Press Statement of President of the Republic of Indonesia on Government Policy to Handle the Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic, Thursday, 9 April 2020 at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation
Date 10 April 2020
Category: Speech Transcript
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Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

Good afternoon,

Peace and prosperity be upon us all.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Countrymen,

 

We all have experienced the impacts of COVID-19, all elements of society have experienced it, from entrepreneurs, employees, factory workers, taxi drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers, assistants to bus drivers, motorcycle taxi drivers, parking attendants, craftsmen, small traders to micro-businesses, and many more. Therefore, the Government is committed to paying closer attention and giving its main priority to maintain the fulfillment of people’s basic needs and increase people’s purchasing power at the grassroots level.

On 31 March, I have issued policies on the Family Hope Program (PKH) recipients given to 10 million recipients. The total amount reaches Rp37.4 trillion. Then, on Staple Food Card, it is distributed to 20 million recipients. Each person is given Rp200,000 per month with a total of Rp43.6 trillion. Then the Pre-Employment Card, which I said earlier, is given to 5.6 million holders, post-training incentive of Rp600,000 for 4 months. The prepared budget is Rp20 trillion. Also, free electricity tariffs for 450-VA and electricity tariff discounts for 900-VA. There are 24 million customers for 450-VA and 7 million customers for 900-VA. The prepared budget is Rp3.5 trillion.

And this week, the Government has decided to implement several new social assistance policies, namely Special Assistance for Staple Food from the Central Government for the people of Jakarta. It will be allocated to 2.6 million people or 1.2 million households, amounting to  Rp600,000 per month for 3 months. The allocated budget reaches Rp2.2 trillion. Then Staple Food Assistance for Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi regions. It is given to 1.6 million people or 576 thousand households, in the amount of Rp600,000 per month for 3 months, with a total budget of Rp1 trillion. For people outside Greater Jakarta, Cash Social Assistance will be given to 9 million households who do not receive the PKH social assistance or staple food assistance. Once again, 9 million households will receive Rp600,000 per month for 3 months, and the total allocated budget reaches Rp16.2 trillion.

Also, part of the Village Fund is also immediately allocated for social assistance in the village. It is distributed to approximately 10 million recipients amounting to Rp600,000 per month for 3 months and the total allocated budget is Rp21 trillion.

In line with this, we will also strengthen the Cash Labor-Intensive Program implemented in ministries with a total budget of Rp16.9 trillion. Ministry of Villages with the Cash Labor-Intensive Program for Village, targeting 59 thousand workers. Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing also runs Cash Labor-Intensive Program, targeting  530 thousand workers, with a total budget of approximately Rp10.2 trillion. Then in other ministries such as Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and Ministry of Transportation.

And finally, the National Police will also implement a Safety Program. This is similar to the Pre-Employment Card Program, called the Safety Program by the National Police, which combines social assistance and training. It targets 197 thousand taxi drivers, bus or truck drivers, and assistants to bus drivers, who will be given an incentive of Rp600,000 per month for 3 months. The allocated budget reaches Rp360 billion.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

These are all I can deliver in this good opportunity. The Government will continue to comb through available budgets to add more social assistance and to expand employment opportunities for people at the grassroots through labor-intensive programs.

We must realize that the challenges we are encountering are not easy, we must face them together. I invite entrepreneurs to keep their workers. And I also call on all parties to care for the underprivileged. With collective work, we can maintain the development achievements and use them to leap forward.

And once again, I would like to extend my highest appreciation to all the front-liners, among others, doctors, nurses, medical personnel in the hospitals in the fight against COVID-19.

And these are all I can share in this good opportunity.

Thank you.

Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

 

Media (Hanni, LKBN Antara):

How exactly is the annual exodus (mudik) policy? The Government seems indecisive and not on the same page in determining the policy whether to allow mudik or not?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo):

Regading the policy on annual exodus (mudik), first, today we have decided that State Civil Apparatus (ASN), the National Defense Forces (TNI), the National Police (Polri), as well as SOEs employees are prohibited from participating in annual exodus. Then for the general public, we will thoroughly monitor its implementation in the field, to evaluate from matters in the field. For that, once again, the Government has recommended refraining from annual exodus. And I have already said that regarding the distribution of social assistance, especially in Greater Jakarta, we provide this assistance so the residents will refrain from annual exodus. Also, we will limit public transportation capacity, then we also limit the use of private vehicles by limiting the carrying capacity of cars and motorcycles.

Media (Dimas Jarot, Katadata.co.id):

Related to the social assistance that will be provided by the Government for Greater Jakarta residents, how to ensure that the residents do not go on an annual exodus after they receive social assistance? Will there be sanctions if the residents continue to go on annual exodus despite having received social assistance?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo):

Yes, I have already said that the special social assistance for Greater Jakarta is aimed at preventing residents from performing annual exodus. But once again, there will be an evaluation and it is also possible that we will come up with a new decision after we receive the field evaluation.

But I really need to say that from the beginning the Government had seen that this Eid-al-Fitr annual exodus could cause the spread of COVID-19 from Greater Jakarta to the destination areas. But the Government has also calculated that there are two groups of travelers that we cannot just prohibit them because there are also those who return home for economic reasons. The first group is residents who are forced to return home due to economic problems after the imposition of social restrictions resulting in their income reduced or even losing their job and without income. The second group is those who are going home because of the tradition that we have had for decades in our country, Indonesia.

So once again, we will make a decision on the annual exodus restrictions and the possibility of an annual exodus ban after going through field evaluation which we do on a daily basis. But once again, the ban on performing mudik is for the ASN, the TNI, the Polri, SOEs employees, and its subsidiaries. I can share that today.

 Media (Liza, Liputan6.com):

Pak, why are the rules for large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) too complicated and bureaucratic, while in the time of the coronavirus pandemic, the decision should have been made immediately?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo):

I think we, in this kind of condition, should not make wrong decisions, everything must be decided carefully and not in a hurry. And I also need to say that this PSBB is not imposed uniformly throughout Indonesia, but we want to monitor the condition of each region. And this PSBB is stipulated by Minister of Health.

And we know that the decision to impose PSBB or not, be it related to school closure, office closure, restrictions on religious activities, or restrictions on public place activities, is made by taking into account several things, namely, the number of existing cases, the number of fatalities in each regency/city as well as province, and of course based on epidemiological considerations, the magnitude of the threat, the supporting resources, economic, and social, cultural and security considerations. This is very important. Once again, we do not want to decide it in a hurry, a prompt but improper decision. I think it is better if we decide this with clarity as well as detailed and in-depth calculation.

That concludes my statement.

 

 

Translated by : Fairuzzamani Inayatillah
Reviewed by : Muhardi

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