While the Province of Bali has reopened its doors to domestic tourism and is allowing access to most tourism objects, hundreds of businesses in the Island’s southern Regency of Badung remained shuttered and closed due to a lack of Island visitors.
As reported by Tribunbali.com, the Industry and Manpower Department of Badung Regency (Disperinaker) records 532 companies as “non-operational” as the result of the continuing pandemic. Many of the closed businesses are from the tourism sector, including hotels, villas, and restaurants.
The head of Badung’s Diperinaker Department, Ida Bagus Oka Dirga, said on Wednesday, 30 September 2020.
Dirga said the 532 closed businesses have been closed since July 2020. As a result, thousands of employees have been sent home and told to wait for business to return. Meanwhile, other workers have been terminated outright from their positions of employment.
Dirga counts 42,483 workers in Bali who have been furloughed to their homes on partial or no-pay, while 1,573 have been formally terminated from employment.
Manpower officials expect unemployment figures to increase further as more businesses close in the face of Bali visitors’ continuing downturn. Fueling these worries is that as Bali enters the month of October 2020, the Island is experiencing an unprecedented spike in COVID-19 infections and deaths.
The Provincial Manpower chief, Dirga, sees Bali’s economy as, at least momentarily, dead. “We pray that the pandemic will soon end, and the economy will return to good health,” he said.
The Badung Regency has paid a monthly “incentive” of Rp. 600,000 to workers who have been terminated or furloughed to their homes. These payments were made for only a limited period of three months. The payments were limited to people holding an official Bali identity card proving residency in the Regency of Badung. They were handed out in three phases to 2,983 workers who were verified to be eligible.