Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Employers' Association (Apindo) has asked the government to consider allowing essential manufacturers to operate amid public activity restrictions (PPKM), with attendance of operational employees capped at 100 percent and support employees at 25 percent.

Speaking at an online press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday, Apindo's Hariyadi Sukamdani said he expects the government to consider the suggestion should it need to prolong emergency PPKM after July 26, 2021, especially for companies which have vaccinated their employees.

By doing so, COVID-19 handling could go hand-in-hand with national economic growth. "In (doing) this, companies must still enforce the health protocols strictly and report their activities to the Industry Ministry regularly," Sukamdani said.

He also appealed to the government to prioritize manufacturing companies which have to cater to other national or international companies' needs, as stated in their contracts, saying that if they fail to meet their obligations, they could be fined.

"Apart from that, the companies have interests (such as) keeping up the domestic products to substitute for imported raw materials and supporting production materials. Companies also have their own interests (which include) giving the employees of labor-intensive sectors (their) salaries, for example, textiles sector, garments, and shoes, (and) for (meeting) geopolitical needs internationally," he said.

Related news: Government extends emergency mobility restrictions until July 25

He also urged the government to allow non-essential manufacturing industries and their support staff to continue to operate at a limited capacity, with attendance capped at 50 percent for operational employees and 10 percent for support employees.

Should the government allow them to operate, health protocols in the companies can be audited regularly by the government, private parties, or customers, he said.

If a worker at an essential manufacturing company contracts COVID-19, the company can do a fast and thorough evaluation and reduce the capacity of workers to 50 percent for operational employees and 10 percent for support employees, Sukamdani suggested.

Non-essential manufacturing companies can do the same, he said. Such companies can perform an evaluation and bring the capacity of workers down to 25 percent for operational employees and five percent for supporting employees, he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, President Joko Widodo had announced the extension of the emergency public activity restrictions until July 25, 2021. He said the restrictions would gradually be eased if the COVID-19 positivity rate declined.

Related news: Epidemiologist backs extension of emergency restrictions in Java-Bali

Translator: Sanya DS, Satyagraha, Mecca Yu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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