Everyday is Holiday. Work feels like a vacation, that’s the Work From Bali (WFB) tagline that has been echoed in the last few weeks. It was the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment of the Republic of Indonesia, Luhut Binsar Panjahitan, who initiated and launched this idea some time ago. At least, it is planned that seven ministries will work from Bali. After that, then followed by BUMN and others.
According to the plan, starting from June to July, according to the timeline, at which time Bali tourism was opened to foreign tourists. The WFB program, may be a kind of test case, an intermediate target, a stepping stone that can prove whether Bali is ready to open borders or not. Because, this program will also go hand in hand with the entry of other domestic tourists from Gilimanuk Port. In accordance with President Jokowi’s speech at the opening of the Bali Arts Festival a few days ago, the continuity of Bali tourism really depends on the extent to which all parties are able to control the Covid-19 pandemic on the Island of the Gods.
The WFB issue itself is not without pros and cons. Opung Luhut’s intentions are indeed good, how can the tourism business in this area be revived so that economic growth is no longer minus double digits. The selection of The Nusa Dua area as an “office” center was not without criticism. Why did the other two areas that are also included in the “The SUN” group (Sanur, Ubud and Nusa Dua) not get splashed? In fact, Sanur and Ubud are two Green Zone areas? Not to mention, the question of the effectiveness of the WFB which is doubtful to have significant leverage on the economic growth of local communities.
Those who will be based in Bali are the State Civil Apparatus (ASN). It’s formal for now. Although previously many have carried out Work From Bali, both ASN, high-ranking SOEs, the private sector, the Nomads, the community that keeps the “babi ngepet” aka traders, onliners and so on. They are typical future entrepreneurs who are not bound by place. They can WFB aka Work From Bed or even WFT or Work From Toilet though.
Then where will the contribution of the “Abidin” (at the expense of the office) tourists to the local community economy? Hmm..where is it? What is clear, those who will later serve from several hotels in Nusa Dua are of course the policy makers in their respective offices. They come and work with state facilities. Airfare (business class or first class), accommodation costs (five star hotels) and pocket money have been calculated according to their rights to those who follow echelon and rank. They have, on average, been to Bali dozens of times.
In addition, the “cake” having an office in an area whose economy has been exposed to this pandemic is not only for Bali. There is also a Work From Lombok or Work From Sumbawa campaign. Bali is not alone. So, this WFB must be used as a venue to prepare oneself as fully as possible, in as much detail as possible, as seriously as to welcome the open border. SOPs must be clear and firm. Once it arrives, how will it be handled. PCR Swabs, quarantine hotels, hotels, on vacation and until they return home.
Last but not least, the issue of legality is also very important. Entering Ngurah Rai Airport along with four other airports (Soekarno-Hatta, Juanda, Kula Namu and Sam Ratulangi) as an entry point for traffic arrivals of foreigners and Indonesian Migrant Workers. Although other sectors are also important as an antidote to Bali’s economic downturn, it must be admitted that there is no effective injection other than as efficacious as the Bali Open Sky for foreign tourists. It must also be realized, even though the door has been opened, tourists will not automatically overflow like a flood. Many factors determine their decision to go to Bali or not. Among other things, trust in the destination, their mental and physical readiness factor for the pandemic, economic factors because during this difficult time leisure activities are included in the high cost holiday category, respective governments, insurance and many more. Whatever it is, by opening the door, we show ourselves that we are ready. That Bali is still alive.
Timeline this July, don’t be PHP anymore. Bali must be Open Border, if it takes too long, Bali can be out of order.