President Jokowi Orders Cabinet to Improve Policies in Handling Pandemic
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Saturday (3/10) said that there are still rooms for improvement to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the record, the Indonesian Government has previously launched a number of policies to protect and ease the citizen’s burden due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts.
A budget of Rp239.53 trillion has been disbursed to support these policies, particularly for the social protection cluster.
The funds are manifested into various programs, such as the PKH (Hope Family Program), the BPNT (Non-Cash Food Assistance), the Staple Food, the BST (Cash Social Assistance), the Pre-Employment Cards, the Village Fund, the Productive Presidential Assistance for Working Capital, the salary subsidies, and electricity discounts.
“I want the ministers to work better in designing programs that are more well-targeted. We must continue to improve. There is still a lot of work to do. We must continue to make policy adjustments and seek for the better ones,” he said.
For this matter, the President also called on the public to make suggestions for future policy improvements. He has also ordered Minister of Home Affairs to open opportunities for any inputs on policies.
The Head of State went on to say that seven months of handling a pandemic has brought numerous lessons, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic, which is currently being studied and researched by the scientists, demands continued adaptive handling and policies in order to follow the developments, coupled by adjustments to the characteristics of society.
“For example, social restrictions. I need to emphasize the importance of micro-scale social restrictions since the Government needs to make it more focused and specific to handle the pandemic, while not bringing burdens for the economy and people’s lives,” said the President.
According to him, the best solution to deal with the pandemic must be continuously developed, adding that that is considered the best solution in one country may not be applicable in other countries due to different conditions.
“So the Government also has to keep adjusting (the policies) to find the best way that best suits our situation,” he said.
On that occasion, the Head of State also expressed appreciation for doctors, medical personnel, personnel of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), the National Police (Polri), and civil servants who continue to work hand in hand in handing the pandemic and in reminding the public of the importance of implementing health protocols.
“Moreover, the people also pays an important role. Always adapt to follow health protocols by doing the 3M (wear a face mask, keep distance, and wash hands),” he said.
President Jokowi also expressed hope that the Indonesian people could go through these trying times immediately.
“I believe if we protect each other, help each other, and remind each other, we will be able to get through this difficult time,” he said. (BPMI / UN)
Translated by: Estu Widyamurti
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas