Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Migrant Workers' Protection Agency (BP2MI) has affirmed the state's presence in upholding the dignity of Indonesian migrant workers (PMIs).

"The state is present to uphold PMIs' dignity. They are also protected by Indonesian law before leaving, while working abroad, and after returning to Indonesia," the head of BP2MI, Benny Ramdhani, informed during a briefing held on Friday for 20 PMIs nurse candidates departing for Singapore.

Ramdhani outlined three protections offered by the state for the Indonesian migrant workers, namely, economic protection, social protection, and legal protection, including insurance.

According to him, protection for Indonesian migrant workers cannot be separated from the role of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) who has high concern for them considering that Indonesian migrant workers are the largest foreign exchange earners, raking in Rp159.6 trillion per year — second only to the oil and gas sector in terms of their contribution.

"You must depart with heads held high and return to Indonesia with pride. Previously, the important role of PMIs in development and their contribution was not recognized. Now we are highlighting their role as our foreign exchange heroes," Ramdhani said.

At present, every send-off for Indonesian migrant workers is attended by state officials, just like for an Olympic contingent, he added.

"The difference is that the Olympic contingents are released by the state as ambassadors of the nation to compete in competitive events, while PMIs are released as ambassadors of the nation to compete for job opportunities abroad," he said.

He then urged them to maintain their good name and remain proud Indonesians.

"In the placement country, the culture and environment are different, there must be an influence that you must avoid. Only take good things from your destination country, not only salaries but also knowledge," he pointed out.

On the same occasion, the CEO of private manpower service company Binawan Group, Said Saleh Alwaini, said he is committed to maintaining collaboration with BP2MI regarding Indonesian migrant workers.

He informed that he is targeting to send around 2 thousand Indonesian migrant workers, especially nurses, to Singapore. It is hoped that the Indonesian migrant workers will also be able to transfer knowledge after returning to Indonesia.

"Our target is to place 10 thousand Indonesian migrant workers in the next one to two years in a number of countries, including Singapore. Hopefully, in the next 10 or 20 years, they will return to build hospitals and clinics, and develop their region and country," Alwaini added.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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