Gov’t Provides Six Additional Social Assistance Programs for COVID-19 Handling
Date 9 April 2020
The Government has renewed commitment to maintain supply of basic needs for the people and increase the purchasing power of the people at the grassroots level, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said.
The President delivers the statement at a press conference on the Government’s Policy in COVID-19 handling at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Thursday (9/4).
According to the President, the COVID-19 outbreak has affected everyone, including employers, employees, factory workers, taxi drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers, bus conductors, motorcycle taxi drivers, parking attendants, craftsmen, small traders, micro-businesses, and many more.
“Therefore, the Government is committed to paying closer attention and giving its main priority to maintain the fulfillment of people’s basic needs and strengthen people’s purchasing power at the grassroots level,” the President said.
For the record, the President on 31 March 2020 issued policies on social assistance for the people. The policies are as follows:
First, the Family Hope Program (PKH) is provided for 10 million recipients with the total budget of Rp37.4 trillion.
Second, the Staple Food Card is provided for 20 million recipients with each person given Rp200,000 per month with a total budget of Rp43.6 trillion.
Third, the Pre-Employment Card is provided for 5.6 million recipients in the form of post-training incentive of Rp600,000 for 4 months. The allocated budget is Rp20 trillion.
Fourth, free electricity tariffs for 450-VA customers and electricity tariff discounts for 900-VA customers. There are 24 million customers for 450-VA and 7 million customers for 900-VA. The allocated budget is Rp3.5 trillion.
According to the the President, the Government this week decided to implement several new social assistance policies:
First, Special Assistance for Staple Food from the Central Government for the residents in Jakarta. It will be allocated to 2.6 million people or 1.2 million households, amounting to Rp600,000 per month for 3 months. The allocated budget reaches Rp2.2 trillion.
Second, Staple Food Assistance for Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi areas. It is provided for 1.6 million people or 576 thousand households with the amount of Rp600,000 per month for 3 months with a total budget of Rp1 trillion.
Third, for the people outside Greater Jakarta, Cash Social Assistance will be provided for 9 million households who do not receive the PKH social assistance or staple food assistance.
“Once again, 9 million households will receive Rp600,000 per month for 3 months and the total allocated budget reaches Rp16.2 trillion,” the President said.
Fourth, part of the Village Fund is immediately allocated for social assistance in the village. It is distributed to approximately 10 million recipients amounting to Rp600,000 per month for 3 months and the total allocated budget is Rp21 trillion.
Fifth, the Government will strengthen the Cash Labor-Intensive Program implemented in ministries with a total budget of Rp16.9 trillion. Ministry of Villages provides Cash Labor-Intensive Program for Village, targeting 59 thousand workers. Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing also runs Cash Labor-Intensive Program, targeting 530 thousand workers with a total budget of approximately Rp10.2 trillion.
The President added that the programs will also be implemented by other ministries such as Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and Ministry of Transportation.
Sixth, the National Police will also implement a Safety Program. This is similar to the Pre-Employment Card Program called the Safety Program by the National Police that combines social assistance and training.
“It targets 197 thousand taxi drivers, bus or truck drivers, and bus conductors, who will be given an incentive of Rp600,000 per month for 3 months. The allocated budget reaches Rp360 billion,” the President said.
The President further said that the Government will continue to use available budgets to add more social assistance and to expand employment opportunities for people at the grassroots through labor-intensive programs.
“We must realize that the challenges we are encountering are not easy. We must face them together. I invite entrepreneurs to keep their workers. I call on all parties to care for the underprivileged. With collective work, we can maintain the outcomes of the development that we have carried out and use them to leap forward. And once again, I would like to extend my highest appreciation to all the front-liners, among others, doctors, nurses, medical personnel in the hospitals in the fight against COVID-19,” the President said. (UN/EN)
Translated by: Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas