COVID-19 Outbreak: Gov’t Launches Social Protection Program, Cash Intensive-Labor Program
Date 7 April 2020
Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the Government has renewed commitment to protect the people against the impacts of the outbreak and to maintain people’s purchasing power, particularly the disadvantaged in rural areas.
To that end, the Government has issued two programs, namely the social protection program and the cash intensive-labor program.
“The programs are aimed at creating employment and maintaining the people’s purchasing power in rural areas,” the President said during a limited meeting on the Acceleration of Cash Intensive-Labor Programs through a video conference, Tuesday (7/4), from the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta.
Regarding the implementation of the cash-intensive program, the President’s directives are as follows:
First, the President has ordered ministers, heads of institutions, and regional leaders to help boost this cash intensive program.
“It is the duty of all ministries, institutions and regional governments to boost this cash intensive-labor program,” he said, adding that several ministries already have programs that can be linked to the program.
“For examples, the programs implemented by Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Ministry of the Environment and Forestry, Ministry of State-owned Enterprises. I think they can be combined,” he said.
Second, regarding the allocation of village funds. According to the President, village funds can be used for social assistance for those affected and for cash intensive-labor program in the villages.
As of late last month, the Government, the President added, has channeled village funds amounting to Rp9.3 trillion, accounting for only 32 percent from the first phase ceiling of Rp28 trillion.
According to the President, out of Rp72 trillion in funds, only 13 percent has been channeled and it is still very small number.
“I order Ministry of Health to devise guidelines so the programs can meet the target set,” he said, adding that the underprivileged, the unemployed and the underemployed are the priorities.
If possible, the President further said, wages are given on a daily basis and no later than one week.
Third, the President also stressed that the implementation of cash intensive-labor programs must adhere to stringent health protocol.
“Do practice physical distancing and wear face masks as part of the Government’s campaign in the fight against the spread of COVID-19,” the President said. (TGH/EN)
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas