Introductory Remarks of the President of the Republic of Indonesia in the Limited Cabinet Meeting on the COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Monday, 3 August 2020 at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Date 3 Agustus 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all.
Distinguished Vice President,
Distinguished Ministers and Heads of Institutions.
Today’s Limited Cabinet Meeting, we will discuss the COVID-19 handling and National Economic Recovery once more. I want to emphasize the following things:
First, I don’t know why, but I feel that the people are getting more worried about COVID-19 for the past few weeks. Either because the cases are increasing, or especially upper-middle class people see there are more people and more people disobey the health protocol, instead getting fewer.
As of yesterday, we have 111,000 cases with a 4.7 percent mortality rate. Indonesia’s mortality rate is 0.8% higher than that of global mortality rate. I think this is our big homework. In addition, the case recovery rate in our country, based on the latest data, is 61.9 percent. I think it’s good since the numbers is keep going up.
Therefore, on this auspicious day I want the health protocol, behavior change in the community to become our attention. I just want to focus, as I said earlier, in these two weeks, for example, we will focus on campaign on wearing face masks, later in the next two weeks the campaign will be about keeping a safe distance or washing hands. The campaigns will not be done collectively for hand washing, keeping safe distance, avoiding crowds, and wearing masks. If we do them together, I think the upper-middle class people can quickly comprehend it, but it needs to be done one by one for the lower class people.
I would like to involve the Family Welfare Movement (PKK). Later the wife of Minister of Home Affairs will…, I don’t know, but if the ladies are concerned about COVID-19, maybe we can put the brakes on the idea, but if they are ready, I think the PKK can be very effective, with a door-to-door approach to propagate the use of masks. We have to conduct massive campaign through communication for the matter of the behavior change; it can be done through TV, social media, and other medium in these two weeks through various approaches.
Second, which is related to balancing brakes and gas pedals in the third quarter on the economic sector, which is related to household consumption and people’s purchasing power. I noticed that budget realization is still small. Out of Rp695 trillion budget allocated for economic stimulus in the handling of COVID-19, only 20 percent has been realized or equals to Rp141 trillion. Only 20 percent, it’s really small.
The biggest absorption is in social protection programs with 39 percent, followed by the MSMEs program with 25 percent. Around 40 percent (of the budget) has not coupled with its Budget Execution Lists (DIPA). If the DIPA has not been formulated, budget realization cannot be conducted. It means ministries and institutions have not taken this seriously. They are still trapped in their daily tasks that they cannot decide programs that must be prioritized. Therefore, I instructed the Heads (Head of Policy Committee which also Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs) to work on this issue with related ministers. So that this crisis management looks agile, swift, (which fulfills the aspects of) troubleshooting, smart-shortcut, so that the results can be more effective. We need speed.
That’s all for my introduction.
Translated by Galuh Wicaksono
Reviewed by Yuyu Mulyani