June 15, 2021

Provincial govt. preparing tour packages to help Work From Bali expand from Nusa Dua + Bali’s biggest marijuana supplier arrested + National cases soaring, experts fear "Covid-19 time bomb" + more

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Weather & Waves

Today’s Weather for Southern Bali

Today’s Tides

Local Covid Numbers

*Note: With 48 new cases recorded yesterday, the 7-day average edged up to 42. Among yesterday’s new case total, 2 were contracted by Indonesians who had returned from overseas. 2 deaths were recorded, bringing this month’s fatalities to 23.

Click here to see the national numbers infographic and a Regency-by-Regency breakdown of yesterday’s local numbers. And in case you missed it, check out Sunday’s update for a summary of last week’s overall totals, with perspective on how they stack up against previous weeks, detailed breakdowns of the virus’ spread on a Regency-by-Regency level, and the national task force’s risk assessment for each district/city across the country.

The Big News

"Provincial Government Prepares Tour Packages so Work From Bali Not Centralized in Nusa Dua" from Kompas (Indonesian): The Work from Bali (WFB) program will effectively start in stages in July 2021. Seven ministries and institutions under the command of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Kemenko Marves) will implement WFB from the Nusa Dua area. The Deputy Governor of Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, said that there was no special welcome by the Bali Provincial Government (Pemprov) to the seven ministries and institutions.  Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office, Putu Astawa, said that his party had provided a number of tour packages so that ministerial ASN or BUMN employees working in Bali were not concentrated in Nusa Dua. The tour packages have been coordinated with tourism object managers spread across 9 regencies/cities throughout Bali. "So, after the meeting in Nusa Dua, for example, we hope they can visit our tourism objects and MSMEs in Bali, so that there is a circulation of money."

"Narcotics Agency Foils Smuggling Attempt From Bali’s Biggest Marijuana Supplier" from Coconuts Bali: The National Narcotics Agency in Bali (BNNP) foiled an attempt to smuggle 44 kilograms of marijuana, which reportedly originated from a fugitive known as the province’s biggest supplier of the illegal plant. Packets of marijuana were found hidden in a truck that was passing through Mengwi Terminal last night. Authorities had been tailing the truck and waited until the driver met up with another man who allegedly ordered the shipment. After authorities launched a search of the vehicle at the terminal, the two were promptly arrested. “During the search we found 12 suspicious sacks,” BNNP Bali Chief, Sugianyar Dwi Putra, said. Five of the sacks contained 22 packets of marijuana, each weighing about two kilograms. The packets were packed neatly and hidden among clothes inside the sacks, which were placed among piles of wood stored at the back of the truck. BNNP Bali said the weed originally belonged to a suspect identified as GW, who was a fugitive and known as Bali’s biggest weed supplier. He and his wife were finally arrested in Banyuwangi, East Java over the weekend, prior to last night’s operation. Sugianyar said this is BNNP Bali’s biggest drugs bust, adding that authorities will carry on with their investigation into the network.

"Coronavirus Cases Soaring, Experts Fear 'Covid-19 Time Bomb' in Next Two to Three Weeks" from BBC Indonesia (Indonesian): An infectious disease expert said he is worried that Indonesia might experience an explosion of the “Covid-19 time bomb,” if the government failed to anticipate it. This concern is motivated by the re-surging of Covid-19 cases in several areas, the depletion of bed availability, and the worsening amount of tracking and testing. "The worst case is a very large spike in cases. Not at the end of June, but after, especially if (anticipation) is not prepared," said Dicky Budiman, an infectious disease expert from Australia's Griffith University. The central government, through the Covid-19 Handling Task Force, has urged local governments to cooperate with each other regarding patient transfers, logistics, and increasing capacity in hospitals. "I ask the local government to immediately convert the beds as much as possible and open a centralized isolation place if possible, to keep the burden on hospitals and health workers from being overwhelmed," said Spokesperson for the Covid-19 Task Force, Wiku Adisasmito.

Context: In light of the surge in cases, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo has confirmed the presence of the B.1.617.2, or Delta, variant of the virus (previously known as the India variant) in Kudus, which is the first regency to detect the variant in Central Java.

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Other Headlines

"Corruption Allegations in Procurement of Masks in Karangasem, Mask Total Allegedly Inflated" from Radar Bali (Indonesian): New facts were revealed about the alleged corruption in the procurement of masks at the Karangasem Social Service (Dinsos), worth Rp 2.9 billion. The allegation of inflating the number of masks was revealed from the emergence of a difference between the number of residents and the number of masks ordered. The total population (according to Central Statistics Agency data) in Karangasem in 2020 was 418,800 people. Meanwhile, the number of masks ordered was 512,797 pieces, a difference of 93,997. With this total difference and a per piece price of Rp.5,700, the difference in the amount of funds spent is as much as Rp.535,782,900. Moreover, according to information from the sub-district heads when examined, members of the TNI, Polri and ASN or civil servants in Karangasem did not receive masks. Regarding this matter, the Head of Intelligence at the Karangasem Prosecutor's Office, Dewa Gede Semara Putra, stated that he did not dare to speculate. According to him, the new investigator will summon and examine the village head in Karangasem.

