Ministry Allocates Additional Budget for Cash for Work Program
Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing expands the coverage of services of cash for work labor-intensive program to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 by conducting regular preservation of asphalt roads.
The program uses rubber as the material for asphalt mix. For that reason, the Ministry has allocated Rp100 billion of budget to purchase 10,000 tons of rubber and also allocated an additional Rp20 billion from the State Budget 2020 to purchase rubber for asphalt mix.
The additional budget is used to buy rubber from farmers in Bengkulu Province to support the National Economic Recovery (PEN) since the farmers’ rubber products cannot be absorbed by the markets as the impact of economic slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purchase is expected to be able to distribute the Government’s cash to villages that can stimulate the people’s economy. In addition, improvement of national roads is expected to support mobility of people and goods/logistics.
Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono said that rubber is used as a material for asphalt because it can improve the quality of asphalt hardening, can be more long lasting, and has great endurance. “Rubber asphalt performs well in asphalt hardening, do not leave skid mark when the asphalt is wet, and has better endurance than regular asphalt,” the Minister said.
Around Rp120 billion of budget allocated is used to purchase 11,338 tons of rubber. The rubber is purchased from two rubber-producing islands; Rp85.4 billion is allocated to buy 8,450.87 tons of rubber from Sumatra Island and Rp33.6 billion is allocated to buy 2,886.85 tons of rubber from Kalimantan Island.
The Ministry’s National Road Implementing Agency purchases the rubber directly from farmers who are associated with the Rubber Products Processing and Marketing Unit (UPPB) in several rubber-producing regions such as Medan, Palembang, Jambi, Padang, Lampung, Banjarmasin, Pontianak, and Balikpapan.
As of 13 September, Rp44.29 billion or equal to 36.91 percent of the total budget allocation has been absorbed for rubber purchase program. The Ministry is planned to increase the budget to Rp130 billion to implement the program in 2021.
The Ministry has been using rubber asphalt for road preservation in a number of national roads in several locations such as in Ciawi-Sukabumi route, Karawang-Cikampek National Roads, roads that connect Ajibarang-Banyumas-Klampok-Banjarnegara, and roads that connect Muara Beliti-borders of Musi Rawas Regency-Tebing Tinggi-borders of Lahat City. (Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing/EN)
Translated by : Rany Anjany
Reviewed by: Yuyu Mulyani