The Indonesian government is to require employers of Indonesian migrant workers and Indonesian local governments to pay part of their placement fees starting on July 15, rather than yesterday as previously announced.
The new policy, aimed at easing the financial burden on Indonesian migrant workers, would remove the requirement for 11 types of worker, including domestic helpers and construction workers, to pay a placement fee and have the overseas employer and local government pay it instead.
The new regulations have been postponed because most Indonesian local governments have yet to allocate a budget for the training and placement fees they would be responsible for, Indonesian National Board for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Overseas Workers head Benny Rhamdani said.
Of the 34 provinces in Indonesia, only the local government in East Java has a budget to cover the costs associated with training, certificates and fees, Rhamdani said at a news conference yesterday.
Efforts continue to enlist the cooperation of local governments, he said, and meetings with the authorities in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong are also being scheduled to discuss the new regulations.
Rhamdani pledged to resign if the policy could not be implemented because of funding issues, as he does not want Indonesian migrant workers to continue to be burdened by placement fees.
The policy, first announced in July last year, requires the employer of an Indonesian migrant worker to cover the costs of a passport, a return flight, a work visa, a medical checkup, and transportation and accommodation in the destination nation.
At present, some employers cover the air fare and fees related to verifying the contract signed between them and the migrant worker, the Ministry of Labor said.
The new regulations are to be applied to 14 nations that import workers from Indonesia.
The ministry yesterday said that the nation’s representative office in Indonesia would continue to discuss the policy with the Indonesian government to ensure that the rights of Taiwanese employers are fully protected.
Based on experience, Taipei and Jakarta would only sign a memorandum of understanding on the new regulations once a consensus has been reached, Workforce Management Division Director Hsueh Chien-chung (薛鑑忠) said.
Hsueh could not confirm what issues the ministry would need to discuss or how the rights of Taiwanese employers might be affected by the proposed policy.
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group might have lost its right to distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 and the ability to fulfill a contract in Taiwan, civic groups Taiwan Citizen Front and the Economic Democracy Union said yesterday. In a radio interview on Feb. 17, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, said that last year, Taiwan was close to signing a contract to buy doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but that the deal was halted at the last moment, with some speculating that Chinese interference was to blame. On Monday last week, the center