Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the Indonesian Migrant Worker Protection Agency (BP2MI) Benny Rhamdani has said that he will continue to push for the exemption of departure fees for Indonesian migrant workers (PMI), as mandated by law.

In a statement released by his office on Monday, Rhamdani emphasized that the exemption of placement fees is mandated by Law Number 18 of 2017 concerning the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers.

Therefore, he added that, as the head of BP2MI, he will continue to push for the implementation of the law's mandate to reduce the burden on migrant workers.

"This has become one of my dreams, to provide good service to PMI according to the law, including waiving costs for PMI departure abroad," he said at the send-off of PMI leaving for South Korea under a Government-to-Government (G-to-G) Program on Monday.

As per Article 1, Paragraph 30 of Law Number 18 of 2017 concerning PMI Protection, the placement fee should not be borne by PMI.

According to Rhamdani, the state spends Rp8.2 trillion (US$522 million) every year on the departure of Indonesian workers to several placement countries.

He said that the figure is quite low compared to the foreign exchange income that PMIs bring to the country, which amounts to Rp159 trillion.

"This means that PMI's income to the state is greater than the investment that the state makes in PMI," he remarked.

He then urged the government to prepare an endowment fund for the families of PMIs.
"Not only the placement cost, the government should also cover endowment funds and green card for PMI's family. Our PMI and their family should not have social problems," Rhamdani said.

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Translator: Prisca Triferna V, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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