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Papua Special Autonomy Must Continue


By: Rebecca Marian) *

The government has given a signal to continue the special autonomy of Papua. The Papuan people are also looking forward to the continuation of the Special Autonomy because it is believed to be able to improve the welfare of the Papuan people.

The Papua Special Autonomy Policy (Otsus) is arguably a meeting point or a middle way which aims at strengthening Papuan integration as well as a bridge to pursue peace and build prosperity in the Land of Papua.

Otsus itself is currently still ongoing in accordance with law number 21 of 2001 on Papua’s special autonomy. So far, since it has been implemented for 20 years, the amount of Special Autonomy funds for Papua has reached Rp. 126.9 trillion, which is focused mainly on 30 percent for the education sector and 15 percent for the health and nutrition sector. The amount of the Special Autonomy fund shows the commitment of the Indonesian government to the development of Papua.

Through Otsus, the requirements to become regional heads must be native Papuans, this has been stated in article 12 of Law 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for Papua Province, the Governor and Deputy Governor must be indigenous Papuans (OAP).

It cannot be denied that there are strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of Otsus. What Papua and West Papua need in the future is to increase the accountability and transparency of special autonomy in order to provide welfare benefits for the people of Papua and West Papua.

Maybrat Ferdinando Solossa explained that the presence of the Papua Special Autonomy from the beginning of 2001 was a message from Papuans who felt left behind from various aspects. According to him, in the period of 20 years until now, the presence of Otsus is recognized as providing enormous benefits to the land of Cenderawasih.

Billy Mambrasar as the special staff of President Joko Widodo once said that the results of a survey with a sample of 500 Papuan millennials, they have the view that Otsus is a process and needs continuous improvement. For example, the use of the budget that must be improved.

He said that Otsus is a process of building body and soul. Therefore, the good things that have been obtained from special autonomy, such as in the education sector which is an investment in human resources, continue to be improved. On the other hand, he agreed that in order to get better, it is necessary to listen to the aspirations of AOP so that Otsus can run better.

Papuan musician Edo Kondologit considers that the current issue of Papua is very complex. Papua’s Special Autonomy is actually carried out to improve welfare, improve living standards. Even if there is still a failure in the opinion of special autonomy, according to Edo, this is because there are some parties who also play too many roles.

On a different occasion, the Head of the Information Center (Kapuspen) of the Ministry of Home Affairs (Kemendagri), Benny Irwan, said that until now there has been no change in the General Autonomy Policy for Papua. He added that the special autonomy fund will come from the State Budget (APBN) which will end in 2021. He said, based on the results of the evaluation, the allocation of the special autonomy fund will continue. Based on Law number 21/2001 on special autonomy, it is said that the validity period of the Papua special autonomy fund ends in 2021.

The discussion of the Special Autonomy Bill is currently still underway, the target is that the discussion will be completed in October 2020 so that it can be discussed together with the House of Representatives (DPR). Regarding the amount of the Papua special autonomy fund allocation which is equivalent to 2% of the total national general allocation fund (DAU). Benny explained that this has not been determined.

The mandate of the Special Autonomy Law Number 21 of 2001, the special autonomy fund is equal to 2% and is valid for 20 years. The Special Autonomy Fund was reported as a consequence of reporting on the special autonomy status. The focus of its use is to support the improvement of health, education, and welfare in Papua and West Papua. After the Reformation was echoed, there were 3 provinces that were given the funds, namely the Provinces of Nangroe Aceh Darussalam, Papua and West Papua.

From the financial note for the 2021 State Budget Draft submitted by President Joko Widodo on August 14, 2020, the government increased the Special Autonomy Fund allocation for the Provinces of Papua and West Papua and Aceh in the 2021 State Revenue and Expenditure draft (RAPBN). The total autonomy funds for the three provinces amounted to Rp. 15.6 trillion.

Otsus Papua volume 2 must be realized, this is because the special autonomy policy is a concrete effort by the government in developing Indonesia from outside. The existence of this policy is also beneficial for Papuan children who want to continue their education, with the special autonomy funds, many Papuan children are helped to be able to continue their schooling and even go to college.

) * The author is a Papuan student living in Jakarta

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