Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at Opening of the 6th National Meeting of Indonesian City Administrations Association (Apeksi) Thursday, 11 February 2021 at the State Palace, Jakarta
Date 11 Februari 2021
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all,
Greeting of virtue.
Distinguished Minister of Home Affairs, Cabinet Secretary;
Distinguished Head of Indonesian City Administrations Association (Apeksi), Airin Rachmi Diany, the Mayor of South Tangerang;
Distinguished Apeksi’s Supervisory Board and Management Board, Mayors and Deputy Mayors throughout the country;
In this amicable meeting, I would like to deliver my highest appreciation to you, the mayors in Indonesia, for joining your hands in handling COVID-19 pandemic both on health and social-economic sectors. Neverthless, I must remind you that the pandemic is not over yet. We must continue our hard work. We must find new ways to overcome the problems and even to make the most of the crisis to achieve significant progress,
On this occasion, I would like to invite to you take extraordinary measures needed in this time of crisis.
First, Controlling COVID-19 transmission must be our top priority. I have reiterated the importance of self-discipline in implementing health protocols; wearing face masks, washing hand, maintaining safe distance must always be disseminated to the people. I have ordered the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) Commander and the Indonesian National Police (Polri) Chief to support regional governments by deploying their personnel.
Besides urged the public to wear face masks, we must also distribute free mask to them since many people cannot afford to buy face masks.
In addition, we must continue to strengthen testing, tracing, and treatment measures. Test the suspect, trace the spread, and isolate the patient. It is really important. During the past couple weeks, I always bring this issue. The most important thing is the implementation on the ground. Once you find a case of virus infection, isolate the patient as soon as possible. Prepare a centralized isolation facility and cooperate with the Ministry of Health, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), TNI, and Polri.
If deemed necessary, activity restrictions can be imposed on a micro scale, at villages, hamlets, or neighboring units. If the virus has infected one person in a neighboring unit, do not put the whole city on lockdown. It is not necessary. We often misunderstood the situation. Therefore, we must work harder and impose micro lockdown so it will not affect the economic growth.
For that reason, mayors and deputy mayors must provide detailed zoning map for the spread of COVID-19. We must monitor the spread of COVID-19. We cannot put the whole city, province or a state on lockdown as other country does because our economy will collapse. So, please be more careful on this matter.
Regarding treatment and isolation, regional governments must also pay attention to the availability of hospital beds and medicines as well as the preparedness of medical personnel in treating COVID-19 patients. Feel free to ask for support from the Central Government, TNI, and Polri if it is needed.
Second, the importance of management for the acceleration of vaccination. Vaccination program which has been started since 13 January 2021 will be carried on to public workers who meet many people on a daily basis. Those who have high mobility will be prioritized, for example market traders and people who provide services to the public. We will vaccinate group of people until it reach herd immunity. Workers at mall who meet many people will also be vaccinated.
Therefore, planning and mapping must be started as soon as possible. Thus, we will know who come first in line when vaccine doses arrive in Indonesia. Vulnerable groups and senior citizens will be our priority. For the record, the Government is trying to procure more vaccine from various manufacturers.
There are only several COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, while it is needed by 215 countries. To date, around 42 countries have been rolling out the vaccines to their people, the other countries are still strugling to procure it. We have procured 426 million doses of vaccines as the fruit of our effort in approaching the vaccine producers since August last year. Procuring the vaccine is not an easy task; we are competing with other countries. Therefore, vaccination program must reach the target.
Regional governments and city governments must properly prepare vaccinators in terms of the number of personnel needed and also the management on the ground. Vaccination can be conducted at community health centers (puskesmas). In addition, mass vaccination must be held at sport complex or city hall every day until we reach the herd immunity.
Distinguished Mayors, Deputy Mayors,
Third, we need to expand labor-intensive programs in order to strengthen people’s purchasing power and consumption. The people’s economy solely depends on budget allocated for state and local government expenditures. Therefore, we must open job opportunity for the grassroots.
There are many potential jobs for the people. Labor-intensive programs can be adopted to village roads rehabilitation project, rehabilitation of drainage at cities, renovation of community health centers (puskesmas), integrated health posts (posyandu), and schools. We will pay wages of their labors so it can increase their consumption and purchasing power, which will eventually increase domestic demands.
The projects through the labor-intensive programs, will not only improve infrastructures and services to the people, but also generate income for the people. The Central Government will implement labor-intensive programs in all ministries and work hand in hand with an aim to help those suffering from layoffs.
Lastly, regional governments must carry on social assistance programs particularly food packages which are given to the grassroots who are not employed in labor-intensive programs.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
We must take the four points with cooperation between the Central Government regional governments. In addition, we must continue improving economic ecosystem in regions, simplify permits, cut bureaucrazy, provide legal certainty, and prepare qualified human resources. By doing so, it can attract domestic and foreign investment that will eventually generate new job opporunity and stimulate economic growth.
I believe through cooperation, we can overcome this health and economic crisis and be able to make progress in various fields for the sake of an advanced Indonesia.
I conclude this remarks. By saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I declare the the 6th National Meeting of Indonesian City Administrations Association (Apeksi) opened.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. (RAS/LW)