Dialogue Between President of the Republic of Indonesia and Cianjur Earthquake-affected Residents on Assistance Distribution, in Cianjur Regency, West Java Province, December 8, 2022

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 8 Desember 2022
Category: Dialog @en
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President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, we have handed over approximately 8,100 packages of assistance to all of you. The assistance of Rp50 million was distributed to those [houses] with severe damage, Rp25 million to those with moderate damage, and Rp10 million to those with light damage.

However, last night I calculated again. I counted again because the amount of assistance was that in West Nusa Tenggara province and Palu city. However, last night I recalculated and this morning I also asked Minister of Finance whether or not we have spare money and it turned out there was a bit more. So, I decided that the amount of Rp50 [million] will become Rp60 million; the Rp25 [million] will become Rp30 million; and the Rp10 [million] will become Rp15 million.

My directive is that the construction should begin immediately. The debris of the collapsed houses should quickly be cleared up. And the still usable ones, the bricks that can still be used should be cleaned [and] used again. The wood that can still be used should be used again, agree? Then, from the existing money, you are welcome to take it, but this is indeed done in parts.

Our experience in other provinces is that the money given was immediately taken all at once. They did not use it for the property, for the house. Some used it to buy motorcycles. Therefore, don’t let this happen in Cugenang district, in Cianjur regency. The money that has been distributed should be used 100 percent to repair your houses, agree? So, you should take the assistance gradually, gradually. For the first, how much, sir? You can take 40 percent. If you get Rp60 million, you can take the Rp24 million first or you can even take a smaller amount. You can take Rp5 million first to buy materials and another Rp5 million to buy materials again. Don’t take Rp24 million at once, or it could later turn into a motorcycle.

Be careful, be careful, I will follow up on this. I have been to Cianjur four times and I will continue to follow up on it as we want the houses to be rebuilt. Also, the construction of the houses should be in accordance with what Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) stated, namely earthquake-proof houses. On how to construct them, please ask. It’s easy. It’s easy. Indeed, you should ask. Because our country is surrounded by the Ring of Fire, earthquakes are constant. God willing, nothing happened, but we indeed must realize that we are in the Ring of Fire area, be it those in the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, or East Nusa Tenggara, all of which within the area.

Therefore, once again I remind you that you should build earthquake-proof houses. So, the columns should indeed be made in a specific way. Please ask Ministry of PUPR later, the Minister is also here.

Any question? Yes, so that together we can immediately clean our houses. We can start it and later the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) and the National Police (Polri) will assist with it as well as with the construction. If necessary, the TNI and Polri are ready. Any question? What is it?

Representative of Cugenang District Residents
When is the disbursement made, sir?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Now. I have already stated on the disbursement. It is ready. Ladies and Gentlemen, have you got hold of your passbook yet? Yes, that’s it. There is Rp50 million in it but you cannot cash them out all at once. You can use it gradually as I have explained. So, you would not use it to buy a motorcycle but use it to rebuild houses. Please.

Representative of Cugenang District Residents
So, here it is, sir. Today, we are talking about the regulation of taking the 40 percent first. After some development, if we still need the money we will go to the bank. What if the bank refuses to give us [the rest] while we have not finished [the houses]. We want to understand how to deal with it.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Of course, on the ground, it happens. But, please note, what you have to know is that the existing money already belongs to you all, because the passbooks are in your hands. We only regulate that you should withdraw it in stages. We regulate it for what? So that the houses are truly built. Do not just build around ten percent and go to the bank saying you run out of money and want to withdraw the money a second time. You have not even got the bricks yet. Let’s cooperate.

I have experience this in other provinces. Of course, good examples are so many but there are one or two cases like that. That is why sometimes the bank said that you have not even purchased the goods, the goods have not been made yet, how come you asked to withdraw money again.

So, everyone, we hope that, and I have also ordered Head of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), Mr. Suharyanto, to simplify the procedure and cut the red tape.  But once again, what you need to hold on to is that you already have the savings and it is your money. No one can have it except for you, ladies and gentlemen. Is that clear? We will make the procedure as simple as possible. Anything else you want to ask? Please.

Representative of Cugenang District Residents
How about the 50 to 60 [million], the 25 to 30 [million], and the 10 to 15 [million]? May I ask for the explanation, sir?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Regarding the addition earlier, your savings will increase, that is all. I just decided it today, now. Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow you will find an increase [in your savings], “Oh, now I have 60 [million],”Oh, now I have 30 [million],” Oh, now I have 15 [million].” Because we just decided now. I just calculated it last night. Is it clear, sir?

One more, one more, enough? Yes, please.

Representative of Cugenang District Residents (Didin Saefullah)
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. My name is Didin Saefullah from neighborhood unit (Rukun Tetangga/RT) number 02/02 Panembong Kaler village, Mekarsari, Cianjur.  What I am going to ask, sir, if the neighborhood unit submits for severe, light, and moderate damages. If we file for severe damage but we only get one for moderate damage, can we file again for severe damaged one, sir? That is what I want to ask, sir. I represent all neighborhood units. My house is in unit number 02, sir. Thank you. Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
The criteria are clear. The criteria for what is severe, what is moderate, what is light, are clearly defined by Ministry of PUPR. It is not you who get to decide. There is a referee. If it’s all up to you then everything will be listed as severe. You’re welcome to file, but the referee gets to decide. You can’t complain about it. If you are both a player and a referee, that is not a play. Because you should know, there were 53,000 houses that were damaged throughout Cianjur, 53,000. And, you are all so lucky to be the first ones, because you are verified, the 8,000 who are currently present. These are only parts of the 53,408 damaged houses.

If this works, I will handle other [facilities]. There were damaged health facilities, hospitals, health centers, many of which were damaged. There were 272 damaged places of worship. There were also damaged educational facilities such as madrasa, elementary school, junior high school, senior high school. I inspected yesterday, there were 540 facilities. We also have to handle this. There are so many that we need to handle, not just the damaged houses, not to mention the bridges. There are so many so we must all understand that we need to handle a lot of things.

Therefore, I hope that the assistance can be put to good use on the ground immediately. I will check here again in a month, at least the houses should have their roofs although maybe the houses have not been plastered but you can move into it right away. That is our hope. All of us should work hard assisted by the TNI, Polri, and the BNPB.

That concludes my statement on this auspicious opportunity. Once again, we all have to work hard to rebuild Cianjur. And, earlier I also offered my deepest condolences for the victims who passed away, who returned to God, may their souls be accepted by Allah the Almighty God and placed in the best place. Earlier, direct assistance of Rp15 million was also handed over.

That concludes my statement. Thank you. I conclude. Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh. (FI/MUR)

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