Must Jab Rules, Foreigner Ban Continues, ASEAN Update, Here Comes the Rain
Feb 15, 2021 | AmCham Indonesia
Jokowi Says Vaccination Mandatory
President Joko Widodo has released Presidential Regulation No. 14/2021 on the Procurement and Administration of COVID-19 Vaccines. The regulation mandates compulsory vaccination for people registered as vaccine recipients by the Ministry of Health.
Those registered who do not receive the vaccine might receive administrative sanctions, including suspension or termination of social assistance (Bansos) and public administrative services, and/or fines.
The regulation also establishes the government’s legal responsibility for the safety, quality, and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, including responsibility over post-vaccination reactions. Treatment for adverse reactions to vaccines will be covered by national healthcare insurance, as well as other government funding schemes. The government will also provide compensation for deaths or disabilities caused by post-vaccination reactions. This obligation will apply even after COVID-19 is no longer designated as a public health emergency, provided the vaccines are procured before the COVID-19 emergency status is lifted.
Regarding the procurement of vaccines, the regulation states the government may give advance payment to suppliers, as well as the types and amounts of vaccines procured, which would be decided by the Ministry of Health. Whereby the suppliers in question must guarantee they can fulfill their obligations. These guarantees will be included in subsequent agreements.
The Ministry of Manpower (Kemnaker) has issued circular letter No. M/3/HK.04/II/2021 on Services for Employing Foreign Workers (Pelayanan Penggunaan Tenaga Kerja Asing).
The circular stipulates the temporary halt of new applications for foreign workers, with the exception of those who are part of National Strategic Protects (PSN) and vital based on weighted conditions or have written permission from the relevant ministries/agencies. Employers can still put forward applications for foreign workers that are currently in Indonesia. The circular letter came into effect on Feb 9.
Calling for community cooperation, the COVID-19 Task Force has issued a circular letter 9/2021 on Provisions for the Establishment of Command Posts (Posko) for the Handling of COVID-19 and Enforcing Public Activity Restrictions (PPKM) at Village/Sub-District Level. Command posts will consist of village/sub-district heads and officials, while the structure will be dependent on the surrounding resources and devices available.
The command posts will serve four functions:
Prevention: socialization and implementation of the 3M (wear a mask, wash hands, and maintain distance) and mobility restrictions
Handling: the 3T (tracing, testing and treatment), the economic impact (direct cash assistance - village funds) and community services.
Guidance: enforcement of disciplinary actions and imposition of sanctions.
Support: recording and reporting, logistics, communication and administrative support.
The performance of the command posts will be evaluated by the Task Force. Relevant stakeholders will also take part in meetings to further assess the posts.
Increased Testing Capacity, Cases Expected to Spike
The Ministry of Health will use rapid diagnostic antigen tests for COVID-19 detection, especially in areas that lack labs for PCR testing. Two million testing kits have been sent to all provinces, and an additional 1.7 million will arrive within 1-2 days in 98 targeted cities and regencies that are under micro-scale public activity restrictions (PPKM). As a result of increased testing, COVID-19 cases (including asymptomatic cases) are expected to skyrocket within the next week.
AmCham’s ASEAN Committee Holds First Meeting of 2021
AmCham Indonesia’s ASEAN Committee held its kickoff session on Feb 11 via Zoom, as committee co-chairs Lydia Ruddy and Shanti Shamdasani shared community updates and encouraged members to provide input on topics to discuss in 2021.
Lydia started the meeting by playing a video of The Impact of COVID-19 on Foreign Firms in ASEAN survey conducted by AmCham in collaboration with the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) last year. The survey brought together 24 chambers and business organizations, gathering input from 264 firms operating in ASEAN. Findings included that 88 percent of respondents have shifted to working from home and are seeing declining revenue caused by decreased demand due to supply chain disruption as a result of travel restrictions and lockdowns under COVID-19. The full report can be accessed here.
Shanti discussed the future direction of ASEAN and how it plays a major role in the economy and healthcare sector during the pandemic. In terms of GDP, ASEAN is a reforming region with Indonesia ($1.04 trillion), Thailand ($505 billion) and the Philippines ($331 billion) as the major players, based on a 2018 World Bank report.
This year, under Brunei’s chair, ASEAN is expected to focus more on healthcare and economic recovery; moving forward the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); looking at more bilateral agreements including Indo-Pacific diplomacy, non-tariff barriers (NTB) and non-tariff measures (NTM).
Recovery, digitalization and sustainability are three priorities set by Brunei. This means, ensuring the region recovers from the pandemic with a focus on clarifying rules on non-tariff measures, and the facilitation of investment by leveraging new technologies. Based on the Asian Development Bank Outlook in 2020 and ASEAN.org, ASEAN market penetration of goods and services has doubled in the last decade.
Before closing the session, members provided input on topics related to their businesses for future committee discussion.
AmCham Cares: ACG School Jakarta
With a focus on the environment, many ACG Jakarta students are working to positively impact the school community and surrounding area.
The Eco-Warriors are the school’s environmental action group whose role is to reinforce the awareness of sustainable living. The initiative has introduced regulations to encourage the use of recycled paper for printing, minimize waste, and reduce the amount of plastic on campus.
Since its foundation in 2015, the Eco-Warriors have been working to improve the school environment. They have also been a force in the wider community, participating in the annual Clean Up Jakarta Day, where hundreds of student volunteers, parents, and staff help collect inorganic trash and recyclable material from Jakarta streets and environs.
Now, because of the Eco-Warriors’ efforts, the school is one step closer to receiving a Green Flag International Award and becoming a globally accredited green-space area.
“We’re continuously looking to improve ourselves through acquiring different skills; from writing to problem-solving and identifying issues that inspire people,” said Ghina Watiman, an ACG student and Eco-Warriors inaugural member. “We believe this will optimize our team’s efforts to obtain a sustainable mindset within themselves and the community.”
Bed Occupancy Rate Exceeds WHO Recommendation
The hospital bed occupancy rate (BOR) across Java at the beginning of micro-scale public activity restrictions (PPKM) has exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended rate of 60 percent. CNN Indonesia reported health authority data for cities in Java as of Feb 9. Jakarta topped the list at 79.3 percent, followed by Bogor (72.91 percent), Tangerang (74.2 percent), Bekasi (78 percent) and Yogyakarta (65.16 percent).
The Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) says we should be alert to extreme weather conditions, with 96 percent of the 342 season zones (areas that have a clear distinction between rainy and dry seasons) in Indonesia having entered the rainy season.
The rainy season’s peak in Jan-Feb occurred in southern Sumatra, most of Java including Jakarta, Bali, Nusa Tenggara, parts of Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku, West Papua and the southern part of Papua.
BMKG predicts high-intensity rain, coupled by lightning and strong gusts in the following regions: Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Jambi, Bengkulu, South Sumatra, Lampung, Banten, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, North Maluku, Maluku, West Papua and Papua.
Support Independent Journalism: Subscribe to The Jakarta Post
In these difficult times, our hometown English language newspaper, The Jakarta Post, is more important than ever. Given the difficulties of physical circulation and the economic slump, the Post needs to boost its online subscribers – a goal we heartily support at AmCham Indonesia. Quality English language news is vital for our businesses, our home offices and the flow of information out of Indonesia. It is for this reason, that we are urging all of our members and readers to subscribe to JP! Information is what will help get us through this crisis. Below is information about how to sign up.
We Still Need Your Support to Shelter the Front Line
AmCham Indonesia and Habitat for Humanity have joined forces in an initiative called Sheltering Those Who Care for Us, a program to provide temporary quarters in hotels for Indonesian medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our program has helped not only medical workers in Jakarta, but also Tangerang and Surabaya; we are now planning to expand to Sulawesi.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still spreading, medical workers are working a lot harder than before. In these difficult times, they often cannot go back home for fear of infecting family members or being rejected by their local communities. As a result, they are forced to sleep in hospitals without a proper bed, also increasing the possibility of getting infected.
By donating, we will increase the overall capability of Indonesia to treat COVID-19. Habitat will match individual hospitals with hotels on an as-needed basis.
The AmCham Office is on work from home status and all face-to-face meetings and events have been postponed. We are having a number of meetings online using the Zoom platform. You will be notified of virtual meetings as they are scheduled.
What is Your Company Doing on COVID-19?
Please let us know what measures your company may be taking in the form of donations and other assistance to help Indonesia during this time of confusion and concern. Contact [email protected] with your news. We would like to publicize the ways that our AmCham companies are pitching in.
Stay safe, call a doctor if you have a high fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Stay healthy above all else.
AmCham Update is AmCham's regular newsletter on developments related to the pandemic crisis and other issues in Indonesia. It is edited by AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann and written by the AmCham Staff. Paul L Goddard is the Managing Editor