10 - 17 APRIL | KEEPING YOU INFORMED: RECENT ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE ROYAL GOVERNMENT
- 17 April, 2020
- Posted by: EuroCham Cambodia
With the COVID-19 situation rapidly escalating and the circumstances changing everyday in Cambodia, EuroCham will be regularly disseminating the official announcements from the Royal Government to ensure our network is updated as efficiently as possible.
Due to the significant number of incoming announcements, we are unable to translate these in full so please refer to our summaries below and the attached official notices in Khmer.
Official Announcements: 10 - 17 April
(English summaries provided by EuroCham Cambodia, subject to corrections by relevant authorities)
1. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Instruction on Suspension of Employment Contracts and Contribution Payment of NSSF for Factories, Enterprises, and Establishments in the Garment and Tourism Sectors who are Seriously Impacted by COVID-19
On 17 April, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training issued an instruction for businesses in the garment and tourism sectors (in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Kep and Kompot) and employees who worked in these sectors to follow the suspension procedures of employment contract and NSSF Contribution Payments:
A) Employment Contract Suspension:
A1) For businesses in garment and tourism sectors that have not provided their update to the Ministry by the end of March 2020 shall:
- Submit the suspension application of employment contract to the Minister of Labour and Vocational Training through the Labour Inspection Department for businesses located in Phnom Penh and through the Provincial Labour Department for those located in the provinces. The maximum period of suspension of the contract is two months and may be extended if necessary.
- Widely disseminate and inform employees who are suspended to provide their Khmer ID Card, phone number (or their relative’s contact numbers) so that the Ministry can use this as the basis to transfer the subsidy allowance of 40$ per month through Wing Specialized Bank.
- Properly organise the list of suspended employees required to fingerprint their name to ensure their Khmer ID card and phone numbers provided are correct. Businesses who failed to widely disseminate and inform their employees about the required information as mentioned or fail to obtain employee fingerprints to verify their Khmer ID Card and phone number on the list already provide will be responsible for paying the $40 subsidy allowance of the Government per month.
- It is compulsory to attach 3 copies of each document: (1) latest payroll before suspension of employment contract with company’s stamp/seal on all pages, (2) Business certificate, (3) Tourism licenses for tourism sector, (4) Tax patent certificates, (5) Business registration certificate in NSSF (if any), and (6) Bank account number.
After receiving the suspension application with the required reference documents, the Labour Inspectors will review and verify at the business, enterprises, and establishments at 2pm of the working day.
A2) For businesses in garment and tourism sectors that have already provided their update to the Ministry at the end of March 2020:
- Follow the procedure as mentioned in A1, though this should be completed through the online system: https://suspension.mlvt.gov.kh detailing in annex 4 of this instruction
A3) Other obligations of garment and tourism sectors:
- For garment sector: provide employees with an allowance of $30 per month ($10 for suspension from 7-10 days, $20 for suspension from 11-20 days, and $30 suspension from 21 days to 1 month)
- For tourism sector: businesses shall review the provision of allowance based on their voluntary ability during the suspension and define the procedure to provide this allowance.
- Implement the contract suspension following the date and period mentioned in the letter permitted by the Ministry. If the suspension is finished before the end date, business needs to notify the Minister of Labour and Vocational Training at least 2 days before returning to work.
- Responsibility for the information submitted to the Ministry and will be required to pay back to the government for the fraudulent information.
A4) For Employees
- The employee shall provide personal information, such as their national identification number and phone number to the tourism and garment enterprise owners so that owners can submit these to the Ministry to withdraw the $40 per month from Wing Specialized Bank.
- The employee will receive a subsidy from the government as below:
+ $15 for employment contract suspension from 7 days to 10 days
+ $30 for employment contract suspension from 11 days to 20 days
+ $40 for employment contract suspension from 21 days to 1 month
- 10 days after suspension, employees will receive a message from Wing Specialized Bank of the amount of money.
- An employee can withdraw their money from any nearby Wing Specialized Bank by bringing their national identification card and their mobile phone with the above message.
- An employee who fails to provide their identification number and phone number to the enterprise owner will voluntarily reject the $40 subsidy.
B. Request for suspension of payment and continuation of benefits of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF)
- The enterprise owner shall notify through a letter on the suspension of the NSSF payment following the attachments of this instruction or by following the Ministry website.
- During the suspension of employment contracts, employees can still receive health benefits from NSSF
- An employee can still receive childbirth support of 400,000 Riels for a single baby birth, 800,000 Riels for twin birth and 1,200,000 Riels for triplet birth.
