Daily Archives: June 13, 2020

Manpower Ministry to supervise new normal in world of work


Jakarta The Manpower Minister has said her ministry will supervise the implementation of the new normal in the world of work, and companies will likely face sanctions if they fail to enforce health protocols.


“The Ministry of Manpower will provide guidance and supervision. The first (priority) is certainly to provide guidance,” said Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah, after leading a disinfection drive in Mampang Prapatan, South Jakarta, on Friday.


To ensure that business operations are carried out in accordance with the health protocol, the COVID-19 Occupational Safety and Health Command Post, set up at the beginning of the pandemic, would provide consultation services, which would be mostly available online, the minister informed. However, if required, officers from the Ministry of Manpower would come down directly to the workplace, she added.


The minister underlined administrative sanctions would be imposed if there is evidence of health code violations in the new normal.


“What we are prioritizing is providing guidance on how companies can continue to run their business, while remaining productive, (and) at the same time, making sure that the health of their workers is protected,” she said.

The Ministry of Manpower, she stressed, will initially supervise the process via online modes, and if further steps are needed, then, it will send officers to the concerned locations.


Minister Fauziyah said it would be ensured that though the initial supervision is conducted online, it does not reduce the quality of the supervision itself.


Earlier, Circular Letter Number M / 7 / AS.02.02 / V / 2020 was issued by the Manpower Minister on the Business Continuity Plan in Dealing with COVID-19 Pandemic and Prevention Protocol of COVID-19 Transmission in the Company to provide protection to workers and ensure business continuity.


The letter stated that entrepreneurs would be expected to recognize business priorities, identify pandemic risks, plan risk mitigation, identify pandemic impact responses, design and implement business continuity plans, communicate business continuity plans, and conduct business continuity planning tests.


In addition, the letter dated May 20, 2020 also emphasized the need for the application of health protocols in the workplace to prevent COVID-19 transmission.



Source: Antara News

Digitalization helps boost palm oil co performance amid COVID-19

Jakarta Indonesian palm oil company, PT Astra Agro Lestari, has recorded positive operational and financial performance amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has posed economic challenges worldwide.

In a statement received in Jakarta on Friday, the company informed that operations at its palm oil plantations and mills are running normally, with the application of strict health protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while its office employees have been working from home since March this year.

“We pioneered the digitalization program three years ago, so it has not been difficult to run a plantation operation in the midst of a pandemic like today. The positive performance in the first quarter of 2020 serves as evidence of operational excellence and cost efficiency that have been carried out,” PT Astra Agro Lestari’s president director, Santosa, said while opening the virtual Annual General Meeting of shareholders in Jakarta on Wednesday (June 10, 2020).

The company has developed digital innovations to manage operations online by digitizing the process of maintenance, harvesting, digital-based attendance, and data analysis.

It has also implemented a boarding system in each palm oil mill to avoid the accumulation of outside fruit queues. In terms of sales, the company has been conducting the tender system through a digital application.

Such digitalization measures, that have become the company’s operational standards, have allowed it to maintain productivity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as it has been able to maintain health and safety protocols, both at the head office and in the plantation operations, Santosa noted.

The company has reported a net profit of Rp371,06 billion for the first quarter of 2020, driven by an increase in the average selling price of palm oil by 45 percent to Rp9,037 per kilogram. Astra Agro has claimed that the net profit reflects a 892-percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2019.

“With the increase, earnings per share have also increased by 891.72 percent from Rp19.44 in the first quarter of 2019 to Rp192.79 in the first quarter of 2020,” Santosa said.

Meanwhile, Astra Agro’s net income has also increased by 13.3 percent to Rp4.80 trillion, compared to Rp4.23 trillion in the same period last year.

To increase productivity and efficiency for the rest of 2020, the company will continue automation programs by further implementing technological innovations.



Source: Antara News


Ministry holds virtual meeting with PLN customers over bill surge

Jakarta The Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment held a virtual hearing on Friday, June 12, with customers of state electricity company PLN in connection with complaints over their inflated bills.


“I would like to know from people, who felt the burden of the electricity bill that unreasonably increased,” Purbaya Yudhi Sadewa, an official of energy affairs at the ministry, noted in a statement received here on Saturday.


The ministry opened a complaint channel through email on pengaduanenergi@maritim.go.id that has received some 234 complaint files from June 9 to 11.


