministries and agencies, as well as regional governments to reallocate their budgets in an effort to counter the contagion of COVID-19. The state budget reallocation will focus on three aspects. First is boosting the health sector capacity in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Second is stimulating weakened household purchasing power through various social assistance programs such as the Family Hope Program, the Indonesia Smart Card Program and the Healthy Indonesia Card Program. Third is cushioning the economic impact on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the informal sector, as well as people who lose their jobs because of the outbreak.
Govt tightens eligibility requirements for cheap gas recipients
The Jakarta Post, (https://tinyurl.com/yx8836dn)
The government is tightening its criteria by which industries are eligible to receive cheap natural gas as of April 1. The incentive is expected to put further strain on the state budget, particularly in relation to fuel and electricity subsidies. Presidential Regulation No. 40/2016 was initially intended for 88 companies in seven regulation-listed industries that consume around 70 percent of industrial gas sold in Indonesia.
However, the Industry Ministry announced on Wednesday a plan to add 755 other companies, almost half of which are from unlisted industries such as paper and tier producers. Meanwhile, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry wants to add the electricity industry so as to include Indonesia’s largest electricity company, state-owned PLN. Around 30 percent of PLN’s installed capacity comes from gas-fired power plants.
The government has officially launched the pre-employment card program in four areas, Bali, Riau Islands, North Sulawesi and Surabaya, East Java. Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said that registration for the card would be opened in two weeks. In implementing this program, the government has partnered with 11 institutions such as Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Ruang guru, MauBelajarApa, Sekolah.mu, Pintaria, Pijah Mahir, PT Bank Negara Indonesia, LinkAja and OVO.Download PDF