JAKARTA – Joko Sarjono is a meatball vendor from Pancoran, South Jakarta. In his sixties, he remains the breadwinner of his family, which includes his wife, three kids, and two grandkids. Every day, he has to walk seven kilometers to sell some juicy beef balls. Joko doesn’t always have the privilege to take the broad, safe pedestrian lane. Most times, he’s treading on hot asphalt roads with motorcycles and cars, which puts him at risk of accidents. His story is a glimpse into the lives of Indonesian informal workers.
Local informal sector workers tend to have higher risks of getting into work accidents than those at firms and corporations. However, since their income is relatively lower, they don’t have the financial ability to protect themselves with social security programs.
This issue caught the attention of the Head of Menara Jamsostek’s BPJS Ketenagakerjaan Office, Mohammad Irfan. “BPJS has plenty of benefits but limited coverage, especially for informal workers. Why is that? These workers haven’t yet understood what the card can do for them,” he stated.
To keep them from work-induced harm, BPJS Ketenagakerjaan consistently educates workers on the GN Lingkaran (National Movement for Vulnerable Workers Safety Care), where private companies will be covering their monthly BPJS contributions under their CSR activity. This movement is launched as a part of the government’s poverty eradication program.
Mohammad Irfan admitted that the social security body could not work alone in ensuring the program’s success. “I asked companies with a history of employee care to give these people some attention. Well, not all companies, just mid to large ones, those which follow local regulations. Korindo happens to be one of them,” he added.
Contributing to GN Lingkaran’s success, Korindo Group will take care of monthly BPJS payments for 500 beneficiaries for the next three months. With this, workers can collect enough money to pay for the rest of the year.
Korindo Foundation’s General Secretary Seo Jeongsik gladly accepted the idea. In a symbolic ceremony in Wisma Korindo on Friday (26/8), he revealed the company was aware that many informal workers were struggling, especially during post-pandemic recovery. “The foundation fully supports government and BPJS Ketenagakerjaan’s efforts to optimize the social security program for unprotected workers. We hope the workers keep their subscription after this program ends,” he said.
In the future, BPJS Ketenagakerjaan will continue to educate beneficiaries by sending mass messages on fee payment procedures and payment deadlines.
Also present at the ceremony, Joko said that as a beneficiary, he did not find difficulties enrolling and encouraged other workers to participate in the program for its enormous benefits. “I invite fellow workers to join for the sake of our safety and health,” he said. (PR)