Anggana, one of the participants at the hearing, was taken aback at a significant hike in the electricity bill by this month, as he was staying at home since January amid the pandemic situation.


“Our electricity usage was quite normal. My family has begun spending more time at home since January, and thereafter, we have had no significant activities (that consumed more electricity). However, there is an increase of some 23-51 percent in the June bill,” he pointed out.


Sabda Tuah, another participant, expressed discontent and objection to receiving a hefty bill despite his house remaining unoccupied during that period.


“I have a newly build home in Pekanbaru where electricity installation was recently conducted, and we have not yet resided in it. However, we had received a bill of some Rp1.5 million (around US$106),” he expounded.


Akin to the spike in the bill for electricity consumption in households, some workshops too encountered the same issue.


Laela Indawati’s automotive repair shop received an electricity bill of some Rp559 thousand (around US$40) in June, rising from some Rp100 thousand-Rp150 thousand (around US$10) in the regular monthly bill. This baffled her, as the workshop had been shut down during the enactment of Large-Scale Social Distancing (PSBB) measures.


“Please give us one to two days to work on this grievance by checking with PLN. For now, we could not say anything before rechecking the data. We will conduct a thorough examination and be neutral,” Sadewa explained.



Source: Antara News


Civil servants wear distance-sensor device to fight COVID-19

Siak, Riau Civil servants in Dayun Sub-district, Siak District, Riau Province, have begun wearing a distance-sensor device around their neck to maintain physical distancing at the workplace while lowering the risk of contracting novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).


The distance-sensor device was named “senjata,” which translates to weapon in Indonesian, Novendra Kasmara, the Dayun chief, stated on Saturday.


“Despite its name, it is not a sharp and dangerous object. This device is designed to alert officials in office to maintain the requisite safe distance,” he stated while adding that “senjata” is the abbreviation for “sensor jarak kita,” or loosely translated as “sensors for (maintaining) our distance”.


“Everyone in the sub-district office must wear this sensor device at the workplace. When we are less than a meter apart from the other person, it will emit a loud warning sound,” he expounded.


The distance-sensor device is the latest innovation designed by the sub-district office ahead of the new normal, a term coined by the Indonesian government that urges the public to revert to productive and healthy routine activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


The sub-district chief noted that all village offices and communities were introduced to the new normal campaign. It is mandatory for all visiting the Dayun office to abide by the health protocols, including temperature checks and washing hands at the portable basin near the entrance.


“All visitors are required to wear face masks at all times. If they do not have one, we will provide the mask for them,” he added.


Dayun, one of the province’s main palm oil producers, had reported a COVID-19 positive case, though the patient recovered from the disease.


In the meantime, four positive cases were reported in Siak District, though all the patients had recovered.



Source: Antara News


Government’s Tapera program will be added burden on workforce: KSPSI

Jakarta The government’s latest public housing savings program (Tapera), necessitating employees and employers to contribute to a mandatory mortgage loan scheme, may boost workers’ homeownership though could “put a heavy burden” on them, a union stated.


“Tapera’s mandatory fee would be an added burden on workers, as they have to pay other dues every month. If all is counted, it would take more than eight percent from their total monthly salary,” President of the All-Indonesia Workers Union Confederation (KSPSI) Andi Gani Nena Wea noted in a statement, here, Saturday.


Wea, chairman of the workers union confederation in Southeast Asia’s countries (ASEAN), noted that before the mandatory mortgage loan scheme, workers’ salaries were deducted for a pension fund that took at least four percent from the total amount, the national healthcare and social security agency (BPJS Kesehatan), and Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan).

In the meantime, the government necessitates employers and workers to contribute at least 3.5 percent of their monthly salaries to the mandatory mortgage loan scheme. The loan will be split into 2.5 percent to be paid by workers, while another one percent by the companies.


“Another deduction will be burdensome on us,” he stressed.


Instead of imposing a mandatory mortgage loan scheme, Wea suggested it should be implemented voluntarily among workers.


“Tapera (the public housing program) should be optional. (The government) should not enforce it through the law,” he remarked.

The labor union chief opined that the program should solely target those struggling to own a house. Hence, the loan scheme should not be enforced on those already holding properties.


This month, President Joko Widodo signed a regulation of the public housing savings that was applicable to civil servants and members of the police and military, followed by employees in state-owned enterprises and private sectors.


The public housing savings management body (BP Tapera) has targeted to collect at least 13 million members five years after the program was first implemented.


Source: Antara News