Social Ministry Distributes Regular and Special Social Assistance Programs During COVID-19
Date 18 Juni 2020
Ministry of Social Affairs has announced it has distributed social safety nets in the forms of regular and special social assistance programs amid COVID-19 pandemic.
As for regular social assistance, according to Minister of Social Affairs Juliari P. Batubara, there are two programs, namely the Family Hope Program (PKH) and the Staple Food Card or Non-Cash Food Assistance program.
“The progress of the PKH program realization as of June has reached 95.4% with 9.543 million beneficiary families already receiving the funds amounting to Rp2.42 trillion,” the Minister said in a press statement at the President’s Office, Wednesday (17/6).
As for this month alone, he added, there are approximately 456,671 families who have not received the assistance amounting to Rp130 billion.
“God willing, the target of 10 million beneficiary families will be met by the end of this month,” he said.
As for the Staple Food Card or Non-Cash Food Assistance program, the Minister said that the Government has distributed the assistance to 18,331,273 beneficiary families from the target of 20 million.
The Minister also pointed out that the target of 20 million beneficiary families is unlikely to be met considering that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the distribution scheme is adjusted to health protocols and most of the remaining beneficiary families live in remote areas.
“God willing, we can meet the target of 20 million beneficiary families next month,” he said.
Meanwhile, regarding special social assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister explained that the staple food package has been distributed to capital Jakarta area, part of Bogor Regency, Depok City, Tangerang City, South Tangerang City, and Bekasi City.
“Four out of six phases of assistance distribution have been completed within 3 months, starting from April both for Jakarta and Greater Jakarta area. It has now entered phase five starting from 15 June to 29 June. On 14 July, we will complete the first batch of progress reports on the staple food market in Greater Jakarta area with a target of 1.9 million beneficiary families,” he said.
The program, the Minister continued, will be continued until the end of this year with the amount reduced from Rp600,000 to Rp300,000 per month per beneficiary family.
“So, there are six phases of assistance distribution remaining, starting from July to December, with the amount of Rp300,000 per month per beneficiary family,” he said, adding that the regions are given the authority to determine the number of beneficiary families.
The Minister also acknowledged he had met with the Jakarta provincial government and it has confirmed that it will focus on other programs and discontinue the staple food card program for the rest of the months.
“The number of targeted families receiving the staple food program in Jakarta for phase four to six is 2.1 million, while there are 1.3 million beneficiary families from July to December. Ministry of Social Affairs will entirely manage the distribution,” he said.
Regarding the data of beneficiary families, the Minister also said he had ordered the Jakarta provincial government to have it improved.
Another special social assistance, he continued, is cash social assistance, which has now entered phase two from the planned three phases.
“To date, the realization accounts for approximately 73.3% or 6.597 million beneficiary families from the 9 million target and the Government has disbursed worth Rp3.96 trillion to beneficiary families included in our data,” he said.
In the first phase, the Minister said that less than 6 million families received the cash social assistance given that in the initial stages there were still many regions that failed to meet the allocation or quota.
To date, the Ministry has received the data of 8,366,000 families, meaning that 640 thousand families remaining, he added.
The Minister further said efforts made for regions not ready to meet the allocation or quotas are to divert the remaining quotas of the regions to those that are better prepared to distribute.
“We have also coordinated with Ministry of Home Affairs to improve the data in the regions in the context of channeling or speeding up the distribution of cash assistance in the regions,” he said, adding he has ordered state-owned postal company PT Pos Indonesia as a channeling partner to extend its operating hours until 10 pm and ordered opening payment counters not only in the post office but also in the village office or the village meeting hall.
As for remote areas, the cash social assistance will be distributed in three phases at once.
“So, each beneficiary family will receive Rp1.8 million at once,” the Minister said. (FID/EN)
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas