Teachers Next in Line for Jab, Sovereign Wealth Board Announced, Inequality Worsening
Feb 16, 2021 | AmCham Indonesia
Teachers Get Priority for Second Vaccination Wave
The Ministry of Health will prioritize teachers and lecturers for the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination, which will start on Feb 17. The goal is to return to in-class learning as online learning is not feasible for some students with limited resources.
Other people prioritized to be vaccinated in the second phase are merchants in traditional markets; clerics; parliamentarians; government officials; security workers; those who work in hotels, restaurants, and the tourism sector; firefighters; those who work in the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), state/regional government-owned enterprises and social security agency (BPJS); heads of village apparatus; those who work in public transport; athletes and reporters/the media sector.
A total of 38,513,446 will be vaccinated in this phase, which consists of around 17 million public service workers and more than 21 million seniors. The government has targeted to vaccinate 181.5 million Indonesians (60-70 percent of the population) to achieve herd immunity. It is unknown when sufficient vaccines will be available in the country for the government to meet these targets.
President Joko Widodo inaugurated the board of directors of Indonesia’s new Sovereign Wealth Fund today, Feb 16. Permata Bank President Director Ridha Wirakusumah will take on the role of President Director. President Widodo said the widely respected banker had plenty of experience and financial and investment knowledge.
Widodo also appointed former Pertamina Finance Director Arief Budiman as Deputy President Director, Citibank Indonesia Country Risk Manager Marita Alisjahbana as Director of Risk, former Garuda director Eddy Porwanto as Director of Finance, and Creador Managing Director Stefanus Ade Hadiwidjaja as Director of Investment.
Statistics Indonesia (BPS) reports that Indonesia’s national Gini ratio rose to 0.385 in September 2020, compared to 0.381 in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic and 0.380 in September 2019. The closer a country’s Gini ratio is to the maximum value of 1, the greater the income distribution inequality recorded. BPS also reports that poverty in Indonesia increased by 2.76 million people between September 2019 and September 2020.
Indonesia’s Gini ratio fell throughout President Joko Widodo’s first five-year term from September 2014 to September 2019. However, conditions during the pandemic have caused an increase.
Another measure of economic inequality is the spending level of the bottom 40 percent of the population, also known as the World Bank method. Using this method, BPS reports that in September 2020 the spending percentage of the bottom 40 percent was 17.93 percent, which is categorized as low inequality. This figure was an increase from March 2020 (17.73 percent) and September 2019 (17.73 percent).
The widening inequality can also be observed from the distribution of bank deposits. Data from the Indonesia Deposit Insurance Corporation (LPS) shows that while deposits of Rp 5 billion and above grew by 14.2 percent in 2020, deposits under Rp 100 million grew only 8.1 percent, deposits below Rp 10 million grew slowly, and even declined in some cases. This strongly indicates that low-income households are withdrawing their money to fulfill pressing economic needs.
Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati estimates Indonesia’s economic growth at 4.5-5.3 percent in 2021. This projection is slightly lower than the previous government target of 4.5- 5.5 percent. She said economic growth is affected by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, structural reform stemming from the Omnibus Job Creation Law, and the establishment of the Indonesia Investment Authority.
Multilateral institutions have released their own growth projections, with the International Monetary Fund predicting 4.8 percent, the World Bank 4.4 percent, and the Asian Development Bank 4.5 percent.
WeWork Indonesia has initiated a donation drive through a crowdfunding platform to provide assistance for Indonesians in Manado affected by heavy flooding and landslides due to the ongoing rainy season. The proceeds will go toward providing relief and aid for those affected.
The nine districts affected by the floods and landslides are Singkil (five sub-districts), Tuminting (five), Bunaken (one), Paal Dua (six), Tikala (four), Wenang (six) Sario (three), Malalayang (four) and Wanea (three). Manado authorities are still calculating the losses and damage that occurred due to the overwhelming flooding and heavy rain.
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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