Govt introduces new social benefits as 2.8 million lose jobs

first_imgIndonesia’s preemployment card program, a social safety net offering aid similar to unemployment benefits, saw an immediate spike in interest within a few days of its launch, as 2.8 million people have lost their jobs nationwide as a result of businesses temporarily halting operations.Just a day after the program was launched on Saturday, 1.4 million people applied for benefits worth a total of Rp 3.5 million (US$223)  — to be given for four months — in the first registration phase, according to data from the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister.The program, which was part of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s campaign pledge, initially aimed at providing Indonesian workers the necessary skills training for work. “Our objective is slightly shifting,” Denni Puspa Purbasari, the president director of the program’s management, told an online talk on Monday.“We initially wanted to reduce youth unemployment, but now we were also focusing on furloughed workers, those who have lost their jobs or small entrepreneurs who have lost customers.”Read also: Indonesia advances pre-employment card program to tackle pandemic impactsWith a budget of Rp 20 trillion, the program will cover 5.6 million participants aged 18 years or above who are currently not attending university, particularly those who have yet to receive any social assistance. As many as 2.8 million people have lost their jobs as of Monday, according to data from the Manpower Ministry and the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan). More than half were furloughed and place on paid or unpaid leave.Employment data from August 2019 shows that 7.05 million people are unemployed in Indonesia, representing a 5.28 percent unemployment rate.“The scope of the preemployment card needs to be widened, eased and accelerated,” said Center of Reform on Economics (CORE) Indonesia research director Piter Abdullah. “With limited data, there’s a risk that disbursement will not be well-targeted — but it’s better than nothing. Therefore, it’s important that social aid is not politicized.”Many businesses have been laying off or furloughing workers as they temporarily shut down operations in line with the government’s large-scale social restriction (PSBB) measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.Read also: COVID-19 impacts across Indonesia’s business sectors: A recapIntroduced earlier this month, the policy mandates the suspension of schools and offices, as well as religious and public activities, with only essential businesses allowed to operate.Domestic factory activities have contracted to a record-low level in the first quarter of this year at 45.64 percent, according to Bank Indonesia’s Prompt Manufacturing Index.“Our employment conditions are very concerning,” said the Manpower Ministry’s training and productivity supervision director general, Bambang Satrio Lelono.“Therefore, we hope recipients [of the preemployment card program] can choose courses that will open up job opportunities, either in the same industry or a new one. They can use the training according to their needs or opportunities in the future job market. The program can help them develop their own businesses.”Nearly 200,000 workers in tourism, which has by far been the hardest-hit by the outbreak, are set to apply for the program, according to data from the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry. More than 1,200 hotels in 31 provinces have temporarily closed, according to the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI). Of those, 844 have registered their 74,100 employees with the preemployment card program.“We’re worried that many hotels and restaurants don’t care enough to register their employees, but workers in this sector highly need the social aid,” PHRI chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani told a teleconferenced briefing on Wednesday. “Many hotels have yet to give us their employee data.”Read also: Tourism will take at least a year to recover from COVID-19 outbreak: EconomistsAround 7,000 travel agents in the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA) have been forced to take measures such as cutting salaries and furloughing workers in order to avoid layoffs, said ASITA chairman Nunung Rusmiati.“We are trying very hard not to lay off our workers, but we would struggle if we don’t cut their salaries,” Nunung said at the same online event. “So, some of the measures we’re taking include cutting workers’ salaries by 50 percent and giving them unpaid leave.”The preemployment card program offers 900 courses, including English for tour guides, accounting, information technology and business management, in partnership with eight institutions, such as online learning platform Skill Academy and e-commerce platforms Tokopedia and Bukalapak.Eligible recipients who have registered at will receive their benefit via bank transfers or e-wallet platforms GoPay and LinkAja to ease the disbursement process.Riza Roidila Mufti and Adrian Wail Akhlas contributed to this storyTopics :last_img read more

Frustrated by obstacles, Baron gives up on Peruvian offshore block

first_imgUK independent Baron Oil has decided to relinquish Block Z-34 located offshore Peru due to “impediments to activity” caused by the country’s lack of regulation. Baron said on Friday that the decision was made on Thursday, November 9, after a unanimous vote by all parties eligible to vote on the matter.The company added that the Peruvian oil and gas regulator PeruPetro would be informed of the decision.“The block has been in Force Majeure since 2014, and under these circumstances, the Z-34 partners are entitled to exercise their right to relinquish Block Z-34 and, consequently, to request that the $3.6 million work program guarantee bond be released. If this is agreed, Baron expects to recover a substantial portion of the bond, free of tax,” the company said.The block is 70 percent owned by Baron Oil’s subsidiary Gold Oil with the remaining 30 percent being held by Uruguay’s Union Oil and Gas Group (UOGG).Bill Colvin, chairman of Baron, said: “The Z-34 group has been frustrated by the impediments to activity in Peru created by the lack of regulations relating to deepwater drilling and the need to change existing regulations to accommodate such activities. Although new legislation is promised shortly, we are of the view that activities will continue to face unexpected delays and additional expense, creating uncertainties that impact the economic evaluation of the prospects. We have therefore taken the difficult decision to relinquish the block.”It is worth reminding that Baron Oil tried to farm-out the block through a deal that would make UOGG an owner of 80% of the stake. However, after UOGG failed to meet its financial obligations for the farm-in following the approval of the public deed in February 2017, Baron decided to terminate the farm-out agreement.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more

Aribo Delighted to Return to Action after Covid-19 Ended Scottish Season

first_imgThe outbreak of coronavirus in March forced football activities to be suspended in Scotland and around the world as many countries imposed a total lockdown to curb the spread of the pandemic.The 2019-20 Scottish Premiership was subsequently ended abruptly as a result of Covid-19 and the Gers finished second on the league table behind Celtic.After the Scottish government allowed football activities to return, Rangers immediately kick-started their build-up to the 2020-21 season.Aribo, who has been part of the preparations, has taken to the social media to express his feelings on his return to action after 17 weeks of inactivity.“Felt good to be back on the pitch,” Aribo posted on Instagram with his image during the game.Aribo has been in fine form since joining the Gers last summer after turning down a chance to extend his contract with Charlton Athletic, where he spent two years.The 23-year-old midfielder scored eight goals and provided eight assists in 45 appearances for the Ibrox Stadium outfit in his debut campaign.His eye-catching performances earned him a call-up to the Nigeria national team and he has since made four appearances for the three-time African champions.Aribo will hope to continue his impressive performances for the Gers in their remaining pre-season games.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Super Eagles star and Rangers midfielder, Joe Aribo, has expressed his delight after returning to action in their pre-season game against Hamilton on Saturday.The Nigerian international featured for the Ibrox Stadium outfit in their first pre-season game against the Steven Gerrard’s tutored side but it was Calvin Bassey’s strike that cancelled out Ronan Hughes’ opener before Markus Fjortoft scored the match-winner from the penalty spot to earn Accies 2-1 win against Rangers.Super Eagles midfielder Aribo came close to scoring in the encounter when he struck a shot but the effort was blocked by Hamilton’s defenders. Joe Aribo last_img read more