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May 2020 : Emergency Decree Extended with Eases

  • Situations improved Measures ease
  • International aviation shut down extended to 6/30/20
  • 16 million jobless got first 5,000 baht payment
  • More alleviation projects for other sectors
  • 20,000 Low rent houses
  • Fishing industry will get 10 bb loans
  • Thai expats coming home
  • Thais help Thais fight Covid-19
  • Covid -19 as of May ended
  • DUSIT Poll: People pleased with government Covid-19 measures
  • NIDA Poll: Opinions on State of Emergency
  • Economic slumped could last 9 months
  • More than I million employees went jobless
  • 8 Societal sectors to receive aids
  • 3 foreign workers work permits extended to May 31
  • Senators donate 12 MB to fight Covid-19
  • US ambassador enquiring on State of Emergency extension
  • PDPA postponed for another year
  • A draft bill on public nomination for legislation
  • A committee to consider CPTPP

    Situations improved Measures ease

    On 26 May, the State of Emergency was extended for another month, until June 30, 2020 with some lockdown measures ease as published in the Royal gazette.

    Some of them are:
    1. Curfew period: 23:00 -03:00 hrs.
    2. Department stores, shopping centers, community malls : shopping hours until 21:00 hr.
    3. Hair salons: opening with restrictions on maximum service hours for each customer, no waiting.
    4. Fitness centers, recreations, spas, gyms : opening with restrictions.
    5. Sport activities: for training with maximum participants of 10, not including players.
    6. Cinemas and theatres: maximum audiences 200.
    7. Ease on provincial travelling.

    International aviation shut down extended to 6/30/20

    The airports shut down for international flight was extended until June 30, 2020 with similar exceptions.

    16 million jobless got first 5,000 baht payment

    On 8 May, the Finance Ministry disclosed the monthly payment 5,000 baht have been distributed to 16 million people registered with the No One Left Behind scheme. They will get another two payment in the following two months, making a total of 15,000 baht per person.

    The policy is to ease self-employed and freelance workers from hardship by the Covid-19 outbreak.

    Appeal can be launched to the ministry for reconsideration for their qualifications.

    More alleviation projects for other sectors

    Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said the government has prepared to give approximately Baht 550 billion to people affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. They are in:
    1. Real sector agriculturers.
    2. Rural water resource development.
    3. Community tourism infrastructure.
    4. Production, logistics and distribution for online markets.
    5. Jobs training.

    20,000 Low rent houses

    Minister of Social Development and Human Security Juthi Krairisk said the National Housing Authority (NHA) is planning to build 20,000 housing units, to be completed in July 2021, for low income and elderly groups. Monthly rent is 999 baht.

    Fishing industry will get 10 bb loans

    On May 27, advisor to the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry Alongkorn Polbutr disclosed the cabinet approved a total of 10,300 million baht for the fishing industry loans through the Government Saving Bank and Agriculture and Cooperatives Bank.

    Loan applications can be submitted in June.

    Thai expats coming home

    In May, Thais living abroad started to come home and everyone must be quarantine in either state or local places for 14 days.

    Thais help Thais fight Covid-19

    Regarding to millions of people went jobless from the outbreak of Covid-19, private sectors and businesses donating help in terms of cash, medical supplies and food to the hospitals, public health personals and the needed.

    In May, a new kind donation was launched countrywide by individuals as they put up many Sharing Cabinets in communities. People put their food and other necessity things in the cabinets which the needed are free to retrieve.

    This small help can ease difficulty to some families of no income.

    Covid -19 as of May ended

    May 13 was the first day when no new Covid-19 case reported in Thailand and the situation in May was much improving when new cases dropped daily until there were many provinces have nil for weeks. A few confirmed cases were mostly in the state quarantines where people from abroad were kept for observation for 14 days.

    As of 31 May, a total of cases were 3,081 and 4 new cases were reported on that day, with no single death. The total number of accumulated deaths was 57, with 2,963 treated and discharged, making only 61 hospitalizing.

    World record in the same day was 6,154,035 cases. 2,734,637 treated and discharged. Totaled death is 370,893. The US came first in both confirmed cases and dead, 1,816,820 and 105,557 respectively.

    DUSIT Poll: People pleased with government Covid-19 measures

    The DUSIT Poll, conducted online by Suan Dusit University on Peoples Satisfaction towards Government Measures against Covid-19 Outbreak, on 1,801 samplings, on 27-30 April 2020 are:
    1. The most welcome measures are:
    1. 14-day state quarantine 94.18%.
    2. No international fly-in 92.55%.
    3. Public health volunteers 89.03%.
    4. Home quarantine 88.01%.
    5. Testing the risk groups 87.08%
    6. Nationwide lockdown 85.45%.
    7. Curfew 22:00-04:00 85.40%.
    8. Work from Home policy 85.01%.

    2. The best alleviation policy and measures are:
    1. Extension of personal tax payment to August 31, 2020: 83.51%.
    2. Agricultural households cash give out 15,000 baht. 81.43%
    3. Social Security compensation for lost of employment 80.86%
    4. Reduction in social security scheme payment for employers and employees 79.11%.
    5. Free 150 units electricity/ 50% monthly fee reduction 79.03%.
    6. 2.50 baht masks sell in Blue Flag stores 75.76%.
    7. Cash remedy 2,000 baht from Ministry of Social Development 74.10%.
    8. Free 10 GB internet for 30 days 73.06%.
    9. 3% reduction payment on water and electricity fees 70.29%.
    10. No One Left Behind cash allowance 5,000 baht monthly, 3 months 66.91%.

    Noted: One can choose more than 1 measure and percentiles are calculated from each measure/policy.

    NIDA Poll: Opinions on State of Emergency

    On May 17, 2020 National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) released its poll on Freedom or Health conducted from 11-13 May, 2020 on 1,259 people over 18 years of age in every region, education levels and professions on their opinions towards the State of Emergency and importance between freedom and health. Samplings were taken from NIDAs Master Sample by mean of Simple Random Sampling by phone survey. Reliability was set at 95%.

    On opinions towards termination of the State of Emergency, 35.98% was very agree and 21.76% quite agree, 15.17% rather not agree, 25.74% not agree, and 1.35% no answer/not interest/uncertain.

    On opinions towards the 22:00-04:00 curfew, 41.22% prefer same hours, 33.68% should stop, 23.99% should readjust, and 1.11% no answer/ not interest/ uncertain.

    On curfew hours, 40.73% prefer 23:00-04:00, 12.58% prefer 00:00-05:00, 6.29% prefer 23:00-03:00, 5.30% prefer 23:00-05:00 and 16.89% prefer others.

    On the opening of entertainment venues, 78.87% remain closing, 18.03% should open, and 3.10% no answer/ not interest/ uncertain.

    On freedom and health, 83.80% chose health regardless to a fewer freedom, 12.87% chose freedom though risk of health, 2.86% compliance to the government decision, and 0.47% no answer/ not knowing/ not interest.

    Economic slumped could last 9 months

    Though many measures have been used to help every societal sector, the economic slumped is inevitable and according to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha remark on May 6, he anticipated the impact will continue to a maximum of 9 months.

    He encouraged everyone to adapt to a New Normal, making health and hygine as priority, and planning for the future.

    He spent weekends visiting people and listening to their problems so the government will be able to suitable response.

    He pledged for time since implementation of many measures require financing budget and legislation.

    More than I million employees went jobless

    On May 10, the Labor Ministry disclosed a report on unemployment situation collected from online registration at https://empui.doe.go.th The numbers of unemployed, in regards to Article 33 of the Labor Act, registered with the Smart Job Center in Bangkok and all provinces is constantly rising.

    In January 74,775 unemployed workers applied for compensations. The number rose to 84,117 in February, 144,861 in March and 267,351 in April, making a total of 571,104 in five months.

    The Labor Act provides employees to receive 70% of monthly payment until they get new jobs, but not exceeding than 200 days. If the employees quit jobs by will, they will receive 45% of monthly payment, but not exceeding than 90 days which is different to a case which the businesses are temporarily close down and the employees went jobless, the unemployed will get 62% of payment for not exceeding 90 days.

    More than 1 million workers have applied in regards to this unemployment category.

    8 Societal sectors to receive aids

    On May 17, the Finance Ministrys Fiscal Policy Office announced that the government has plans to help 65 million people affected by Covid-19 economic problems and more than 40 million have received aids. They are:
    1. Workers in the social security program, 11 million people.
    2. Self-employed or freelances, entitled to No One Left Behind program, receiving baht 5,000 monthly for 3 months, 15 million people.
    3. Agriculture households, will get baht 5,000 per household for 3 months, approximately 10 million households.
    4. Public office workers, approximately 3 million, no reduction in payment or working days.

      However, there are another 25 million, divided into 5 groups, not receiving. They are:

    5. The vulnerable group; infant, elderly and disable, approximately 13 million people. The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security is working on measures for this group.
    6. The low income group total 14.6 million people but after deduct people overlapping with other categories, only 2.4 million left.
    7. People unable to register with the No One Left Behind program and appealed, approximately 1.7 million.
    8. People affected by social contingency, approximately 1 million.

    The government has allocated baht 40 billion for contingency non-guaranteed loan from the Government Savings Bank and the Agriculture and Cooperatives Bank. Credit per person is baht 50,000.

    Businesses can deduct 3 times of their expense occurred from April to June, from taxable income, on condition they retain all employment. Business tax payment is also extended, too.

