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One-stop service offices for workers set up in NTB

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by November 10, 2016 General

Six One-Door Integrated Services (PTSP) offices for Indonesian migrant workers (TKI) have been set up in six regencies considered to have the most would-be migrant workers in West Nusa Tenggara in a bid to curb illegal and graft-ridden recruitment.

The establishment of the offices is aimed at reforming and replicating best practices in the province and to offer workers services free from middlemen and corrupt practices, National Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI) chief secretary Hermono said on Tuesday.

“NTB contributes a great deal in the sending of TKI abroad. The PTSP units for TKI have been established to support efforts to improve the management of TKI services in the region,” he said.

The PTSP offices were established by the BNP2TKI in cooperation with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and relevant ministries in six regencies: West Lombok, Central Lombok, East Lombok, North Lombok, Sumbawa and Bima.

The offices are expected to ease access for would-be migrant workers to obtain required documents, such as population documents, immigration papers, manpower recommendation letters and proof of insurance.

“This will narrow or even eradicate the chance for middlemen and illegal levy practices that burden TKI,” Hermono said, adding that offering ease in the service was also expected to deter illegal migrant workers.

The move is part of a plan to develop 52 integrated migrant workers service areas scheduled to be thoroughly finished within two years, starting with the launch of the border area empowerment and training center axis program in Nunukan in East Kalimantan in February and in Indramayu in West Java in October.

Separately, KPK deputy chairman Basaria Panjaitan said the offices had been established because bribery, extortion and gratification were still practiced in migrant workers services, including in NTB.

BNP2TKI data show that 253,256 workers from NTB were sent abroad from 2012 to September 2016, or 50,651 migrant workers annually. Based on the figure, NTB workers remit Rp 17 trillion home per year.

“The condition is in contrast to their being objects of exploitation, intimidation and fraud considering their contribution to the state’s economy,” Basaria said.

Indonesian migrant workers remitted up to US$9.4 billion (Rp 130 trillion) home in 2015, demonstrating why the state had to offer protection to TKI or would-be TKI, she said.

KPK’s involvement in the program focused on its function as a trigger mechanism through coordination, monitoring, evaluation and detection in TKI services management.

“This will hopefully reduce the high number of migrant workers working in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam without proper documents, which gives them no legal protection,” Basaria said.

The KPK encouraged other stakeholders to become involved in the program to make significant improvements.

Activists had urged the government to offer migrant workers protection and sternly punish those involved in the illegal recruitment of migrant workers. A boat sinking in Batam that claimed at least 54 lives last week also revealed illegal water routes linking Batam to Malaysia used by illegal migrant workers to travel to and from Malaysia.

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