Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Indonesian migrant workers have started returning to Papua New Guinea (PNG) to work after leaving their jobs in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesian Ambassador to PNG Andriana Supandi has said.

"It is true that thousands of Indonesian migrant workers have started returning to PNG and Solomon Islands for work," he confirmed when contacted by ANTARA in Jayapura on Wednesday.

However, the Indonesian embassy in Port Moresby has not yet obtained the exact figure on the returning workers since many of the migrant workers have not reported their whereabouts, he added.

The ambassador appealed to the migrant workers to inform the embassy regarding their whereabouts to enable the government to monitor their condition and provide them with immediate assistance during unwanted events.

"We are expecting the migrant workers to proactively report their whereabouts to help us register their data, especially considering Indonesian workers are very welcome to work in Papua New Guinea," he said.

Furthermore, he informed that the Indonesian Embassy in Port Moresby has taken the initiative to assist migrant workers in reporting their status, including by providing an online platform through which workers can submit information about their condition without having to come to the embassy.

"They have not made the most of this convenience, so we cannot optimally gather their data yet," he said.

Ambassador Supandi then revealed that his side recorded an increase in visa requests. In 2022, more than 1 thousand migrant workers signed contracts and worked in PNG and Solomon Islands, he highlighted.

According to him, most migrant workers are working in construction sites, oil processing companies, retail stores, and spas.

He further noted that prior to the pandemic, the PNG immigration recorded approximately 6.5 thousand Indonesians working in various sectors in the Melanesian country.

However, he disclosed that during his visit to a company in PNG, he found that as many as 300 Indonesian migrant workers were working there, but only a few of them were registered on the database of the embassy.

Related news: Jokowi to waive migrant workers' IMEI registration fee: BP2MI
Related news: RI President seeks review of management of migrant worker placements
Related news: Ministry urges Hong Kong to increase migrant workers' minimum wage

Translator: Evarudkijati, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2023