The directors or owners of enterprises and employees in garment including textile, garment, footwear, travel products, bag and tourism sectors in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Kep and Kampot including hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and travel agents shall effectively implement this instruction with high responsibility from the date of signature (17 April 2020).
2. Royal Government of Cambodia Decision to Terminate the Validity of Directive No. 02 dated 09 April 2020 on the Domestic Travel Restriction with the Aim to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
On 16 April, the Royal Government of Cambodia issued the Decision to end the validity of Directive No. 02 on the Domestic Travel Restriction with the Aim to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19. The Decision outlined that the travel restrictions would be removed on 16 April by 6:00AM, earlier than midnight as planned in order to avoid traffic congestion resulting from the reopening of travel between provinces.
3. Ministry of Health Requests Quarantine Action (14 days) for Employees Who Will Return to Work After Khmer New Year
On 15 April, the Ministry of Health requested collaboration from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training to take quarantine action against employees who return to work after Khmer New Year. According to the request, the employees are required to be quarantined in their own accommodation for 14 days. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training is requested to monitor quarantine measures and conduct health checks. If employees show any symptoms related to COVID-19, the medical team of the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training shall contact the Ministry of Health to help conduct timely health checks and diagnoses.
4. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Letter on the Extension of the Temporary Suspension of Travel into Cambodia for Foreigners
On 16 April, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued letter No. 860 to extend the temporary suspension of travel into Cambodia for travellers from France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Spain and the United States of America until the situation of COVID-19 is alleviated, this is based on a joint assessment between the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.
5. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Instruction on Quarantine Measures for the Employees Return to Work After Khmer New Year
On 17 April, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training issued the following instruction to owners and directors of factories, enterprises, establishments, and employees who took leave during Khmer New Year and will return to work:
For factory owners or directors:
- Set up a separate room in a suitable location for workers who have returned to work after taking leave.
- Assign administrative staff to prepare a list of returnees for the Labour Inspectors every day by 2 pm.
- Instruct employees to undergo a health check following the instruction of the Labour Inspectors.
- You are not obliged to pay wages for the duration of this quarantine for any employee that was on leave without approval.
- You are required to pay up to seven days’ wages for employees who were on leave with approval during this quarantine period. Employees that took leave with approval from employers due to necessary circumstances such as childbirths or the death of family members are entitled to receive the full 14 days pay.
Employees working for factories in Phnom Penh are required to cooperate with their employers and follow the instructions of quarantine measures. For those employees working in the province and in other sectors, they are instructed to implement quarantine at their own houses for 14 days and apply the same condition for those who took leave on their own or with approval.
6. Senate Press Release on Extraordinary Session on the Draft Law of a State of Emergency
On 17 April, the Senate of Cambodia convened an extraordinary meeting to review and comment on the draft Law on the Nation Management during a State of Emergency. After the meeting, the Senate unanimously approved the entire draft law without any changes.
7. Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation Instruction No. 853 on Quality Checks for Alcohol Products, Hand Sanitizer and Other Products.
On 14 April, the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation issued instruction No. 853 to remind citizens to carefully check products, such as alcohol products, hand sanitizer and other products in order to avoid losing money and that the products are safe and effective to fight against the spread of Covid-19. The Ministry also displayed examples of substandard products attached with this instruction.
8. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Press Release on the Outcome of the Special ASEAN Summit and Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19
On 15 April, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued a press release on the outcome of the special ASEAN Summit and the special ASEAN Plus Three Summit (Japan, China and Republic of Korea) on COVID-19 which was held on 14 April 2020, through video conference. The meeting underlined the importance of maintaining a healthy supply chain and trade between and among ASEAN Plus Three countries, in order to ensure the flow of essential goods and supplies across borders. The ASEAN leaders also supported the allocation of the existing available funds and encouraged technical and financial support from ASEAN’s partners to facilitate cooperation against Covid-19.
9. Ministry of Health Notification on the Sale of “SPRAY 75%” without a Permit and Registration Number
On 14 April, the Ministry of Health warned the public against the online sale of the product, “SPRAY 75%” without notification number and permit by the Ministry of Health. More importantly, the Ministry stressed that all pharmaceutical products, medical equipment, disinfectant substance, and cosmetic products must have a registration, permit or notification number. The dissemination and promotion of such products shall be authorised only by the Ministry of Health.
10. Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications Meeting Outcome
On 13 April, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication met with their Technology Study-Research and National Institute of Posts Telecoms and ICT (NIPTICT) teams. The meeting aimed to review research into two applications and a ventilator to support the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic:
- Open Trace KH Program can be used for tracking any person that has been in contact with COVID-19 infected persons. This program can be used in the community via Bluetooth to record the contact history between persons.
- Self-Quarantine Mobile Application can be used to determine and report the health condition of those under self-quarantine or providing patient care.
- Ventilator can be used to provide oxygen support for patients being treated in hospitals and in remote areas.
The Minister of Posts and Telecommunications asked the researcher team to continue working with Ministry of Health in order to put the applications in use in the near future.
11. Ministry of Commerce Letter No. 1452 to Garment, Footwear and Travel Goods Buyers Sourcing from Cambodia
On 13 April, the Ministry of Commerce issued letter No. 1452 to appeal to garment, footwear and travel goods buyers sourcing from Cambodia to stay committed to Cambodia and Cambodian workers. The Ministry urged buyers to abide by their contracts and not to cancel orders that have been placed, goods which have already been produced or are currently in production.
12. Ministry of Tourism Notification on Protective Measures Against COVID-19 for Golf Course Business
On 14 April, the Ministry of Tourism issued a notification to provide additional measures to protect golf course businesses from spreading COVID-19. The notification outlined that golf courses shall not host any tournaments and shall conduct body temperature checks, allocate one golf cart per golfer with a caddy staff, keep distances apart, wear masks, clean golfing equipment with alcohol and to not allow more than 4 players at a time.
13. Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport Instruction No. 21 on Promoting Remote Learning and Teaching by Private Educational Institutions at Every Level
On 13 April 2020, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport issued Instruction No. 21 to instruct private educational institutions to develop their own mechanisms for learning, teaching, and evaluating and to ensure the effectiveness of these mechanisms. For students that are required to take lower secondary exams (grade 9) and higher secondary exams (grade 12), the Ministry will allow these to take place through remote or online platforms, as planned by the educational institutions. If necessary, the Ministry will cooperate with the educational institutions to ensure the quality of these examinations. Educational institutions that follow the instructions from the Ministry may deliver lower secondary certificates (grade 9) and higher secondary certificates (grade 12).
14. Ministry of Interior Decision No. 2110 on the Establishment of a Standing Group to Implement Royal Government’s Orders
On 10 April, the Ministry of Interior issued Decision No. 2110 to establish a standing group to implement Order No. 02 of the Royal Government on travel restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19. This standing group is chaired by His Excellency Mr. Sak Setha, Permanent Secretary of State at the Ministry of Interior.
15. Ministry of Commerce Notification No. 1475 on Fuel Retail Price at Fuel Stations
On 16 April, the Ministry of Commerce issued a notification No. 1475 to notify that the Prime Minister decided to decrease fuel prices in Cambodia by .04 cent dollar per litre with support from fuel companies in Cambodia to ease the economic impact on the livelihood of citizens.
Thus, the new fuel prices will be implemented from 16 until 30 April 2020. The price of regular EA92 gasoline has decreased to 2250 Riels per litre and the price of diesel has decreased to 2300 Riels per litre.
The Ministry of Commerce does not determine fuel prices in Cambodia. They only monitor price fluctuation in the international market and calculate following Prakas, in this regard, the public should be informed accordingly, and all fuel stations should operate as necessary.
16. National Bank of Cambodia Prakas on Reserve Requirement of Deposit and Loan of Banks and Financial Institutions
On 18 March, the National Bank of Cambodia issued the Prakas on Reserve Requirement of Deposit and Loans of Banks and Financial Institutions. This Prakas outlines the reserve requirement rate of deposits and loans for Khmer Riel; to use the reserve requirement as tool to implement the National Bank of Cambodia’s banknotes policy; and to provide additional liquidity to banks and financial Institutions in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the Cambodian economy.
According to the Prakas, banks and financial institutions are required to maintain reserves as a daily average of the National Bank at the rate equal to 7% for Khmer Riel. The National Bank can amend the national reserve rate, as necessary.
17. National Bank of Cambodia Press Release No. 13-020-002 on Five Measures to Provide Liquidity to Banks and Financial Institutions to Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19
On 17 March, the National Bank of Cambodia issued press release No. 13-020-002 to implement five measures to provide liquidity to banks and financial institutions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 as follow:
- Delay the requirement for banks and financial institutions to maintain capital conservation buffer at 50%
- Decrease the minimum interest rate of liquidity-providing collateralised operation by 0.5% for all type of maturities
- Decrease the interest on negotiable certificate of deposit in Riel and US Dollar in an appropriate level
- Decrease the reserve requirement rate from 8% for Riel and 12.5% for foreign currency to 7% for both type of currency for 6 months period starting from April 2020
- Decrease the liquidity coverage ratio to an appropriate level as necessary
The National Bank of Cambodia is carefully monitoring the situation in banking sector especially regarding the challenges and risks of maintaining the sustainability and stability of the banking and financial sector.