Press Statement of President of the Republic of Indonesia on Social Security Program to Address the Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java
Date 1 April 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all,
Greeting of virtue.
Ladies, Gentlemen, and Fellow Countrymen,
The Government has declared COVID-19 as a disease and as a risk factor for public health emergency. For that reason, the Government declares public health emergency status.
To address the impacts of the pandemic, I have decided in a Limited meeting that we are taking the option of imposing large-scale social restrictions or PSBB. Based on provisions of laws, the PSBB is declared by Minister of Health in coordination with the Head of COVID-19 Task Force and regional heads. Legal basis for this measure is Law Number 6 of 2018 on Health Quarantine. The Government has also issued a Government Regulation on Large-scale Social Restrictions and Presidential Decree on Public Health Emergency in order to implement mandates of the Law.
The issuance of this Government Regulation makes everything clear. I urge regional heads to not issue their own regulations without any coordination. All policies established in the regions must be based on provisions and within the scope of the Law and Government Regulation, as well as the Presidential Decree. The Indonesian National Police (Polri) may also take legally enforced measures that are based on the Laws so that the PSBB can be implemented effectively and can achieve the purpose namely preventing the spread of the pandemic.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
We must learn from other countries’ experiences yet we cannot immitate their ways since each country has their own characteristics, their own special features, be it the territory, population, discipline, geographical feature, character and culture, the people’s economy, fiscal capacity, and others. Therefore, we cannot afford taking reckless decisions in mapping out strategies, every single thing must be calculated, must be calculated carefully.
And, the purpose of our policies are already loud and clear. First, public health is our main priority. Thus, control the spread of COVID-19 and treat the patients. Second, we have prepared social security network for lower class people so that they still can fulfill their basic needs and maintain their purchasing power. Third, ensure business sector particularly the Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises to remain open and maintain labor absorption.
On this occasion, I will focus on preparing assistances to lower class people.
First, the Family Hope Program (PKH). The beneficiaries will be increased from 9.2 million to 10 million households, the cash will also be increased by 25 percent. For example, cash for pregnant women increases from Rp2.4 million to Rp3 million per year, cash for children amounting to Rp3 million per year, cash for disabled people amounting to Rp2.4 million per year. This policy will be effective as of April 2020.
Second, the Staple Food Card. The beneficiaries will be increased from 15.2 million to 20 million households, the cash will also be increased by 30 percent which is from Rp150,000 to Rp200,000, for 9 months.
Third, the Pre-employment Card. Budget allocated for the program is increased from Rp10 trillion to Rp20 trillion. The beneficiaries will be increased to 5.6 million people, particularly informal workers and MSMEs who are affected by the COVID-19. The cash will also be increased from Rp650,000 to Rp1,000,000, for 4 months.
Fourth is regarding electricity bills. I need to say that 24 million households in the 450-volt ampere (VA) category will receive free electricity for 3 months, April, May, and June 2020. In addition, 7 million households in the 900 VA category will receive 50 percent discount, meaning that they only need to pay half price for April, Mei, and June 2020.
Fifth, the anticipation of staple foods needs. The Government has allocated Rp25 trillion to meet people’s needs and to conduct market and logistics operation.
Sixth, loan installment relaxation. For informal workers including motorcycle taxi drivers, taxi drivers, MSMEs business players, fishermen, and daily-paid workers whose credit values below Rp10 billion, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) has issued regulation on that issue which shall apply as of April this year. It stipulates that the application procedure can be done without direct visit to the bank or leasing company, they only need to send it through email or digital communication platform, including WhatsApp.
I think that is all I want to say on this occasion.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Policy regarding loan installment relaxation has not been implemented on the ground, creditors are still demanding loan installment from motorcycle taxi drivers and (application-based) taxi drivers through debt collection services. In fact, the OJK also admitted that regulation for leasing is not final. What is your next measure to ensure this policy to be implemented on the ground?
President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
I have confirmed with the OJK that starting April the relaxation regulation will be effective. I have also received the regulation on loan installment from the OJK. The point is, the policy can run in April.
Rafiq Pandjaitan (Kumparan)
First, why civil emergency policies must be imposed, how dangerous is Coronavirus in Indonesia? Second, what is the mechanism in implementing large-scale social restrictions or PSBB, will it be regulated in a Government Regulation or regional head regulation, and when is the effective date? Which area that imposed the restrictions?
President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
We have prepared various scenarios, for light, moderate or serious situations. Civil emergency status is prepared for abnormal situation, but it is not necessary in this current situation.
Regarding the PSBB, I have signed a Government Regulation and Presidential Decree on that issue. The restrictions are expected to take effect after the signing of the Regulation and Decree. Therefore, I expect provinces, regencies, and cities to coordinate with the Head of COVID-19 Task Force to match the legal basis namely the Law, and the aforementioned Government Regulation and Presidential Decree.
Translated by : Rany Anjany S
Reviewed by : Mia Medyana B