Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Limited Cabinet Meeting (Through Video Conference) on the Anticipation of Annual Exodus Ahead of Eid-al-Fitr, 30 March 2020, at Bogor Presidential Palace
Date 31 Maret 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
The Limited Meeting this afternoon will discuss the annual exodus ahead of the 2020 Eid-al-Fitr.
This afternoon, we need to discuss this matter specifically because this tradition involves so much mobility. As an illustration, in 2019 there was a movement of approximately 19.5 million people to all regions across Indonesia.
Therefore, amidst the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the mobility of people at this magnitude means a great risk of expanding the spread of COVID-19. In fact, reports that I received from Governor of Central Java, Governor of DIY, the movement of the annual exodus has been reported earlier than in the previous years.
And since the establishment of the emergency response in Jakarta, there has been an acceleration in the flow of annual exodus, especially from informal workers in Greater Jakarta heading to the provinces of West Java, Central Java, and DIY as well as to East Java. And over the past 8 days, there have been 876 interprovincial bus fleets carrying approximately 14,000 passengers from Greater Jakarta to West Java, Central Java, East Java, and DIY. It has not been included yet, the number for the flow of early annual exodus using other mass transportation, for example, trains or ships, and air transportation, as well as those using private cars.
Due to this fact, there are some matters that I would like to emphasize. First, our focus now is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by reducing or limiting the movement of people from one place to another.
Second, for the sake of mutual safety, I also ask for more stringent measures to prevent the movement of people to the regions. I notice that there have been appeals from figures and governors to migrants in Greater Jakarta not to return home and I ask this measure to be continued and intensified again. But in my opinion, such appeals are also not enough, More stringent measures are needed to break the chain of COVID-19 spread.
Third, I notice that the annual exodus comes earlier not because of cultural factors but because they forced to do so. This is what happens in the field, many informal workers in Greater Jakarta are forced to return home because their income has declined very dramatically or even vanished and there is no income at all due to the implementation of emergency response policies, namely, working from home, studying from home, and worshipping at home.
Therefore, I order the acceleration of social safety net programs, social safety nets that provide social protection in the informal sector and daily workers, as well as economic incentive programs for micro-businesses, small businesses to be immediately implemented on the ground so that informal workers, day laborers, hawkers can fulfill their basic daily needs.
Fourth, for those who have already returned home, I order Governors, Regents, and Mayors to boost their supervision. Supervision in each area is very important. I have received reports from Governor of Central Java, Governor of DIY, that their provinces have implemented strict health protocols, both in villages and urban villages for travelers. I think this is also a good initiative.
I also need to remind you to do it in a measured way. Do not do excessive screening measures for travelers who have already returned home. Do apply health protocols properly so as to ensure that the health of the travelers will really bring safety for residents in the villages.
That concludes my introduction.
Translated by : Fairuzzamani Inayatillah
Reviewed by : M. Ersan Pamungkas