TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Head of Disaster Information and Communication Data Center, Agus Wibowo, responded to public questions regarding the Indonesian-made personal protective equipment or PPE sent from China to help against the coronavirus outbreak.
“For the past two days, many media have questioned why the PPE imported [from China] has the 'Made in Indonesia' label [on its package],” said Agus through his Twitter account on Tuesday, March 24. Tempo was allowed to quote his tweets.
According to Agus, Indonesia is home for many factories producing protective tools. “Not only PPE, but also clothes, shoes, bags, and others which their factories are in Indonesia,” he said.
Agus elaborated that although the equipment was made in Indonesia, all the raw materials were delivered from countries that made the order, such as China and Korea. Indonesia only sewed and made it ready to use.
When the commodities are ready, they are sent back to the original country. “For their own use or being sold back to other states or Indonesia,” Agus added.
He recalled an incident in Customs Office that found packages of PPE that would be exported to Korea, while in fact, they belonged to that country. “Since we are in need, we hold the export so Indonesia can use them,” said the BNPB spokesman.
According to Agus, after negotiations with the Korean Embassy, both countries agreed to share the PPE, half was exported to Korea and half was for Indonesia. “So don't be surprised if the PPE handed over by or purchased from China are made in Indonesia."