Indonesia looks forward to lifting of migrant workers ban in Taiwan

The Indonesian side is making good progress in preparing for the reopening of Taiwan to allow migrant workers to enter Taiwan. (Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Taiwan has suspended the arrival of Indonesian workers since the end of last year amid the worsening of the pandemic.

Amid recent improvements in the epidemic situation in Indonesia, the Ministry of Manpower said Monday that Indonesian authorities will continue to make active preparations to ensure that the agencies and training facilities handle migrant workers in compliance with Taiwan’s epidemic prevention regulations.

The Indonesian Ministry of Manpower added that the standard operating procedures for handling migrant workers were sent to migrant labor agencies and training facilities in Indonesia on Sept. 27.

More importantly, representatives from the Taipei Economic and Trade Representative Office in Indonesia reportedly visited some agencies and training facilities in West Java, Central Java and East Java from Oct. 5 to 7 to confirm that the epidemic prevention measures meet Taiwan’s expectations.

According to a press release from the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower, the Indonesian officials on the trip included Aji Erlangga, a representative of the Indonesian Presidency, and officials from the National Board for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Overseas Workers (BP2MI).

Suhartono, director of the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower’s Bureau of Manpower Placement Development and Employment Expansion, said that the process of processing migrant workers for export must be in strict compliance with the Code of Practice on Immunization.

Indonesia takes this very seriously, as it is a matter of Indonesian reputation, Suhartono added.

Erlangga expressed hope that the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower and the agencies will comply with the standards set by Taiwan.

The press release said that the conclusions of the visit will be presented in the form of a report to the Taipei Economic and Trade Representative Office in Indonesia, the Ministry of Labor and the Central Epidemic Command Center in Taiwan.

The Central Epidemic Command Center decided on Dec. 4, 2020, to suspend the introduction of Indonesian workers for two weeks, mainly because many migrant workers had negative a COVID-19 screening test when they entered the country, but they tested positive upon arriving in Taiwan.

Taiwan authorities reportedly asked Indonesia to improve the problem and decided to extend the freeze on the eve of the ban’s expiration.

After the implementation of the freeze on Indonesian workers, Indonesia investigated the relevant intermediaries and training centers and discussed with Taiwan several times about screening and other preventive measures.

Both sides also discussed Indonesia’s policy of overseas employers covering the resettlement fees for migrant workers, which is scheduled to be implemented early this year.