Riau (Sumatra/Indonesia). People in Pulau Padang, Meranti Island really hope that PT RAPP can back on track to operate again in the region. The suspension of the company’s operation gives a negative impact for the villagers who depend on the company. Meanwhile, local government in Meranti Island is not ready to deal with unemployment. Abu Sufian, Head of Tanjung Padang Village in Tasik Putri Duyu district in Meranti Island says that after PT RAPP stop operating, lots of people choose to be illegal migrant workers in Malaysia. “They used to work harvesting the crops for PT RAPP.
Meanwhile, local government in Meranti Island is not ready to deal with unemployment. Abu Sufian, Head of Tanjung Padang Village in Tasik Putri Duyu district in Meranti Island says that after PT RAPP stop operating, lots of people choose to be illegal migrant workers in Malaysia. “They used to work harvesting the crops for PT RAPP. But it has been a year since the company stopped operating. So people choose to be illegal migrant workers.” said Abu Sufian on Monday 9 October 2017. Other villagers who used to work for the company are still unemployed and still waiting for the certainty about when PT RAPP back on the operational work.
Abu explains that besides affecting the local economy, the cessation of PT RAPP also affecting village development. Abu Sufian says before MoEF ceased the company, the village always gets development program through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Community Development (CD). Another village, in Lukit, Merbau district said similar statement. Currently,
Currently, Lukit Village only receives Community Development/CD. “We admit, the company gives us lots of benefits. For the village and the community. Moreover, not many major companies here. Mahmud HASYIM, Coordinator of Community Development Regional Program for PT RAPP hopes that the company can start to operate again and absorb more workforce. “We hope hundreds of workers and farmers can get back to work after we ‘sent them home’ previously,” said Mahmud Hasyim.
According to Head of One-Stop Investment and Manpower of Meranti Local Government, Syarifuddin Y Kai, Meranti has the highest unemployment rate in Riau with 11.7%. “We only have 3141 workers.” He added. It’s because there’s not much company in the region. “There are 153 companies here, but major companies? Not that much. Mostly only small-scale sago companies.” Syarifuddin admits he has not done much to reduce the unemployment rate and the cessation of plantation industry in Meranti makes the unemployed increase. According to Syarifuddin, there are about 117 people work for PT RAPP. “Doesn’t include seasonal jobs and freelancers. Perhaps there will be a thousand people will lose their source of income.” He concluded.
Source: Riau media