Social Ministry Warns Incumbent Regional Heads not to Politicize Social Assistance Packages
Date 20 Mei 2020
The Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) has the authority to impose sanction to those politicized the social assistance program, according to Minister of Social Affairs Juliari P Batubara.
“The Ministry of Social Affairs can only warn them not to misuse the social assistance for political purposes. However, the Bawaslu has not been able to take any action since the campaign period has not started yet,” the Minister said after a Limited Meeting on Tuesday (19/5).
This is the grey area, he added, where the campaign period has not started yet but there are several regions that violating the rules by attaching images and names of incumbent regional heads to the social assistance packages.
“I think the respective regions must solve the problem by cooperating with institutions overseeing regional elections monitoring,” he said.
On that occasion, the Minister also asserted that there is a delay in data collection because data sent from regencies/cities to the Ministry do not match with the data from villages/sub-districts that are sent to the Regencies/Cities Social Services Offices.
As the consequences, many regencies/cities take back their data which were sent to the Ministry. Thus, he added, the Ministry allocated considerable time for data collection.
He went on to say that the Ministry has told the regional heads that they cannot take back their data and resend it anymore.
“Since there are several social assistance programs at the same time, such as that from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Village, the Provincial Government, and Regencies/Cities Government, it is not easy for the staff to collect the data. They must also provide accountable data,” he stated adding that speed without accountability is nothing.
In addition, the Ministry has transferred budget and sent data of the beneficiaries to State-owned Postal Company PT Pos Indonesia for the distribution of cash social assistance to 8.3 million households.
“Will all people living in poverty receive the social assistance program? The Ministry of Social Affairs gave authority to the village heads to compile data of prospective beneficiaries of the program because village heads know better about their villages’ conditions and know those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
The Minister added that because of the trust, the Ministry is not validating the data since the President called for speed in the distribution so that the cash can be disbursed to the people before Eid 2020.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and Development Finance Comptroller (BPKP), he added, also involved to ensure accountability of the data and distribution.
“Not only fast, we must ensure the accountability which can be confirmed by the KPK, BPKP, and the Attorney General,” the Minister concluded. (TGH/HIM/EN)
Translated by : Rany Anjany
Reviewed by: Lulu Wuliarti