Vaccination Update

Health Protocols (Prokes) & Patrols

"Jakarta Considers Tightening Restrictions Amid ‘Alarming’ Covid-19 Surge" from Coconuts Jakarta: Tight restrictions may soon return in Jakarta, Governor Anies Baswedan said, as the capital enters an “alarming phase” in its struggle against COVID-19. The governor announced fresh data signaling a surge in Jakarta in recent weeks, one of the most notable of which is the rise of the capital’s hospital occupancy rate from 45% last week to 75% as of June 13. “In the past few days, we have seen exceptionally high COVID-19 case spikes. The data showed that in the week ending on June 6, the number of active cases was 11,500, and today (June 13) it’s 17,400. That’s a 50% increase in a week,” Anies said. The governor then called on city authorities to step up health protocol vigilance. “The capital is in need of extra attention. If this condition veers out of control, we will enter an alarming phase, and if that happens we will have to take drastic measures like in September and February,” referring to periods of tightened restrictions on public activities in the capital amid high infection rates.


Economy & Infrastructure

"Ministry Clarifies VAT Imposition Solely on Premium Basic Necessities" from Antara: The government will solely impose value-added tax (VAT) on premium basic necessities through an amendment to Law No. 6 of 1983 on general provisions and taxation procedures (RUU KUP), according to the Finance Ministry. "Of course, not all basic necessities (will be subject to VAT). For instance, basic necessities sold at traditional markets will not be subject to VAT. This is not the case with premium basic necessities," Director of Public Counselling, Services, and Relations of the Taxation Directorate General at the Finance Ministry Neilmaldrin Noor said. In a bid to dispel circulating doubts, Noor explained that the ministry has not set the VAT rate for premium basic necessities since the bill on the amendment to Law No. 6 of 1983 had yet to be discussed with the House of Representatives (DPR).


"Income Down 40%, Padangbai Not Productive” from Bali Express (Indonesian): The opening of shipping lanes or sea tolls from Ketapang Port (Banyuwangi) directly to Lembar Harbor (West Lombok) has made several crossing companies at Padangbai Port, Karangasem scream. As a result, 13 ship companies serving the Padangbai-Lembar crossing route chose to leave, switching routes. The company said that the Karangasem-Lombok crossing is no longer productive. Although there are several companies that still serve several vehicle crossings around Bali, the number of cross-provincial logistics vehicles is admittedly minimal. The expedition/logistics companies directly chose to cross to Lombok via Ketapang. "The price is also not much different. So the logistics company prefers the direct Ketapang-Lembar route. Meanwhile, here (Padangbai) has had a decrease in the number of passengers," said Chairman of the DPC Association of River, Lake and Crossing Transport Entrepreneurs (Gapasdap) Padangbai Port, Anang Heru.

"Construction Annexes Green Line, Productive Land Overgrown with Concrete" from Bali Express (Indonesian): Subak Apuan area, Dauh Yeh Cani Village, Abiansemal District, Badung, on Jalan Raya Puspa Resti or north of Taman Biji Temple, has been crushed by construction. The area is a green line which is of course still productive but has been converted into residential land. The existence of the building violates the Regional Regulation of Badung Regency No. 26 of 2013 concerning the Regional Spatial Plan of the Badung Regency of 2013–2033. This area is a green line that must be protected. It is also a food crop cultivation area and catchment area. "So it is a violation of the green line and then the absorption area is considered a sacred area because there is the Taman Biji Temple," a source explained. Meanwhile, Head of the Badung Civil Service Police Unit (Satpol PP), I Gusti Agung Ketut Suryanegara, did not deny that the area was a green line. To ensure that construction is stopped, his party has conducted several monitoring visits to the location.

"Indonesia Confirmed as Most Generous Country in the World" from Oke Zone (Indonesian): The World Giving Index (WGI) report released Monday by CAF (Charity aid Foundation) put Indonesia in first place with a score of 69%, up from its 59% score in the last annual index published in 2018. At that time, Indonesia also ranked first in the WGI. The Index is an annual report published by the Charities Aid Foundation, using data collected by Gallup, and ranks more than 140 countries around the world based on how generous they are in donating. In the WGI 2021 report, Indonesia ranks in the top 2 out of 3 categories or indicators that become WGI's measurements, namely donating to strangers, donating money, and volunteering. CAF's research shows that more than 8 out of 10 Indonesians donated money this year, while the level of volunteerism in Indonesia is three times higher than the world average. Director of Philanthropy Indonesia, Hamid Abidin, welcomed the achievements made by the Indonesian philanthropic sector. According to him, the pandemic and the economic crisis did not seem to prevent the Indonesian people from sharing.

"Recipe for Kindness: Australian Chef’s Book Raises Funds for Bali-based Charities" from The Jakarta Post: Scholars Of Sustenance (SOS), a food rescue foundation, is just one of the charities being financially supported through the sales of Australian chef Dean Keddell's book, Bali Kita Bali Kamu, (Our Bali, Your Bali) a 400-page, hardcover book full of traditional Balinese recipes, photographs and stories of local individuals, families, and warungs who have shared their food and their recipes. Keddell knew he had to do something to support his staff and the community within his adopted homeland of Bali. His business, like so many in Bali, had relied on tourism and without it, he was concerned by how he would keep his business running and look after his staff. The book he and his staff have created, with the help of local families and warungs in Seminyak, is raising funds for five charities that provide support for Bali's most vulnerable families and children.

Of Interest

How You Can Help

In response to the collapse of the tourism sector in Bali and the resulting economic crisis, dozens of individuals and organizations have sprung into action, raising funds and distributing badly needed food and everyday essentials to the innumerable families who have suddenly found themselves without any source of income. We've been making an effort to document and raise awareness of these efforts. We will add information on projects in this space as we are able to confirm them. If you'd like to see a list of the efforts that we've featured so far and contribute to them with either time or money, visit our complete list here. You can also see a list of projects that have registered themselves at BaliSolidarity.org. If you know of an effort and would like to have them listed, please send their information to TheBaliBeat@outlanders.global.

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