Home Affairs Ministry Backs Regional Governments in Social Aid Programs, Minister Says
Date 18 Juni 2020
Ministry of Home Affairs plays a vital role in bridging social assistance schemes under the coordination of Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture can be executed at regional government level, Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian has said.
The Minister made the statement during a media briefing on the progress of social aid disbursement, at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, Wednesday (17/6).
According to Tito, regional governments have been refocusing the budget for social aid after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo issued the Presidential Instruction on Budget Refocusing and Reallocation. Afterwards, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance also issued ministerial regulations on 14 March 2020.
“The two regulations are Minister of Home Affairs Regulation Number 20 of 2020 and Minister of Finance Regulation Number 6 of 2020 on the budget reallocation. In the regulations, we asked the regions to allocate a special budget for COVID-19 handling. It should cover three things, including public health issues, healthcare capacity building, and health system strengthening,” the Minister said.
Tito went on to say that there is also a social safety net program that supports business sectors to survive, so the business can still operate in their respective regions.
“A total budget of Rp72.63 trillion has been allocated in the respective regional budget. The budget will be divided into public health issues that amount to Rp28.71 trillion (39.2 percent of the budget), the social safety net program of Rp27.84 trillion (38.3 percent of the budget), and to support or withstand the economic sector’s impact of Rp16.08 trillion (22.2 percent of the budget),” the Minister added.
According to the Minister, the regions also have spared the budget for Unexpected Expenditures (BTT) amounts to Rp23 trillion.
This, he continued, is the regions’ reserve budget spending to dealing with the social safety net program that reaches Rp27.84 trillion, considering that regions will also carry out assistance in the form of direct cash or non-cash.
On that occasion, Tito said that the problem is the synchronization between the assistance provided by the Central Government through the coordination of Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture and the assistance provided by regional heads.
“We have noticed that the numbers of laid-off workers, poor and vulnerable families, as well as others who are affected are millions as COVID-19 crushes economy,” Tito said.
On social aid disbursement, Tito said that the Government will use the Home Ministry’s Population and Civil Registration Directorate General (Dukcapil) database, considering that 99 percent of Indonesian citizens have been recorded in the Dukcapil database, except for those located in Papua’s mountainous region.
The database, he added, will be used as the basis to filter or validate the data for the Social Affairs Ministry’s Integrated Data of Social Welfare (DTKS), for data verification by Ministry of Health in COVID-19 patient handling, and for Pre-employment Card by Coordinating Ministry offor Economic Affairs. A number of regions also use the data for social aid distribution in their regions, such as West Java province, East Java province, and Central Java province.
“In addition, Ministry of Home Affairs also asks regional heads to carry out data validation, because the data at the Central level is bottom-up,” the Minister stated.
Tito further said that the data sourced from villages administration will be submitted to the sub-districts, then the data should be submitted to the provincial and regency/city-level II, and provincial level II. Afterwards, the data will be delivered to the Central so that the process certainly requires quick coordination.
“The data collection for social aid distribution should be fast and well-targeted. Regional governments are expected to speed up the validation data and determine the right beneficiaries,” he said.
Tito also said that the delay in social aid distribution occurred because it involved 548 regional governments, cities and regencies, and provinces involving more than 6,000 sub-districts and more than 70,000 villages.
Therefore, the Minister said that the role of regional head is quite important to synchronize since they have discretionary authority regarding the data so that data validation can be carried out quickly and delivered quickly, and then adjust to all schemes that enter into their respective regions, part of the Central, provincial, as well as regency/city, and villages administration.
“I personally, as Minister of Home Affairs, appreciate regional heads who are able to manage the issue on target without any social turmoil, dealing with the issue, even unsolved possible problem can be eventually resolved by regional heads using their authority,” Tito said.
Tito went on to say that it will be good for the regions whose regional heads are able to create innovation and resolve the problem, instead of those who are passive.
On that occasion, Tito also appealed all regional heads to be creative and innovative due to the complexity of the problems faced in social aid distribution at the Central, provincial, regency, and village administration level so that the principles of transparency and speed should be carried out.
According to Tito, Ministry of Home Affairs also supports the village funds as the President has instructed that part of the budget should be allocated for direct cash assistance.
Therefore, Tito said that the village funds program will be arranged by Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration, while the village apparatus will be handled by Home Affairs Ministry’s Director-General of Village Administration Development.
“Therefore, we formed a joint team together with Ministry of Health to remind the regents’ in 160 regencies. We made 16 teams, one of them have reminded 10 regents to collect the data quickly, but apparently some regents are still in a slow move,” Tito added.
After coordinating with Minister of Finance, Coordinating Minister offor Human Development and Culture and Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration, Tito continued, the regulation has amended in the new regulation, the regent will only provide a power of attorney after the village conducts village deliberations and arranged Village Expenditure Budget.
“After Village Expenditure Budget and power of attorney has been made through a village meeting, Minister of Finance issued a revision of Minister of Finance Regulation. This will simplify the bureaucracy so that the procedure can be conducted fast,” Tito said.
Due to regulatory simplification process, he added, more than 95 percent of the village funds’ unconditional cash transfers (BLT Dana Desa) has been distributed.
“We have agreed that the echelon I officials in Home Affairs Ministry’s Director General of the Village Administration together with the echelon I officials in Village Ministry will coordinate with echelon I officials in Finance Ministry’s Director General of Fiscal Balance,” the Minister said.
However, the Minister said that if the regent’s power of attorney is no longer needed, Ministry of Finance could make the regulation in a more flexible way. It will be under the coordination of the Development Finance Comptroller (BPKP) and Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), then it can be channeled through the revision mechanism, he added.
On that occasion, the Minister said that he will work hard and work fast so that the three agencies, including Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Villages, and Ministry of Finance, could make the principle of “working fast and remain accountable”.
Ministry of Home Affairs, Tito added, will strive to support social assistance schemes at the Central level, whether the ones that carried out by Minister of Social Affairs, Minister of Village, Minister of Religious Affairs, Minister of Education and Culture, Ministry of Agriculture, and other ministries with different schemes such as Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs with Pre-Employment Card program.
“We support all programs through data validation. Then for regions and villages, I think the distribution went fast enough. We will only have to continue doing data validation and make efforts to synchronize the Central and regional schemes,” the Minister concluded. (TGH/EN)
Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by: Yuyu Mulyani