Gov’t Allows Flexibility in the Implementation of Social Assistance Using Regional Budget
Date 27 April 2020
Ministry of Social Affairs allowed flexibility to Regional Heads on the implementation of social assistance using Regional Budget.
“They have their own policies. There is no need to hesitate whether a family has received social assistance from the Central Government, they are afraid of overlapping recipients,” Minister of Social Affairs Juliari P. Batubara delivered his press statement, Monday (27/4).
He stated that the Central Government will not oppose it since the Regional Governments are in charge of their own budget.
“We only manage all social assistance using the State Budget. We avoid overlapping recipients and are prepared to be responsible for the accountability,’ Juliari said, adding that the Regional Governments can list their recipients without cross-checking the data with the Central Government.
In accordance with the President’s directives regarding social assistance programs, Ministry of Social Affairs divided social assistance into: 1. regular social assistance such as Family Hope Program and Staple Food Card; 2. special social assistance for the COVID-19 handling.
The regular social assistance have been smoothly run. There has been an addition in the recipients of both programs. Currently, there are 10 million beneficiary families for the Family Hope Program and 20 million beneficiary families for Staple Food Card.
On the occasion, the Minister also stated that Staple Food Assistance program in Greater Jakarta and Cash Assistance Program outside Greater Jakarta have been started for about a week.
“The implementation of the cash assistance program outside Greater Jakarta has been started although it has not started in still many regions due to data cautiousness to avoid problems in the field,” the Minister said.
There are two mechanisms in the distribution of the cash assistance, namely sending it through post offices and through bank for recipients with accounts in state-owned banks.
“The distribution of staple food assistance in Greater Jakarta has been started since last Monday, a week ago, and we planned for the first batch of distribution to 1.2 million beneficiary families to be completed on 4 or 5 May. We will then proceed with the second batch,” he said, adding that the distribution of the assistance will be divided into twice in a month.
Before the launching of these programs, Juliari stated, the Ministry has discussed the plan with all Regional Governments.
He also asked the Regional Governments to update the Government with the prospective recipients not included in the Ministry’s integrated data (DTKS).
Juliari went on to say that Ministry of Villages will also distribute their cash assistance which was taken from the Village Funds budget. “We have to really arrange this well to avoid any overlapping recipient,” he concluded. (MAY/EN)
Translated by: Fairuzzamani Inayatillah
Reviewed by: Mia M. Bonaedy