    The Bank of Thailand has prepared baht 500 million for soft loans for businesses. SMEs are excluded since they will have another different alleviation measures.
    3 foreign workers work permits extended to May 31

    On May 5, the cabinet approved the Labor Ministry proposal to extend work permits granted to three nationalities foreign workers, Cambodia, Lao and Myanmar to May 31, 2020.

    This is a result from the cabinets resolution on March 31, 2020 allowing foreign workers to stay in Thailand and the prohibition of mobilization of workers across provincial borders effective countrywide on May 31, 2020.

    Those measures bar foreign workers to travel home as well as many businesses need workers.

    Senators donate 12 MB to fight Covid-19

    On May 11, the secretariat of the Senate Office revealed 241 senators donated totaled money of 12,360,220 baht to fight Covid-19. Baht 10 million went to the Chai Pattana Foundation and baht 2,360,220 to the extraordinary committee on senate activity, upon their consideration.

    Previously, the Senate Office asked cooperation from all senators to donate a minimum of 50,000 baht, deduct from their salaries, for donation. Six senators, 1. President of the Senate Pornpetch Vichitcholchai, 2. Mr. Seri Suwanpanond, 3. Mrs. Pikulkaew Krairisk, 4. Mr. Kuradis Chansrichawala, 5. Mr. Wisuth Srisuphan, 6. Mr. Upakit Pajariyangkul had donated baht 100,000 each and Mr. Chalao Puangmalai, 10,000 baht.

    Six military chiefs who are also senators by positions did not make any contribution since all are relinquished from receiving senatorial salaries since February until retirement on September 30, 2020.

    US ambassador enquiring on State of Emergency extension

    On May 27, US ambassador H.E. Michael George DeSombre made a curtsey call to Deputy Primenister Wissanu Krea-ngam at the government house. During the conversation the ambassador mentioned on the State of Emergency extension in which the deputy PM remarked it is necessary on 2 reasons:
    1. The State of Emergency is a nationwide decree, allows the government to issue standard regulations and guidelines nationwide.
    2. The Emergency Decree allows the government to apply same criteria, conditions and timeframe on alleviation measures to everyone as well as ensuring the governors to confident in other implementation such as closing of places that will impact on creating unemployment, etc.

    From the out breaking of Covid-19, USA has contributed public health and humanitarian aids approximately USD 18.3 to ASEAN countries in which USD 1.2 million came through Ministry of Foreign Affairs, USAID and CDC to the Thai government to finance the setting up of medical lab for Covid-19 testing, and supporting for experts and personals.
    His Excellency has written an article appreciate Thailand in controlling the pandemic.

    PDPA postponed for another year

    On May 12, the cabinet acknowledged the Digital for Economy and Social (DES) Ministry proposal to postpone the full effective of the Personal Data Protection Act B.E. 2562 from May 27, 2020 to May 27, 2021. Concerns are on all sectors are not ready to fully comply with the obligations. Hasty enforcement may cause negative impact; breaching or unintended acting as well as providing for corruptions and mismanagement.

    Moreover, the Covid-19 outbreak caused burden on all businesses since they must change operations and reprocess. To find qualified personals or training personals are difficult to obtain so the extension is appropriate and suits the situation.

    These following chapters and provisions are exempted from the May 27, 2020.
    Chapter II: Personal Data Protection;
    Chapter III: Rights of Data Subject;
    Chapter V: Complaints;
    Chapter VI: Civil Liability;
    Chapter VII: Penalties; and
    Section 95: Grandfather provision.

    Meanwhile, the DES Ministry is processing on the selection of members of the Personal Data Protection committee and working on the establishment of its office, and making other relating laws and regulations.

    A draft bill on public nomination for legislation

    On May 26, the cabinet resolved on the draft public nomination for the legislation bill that allows at least 10,000 voters to have the right to submit a bill to the parliament for consideration into the law. The rights were terminated during the NCPO takeover and reinstalled according to the constitution.

    The essence is that at least 10,000 voters, and at least 50,000 voters, can submit their wishes for legislation of a law, and amendment of the constitution respectively.

    A committee to consider CPTPP

    On May 26, during the cabinet meeting Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha suggested the parliament should set up a committee to consider on the joining of CPTPP. The issue was withdrawn from cabinet meeting in April due to controversy from the public. The PM would like this issue to be studied in every dimension for solution that best benefit to the country. The recommendation would be sent to the legislative body and open for public debate.

    Currently, there are 11 member countries in CPTPP ( Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. Their economic area is 13 percent of global economy.

    The opposing of CPTPP is the agreement could lead to revision of agricultural laws to monopoly of agricultural seeds, the abolition of agricultural protection measures, the prohibition of restrictions on alcohol labels, investment protection from the first level of business, a permanent ban on electronic taxation, the opening of the market for state procurement, or prohibition of privileges to entrepreneurs in Thailand to define or specify that Thai products must be used, prohibiting the transfer of technology, and forced participation in the international union for the protection of new varieties of plants.


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