Easy-Going PPKM, No to Foreign Tourists in Bali, Carbon Pricing, Most Active Cases Outside Java-Bali
Sep 22, 2021 | AmCham Indonesia
PPKM Extended, More Relaxations
PPKM has been extended once again, this time until Oct 4, but with more relaxed restrictions as there are no longer any Level 4 regions in Java and Bali. Restaurants in malls or outdoor areas can operate at 50 percent capacity until 21.00, and shopping centers in Level 3 regions can operate until 21.00. Cinemas in regions classified as Level 3 and 2 are allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity, but only those who are partly or fully vaccinated (shown in the PeduliLindungi app as yellow and green respectively) may enter. Non-essential sectors are also allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity, provided workers are fully vaccinated and screened through PeduliLindungi.
The government is also holding trials to allow children aged 12 and younger to enter shopping centers in Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Yogyakarta, and Surabaya. However, Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said children would only be allowed to visit shopping centers with parental supervision. The PPKM extension is enshrined in new Minister of Home Affairs Instructions Number 43/2021 (for Java and Bali) and 44/2021 (for outside Java and Bali), effective Sept 21 to Oct 4.
Despite more relaxed PPKM regulations in Bali, foreign tourists from outside Indonesia are still not allowed to visit Bali for tourism and leisure purposes, with only work and business travel allowed. Foreigners who go to Bali for work and business are required to show a negative PCR test result and proof of full vaccination. They will undergo mandatory quarantine for eight days, and during quarantine, they are not allowed to receive guests from outside. Foreigners will also be required to list either their hotel or their travel agent as the person in charge, as well as to use the PeduliLindungi app while in Indonesia.
Some 45,853,033 million people had received their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as of Sept 21, the Covid-19 Task Force (Satgas) reports. A total of 80,408,744 people have received their first dose, and 864,324 healthcare workers have received their third dose. The government has a vaccination target of 208,265,729 people to achieve herd immunity.
Regions outside Bali and Java account for 61.95 percent of active cases in Indonesia, according to Coordinating Ministry of Economy Airlangga Hartarto. Although the number of active cases continues to decline and the recovery rate has hit 94.7 percent, Airlangga said the public needs to exercise caution and follow all health protocols as there is still the risk cases will surge again due to increased public mobility.
As mass sports events such as the National Sports Week (Pekan Olahraga Nasional or PON) in Papua, League 2 soccer, and the upcoming Superbike World Championship race in Mandalika are coming soon, the government is adjusting spectator capacities and ramping up vaccination in Papua and Lombok.
Over 1,000 Schools See New Covid-19 Clusters as Face-to-Face Learning Begins
A reported 2.8 percent out of 46,500 schools have reported the spread of Covid-19 during the return to limited face-to-face learning (PTM), according to a survey conducted by the Directorate General of Early Childhood (PAUD) and Primary and Secondary Education at the Ministry of Education, Research, Culture, and Technology (Kemendikbudristek).
The highest transmission rate was at the elementary level, with 581 elementary schools (3,147 teachers and 6,908 students being infected) reporting the transmission of cases. Early childhood education (PAUD) saw 252 schools (2,007 teachers and 953 students) report new cases, junior high (SMP) with 241 schools (1,502 teachers and 2,220 students), and senior-high-school level of 107 schools (1,915 teachers and 794 students).
AmCham Cares: Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB) Foundation
The Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB) Foundation is committed to thinking long-term about its mission to empower Indonesian youth during the pandemic and beyond. As a result, it ran the global Oxygen for Indonesia campaign Sept 13-17.
Indonesia saw 539 daily deaths on Sept 6, with more than 150,000 active cases and around one-quarter requiring oxygen to stay alive. The Oxygen for Indonesia campaign was launched to provide 10,000 10-liter oxygen concentrators, to be distributed to at least 200 hospitals nationwide. With the readily available number of oxygen concentrators under 10 liters insufficient for hospital use, these 10,000 concentrators can immediately impact 30,000 lives in a month and more than seven million lives overall.
Bank Indonesia Holds Benchmark Rate at 3.5%
Bank Indonesia will keep its benchmark 7-Day Reverse Repo Rate (BI7DRR) at 3.5 percent after a Board of Governors meeting on Sept 21-22. The reverse repo rate is the interest charged for central bank borrowing from commercial banks and is an instrument used to control the money supply. It also agreed to maintain its Deposit Facility interest rate at 2.75 percent, and the Lending Facility interest rate at 4.25 percent,
BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said this was consistent with the need to preserve exchange rate and financial system stability in the face of low inflation projections and measures to support economic development. BI's aim is to maintain the macroeconomic and financial system stability and support future economic improvement efforts.
Carbon Pricing: Opportunities and Challenges in Indonesia
The Central Executive Board of the National Awakening Party (PKB) held a webinar on Sept 20 discussing the opportunities and challenges surrounding the implementation of carbon pricing in Indonesia and for State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) here.
Gusti Kahari, AmCham’s Government Relations Director, was among the speakers, including: Vice Chairman of the House of Representatives (DPR) Abdul Muhaimin Iskandar, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) Chairman Arsjad Rasyid, Co-Founder of the Indonesia Research Institute for Decarbonization Paul Butarbutar, and Indra Chandra Setiawan representing the Japanese private sector.
Carbon pricing is a way for countries to reduce global warming. The cost is applied to greenhouse gas emissions to encourage polluters to reduce the combustion of coal, oil, and gas – the main drivers of climate change.
Abdul said he supports the implementation of carbon pricing as an alternative to carbon trading, with a reminder for the government to give time for industries to adopt green technology. Sri Mulyani said Indonesia’s plan to implement carbon pricing as part of its commitment towards a greener economy and climate change mitigation, based on its pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 29 percent by 2030.
Paul said the implementation of carbon pricing is an opportunity for SOEs to provide solutions to achieve a green economy, using risk analysis approaches to assess the pricing schemes. Indra used the example of Japan to highlight three important factors in carbon pricing policy: promotion of technological innovations to create change, implementation of green finance to support innovations, and international cooperation.
Gusti emphasized the importance of public consultation in creating carbon pricing regulations, to ensure all relevant stakeholders receive clarity on the regulatory details and technicalities. Consistency across regulations and derivative texts are also key. Incentives should be at the forefront compared to punitive measures such as tax, encouraging industries to adopt greener practices. Should the government introduce tax measures, ample transition time is needed to allow industries to properly adopt the technology and for the government to establish a proper carbon-friendly infrastructure.
The US to Reopen International Entry
The US plans to reopen international travel to foreign nationals who are fully vaccinated in November, the White House said on Sept 20. Foreign travelers and American nationals returning from abroad will have to show proof of being fully vaccinated, as well as negative Covid-19 test results taken three days before departure. Fully vaccinated passengers will not be subject to quarantine upon arrival in the US.
For further information, check international travel guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here. The CDC recognizes vaccines approved by the US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) and/or the World Health Organization.
Sinovac, the vaccine with the widest use in Indonesia, is not approved for use in the US.
For Indonesian travelers, countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have allowed entry of Indonesian nationals. The countries' respective health protocols apply.
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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