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In a major effort to boost herd immunity and support recovery in the industrial plantations sector, RGE companies across Indonesia kicked off a self-funded Gotong Royong vaccination programme for all employees.
‘Gotong Royong’ is a uniquely Indonesian term that refers to mutual cooperation within the community. To further strengthen nationwide vaccination efforts, ‘Gotong Royong Vaccinations’, a private scheme was introduced and approved in March.
Spearheaded by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) and endorsed by Indonesia President Joko Widodo, the mass vaccinations symbolise the solidarity between the government and private sector in mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and spurring the economic recovery of the world’s fourth most populous nation.
At this writing, the Gotong Royong vaccination programme has over 22,000 participating companies and 10 million workers. Global health experts see increased vaccination and increased testing capacities as critical in the global fight against COVID-19.
RGE has allocated 43,474 doses of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccines for all employees in its Indonesia business groups. Among the business groups are Asia Pacific Resource International Limited (APRIL), Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), Asian Agri, Apical and Pacific Oil and Gas (PO&G). Employees of Tanoto Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sukanto Tanoto and the Tanoto family, were also part of the mass vaccination programme.
APRIL Group, via its operations PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (PT RAPP), had the distinction of being the first company to hold the Gotong Royong Vaccination programme in Riau. The producer of world renown paper brand PaperOne™ provided an initial phase of COVID-19 vaccinations for 1,800 employees from not only APRIL Group but also Asia Pacific Rayon.
The company conducted its first round of mass vaccinations on 3 June 2021 at Mutia Harapan School at PT RAPP’s complex in Pangkalan Kerinci, Pelalawan District. The event was presided over by Riau Governor Syamsuar, Riau’s Police Chief Insp. Gen. Agung Setya Imam Effendi, as well as Pelalawan Regent Zukri.
Governor Syamsuar applauded PT RAPP for its initiative and expressed hope that more companies will follow its lead in increasing the number of vaccinated residents in the province. Pelalawan Regent Zukri thanked PT RAPP for implementing the initiative for its employees and contractors.
PT RAPP’s president director Sihol Aritonang said: “The vaccination illustrates our efforts to always put the employees’ health and safety first. This vaccine will give protection for employees who continue to work in this new normal era to support national economic recovery particularly the industrial forestry sector.”
RGE’s palm oil business group Asian Agri held its Gotong Royong mass vaccination programme for employees across its operation areas in Medan, Riau and Jambi. Apical’s operations in Indonesia also held similar mass vaccinations for their employees, with over 200 employees in its Marunda operations receiving their vaccination.
“This vaccination is part of company’s effort to provide protection for all our employees across all operational areas, so that they can continue to contribute in the new normal era. We want all employees to feel safe and comfortable at work because for us, employee safety is top priority. We believe our program will be able to bolster government efforts in supporting the national economic recovery, especially in the oil palm plantation industry,” said Bernard Riedo, Director of Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations, Asian Agri.