What Do Informal Workers Say About PSBB?

The Large-Scale Social Restrictions have really brought a massive impact on small business owners in Pejompongan area, Tanah Abang, South Jakarta. Many of them have suffered from decreasing income.

A cilok seller near the railroad in Pejompongan Area. (ACTNews / Reza Mardhani)

ACTNews, JAKARTA – Many have been worried about the impact of Covid-19 on not only health but also economy. As Large-Scale Social Restrictions were reinstated on September 14 by Jakarta provincial government, many MSME owners are worried that this policy will hamper their sales due to the restrictions of outdoor activities.

Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) continues its endeavors to assist the community during this PSBB. One of ACT’s programs that aim to support impoverished communities during the PSBB is the Free Rice Operation on Monday (9/21). As many as 300 rice packages were distributed to impoverished communities living in the slums near the railroad in Pejompongan, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta. On this occasion, ACTNews also interviewed the surrounding communities about the reinstatement of PSBB.

“Afraid, how are we going to eat?”

Anggi (28) sells donuts by orders, while her husband sells groceries to support their two children and a nephew who lives with them. "I pity my nephew because his father is just a grave digger in Kober," said Anggi.

However, her income has been unstable during the pandemic. The restriction of public activities has really severely affected her income. Her husband used to make a gross income of IDR 1,000,000. Now, he only makes IDR 300,000 a day. "Especially rice. Nowadays, many people receive free rice, so my husband hasn’t sold much rice, "said Anggi.

Anggi is in a dilemma. On the one hand, she is also afraid of contracting Covid-19. On the other hand, she still has to work to make ends meet. She hoped that Covid-19 pandemic will be over quickly, and everything will return to normal. "I'm afraid, yes. But I still have to work, or else, how are we going to eat? " asked Anggi.

Susi’s Income Decreases as Market Becomes Quiet

Susi Nuraini (43) was relaxing that afternoon. She had just open the small grocery shop in front of her house. In the morning, she sells chicken at a market. The grocery shop is her additional source of income. “I don’t open the shop regularly, because my main trade is selling chicken at the market,” said Susi.

Unfortunately, the market has been quiet lately since the PSBB. Her income has decreased considerably by up to 75%. "For example, I can earn up to IDR one million a day. Now, I earn only IDR 250,000. The market has been rally quiet now," said Susi.

Susi hoped that the Covid-19 pandemic will end soon so her business can run smoothly again. “All I want is for the pandemic to end quickly. During PSBB like this, the market becomes very quiet. It really affects us all,” said Susi.

Supriyadi's Income Decreases by More than a Half

The hawker stall in front of Supriyadi’s house used to be packed with customers that come to have a cup of coffee. He installed a tarp canopy over the alley and sells coffee and snacks. if the situation is normal, is where people sit and chat a lot of things. He built a roof out of a small tarp in front of the alley and provided coffee and other snacks.

Supriyadi’s stall has been deserted since Covid-19 pandemic. (ACTNews / Reza Mardhani)

Since people have locked themselves in their homes, Supriyadi’s coffee shop has been really quiet. It significantly affects his livelihood. "Yes, my income has been severely decreasing by over a half of it. I only earn 20% of my normal income,” said Supriyadi. "Yes, it is the impact of the PSBB. People are not allowed to go outside and gather without any urgency.”

Supriyadi was very grateful for the assistance from ACT through the Free Rice Operation. “We thank you very much. Hopefully, the assistance from ACT can ease our burdens today," he said.

Fuad Mursidi of ACT Central Jakarta hoped that more people will participate in assisting the needy. “We invite all benefactors to continue to support those who are currently facing economic difficulties due to Covid-19. "Hopefully, with the support from the benefactors, we all can ease their burdens during this PSBB period," he asked. []