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The Government’s Serious Commitment to Realizing Papua’s Prosperity Through Special Autonomy


By: Irsyad Rasyid )*

President Jokowi’s government continues to be committed to bringing prosperity to all the Papuan people. This development was realized through the policies of the Special Autonomy Law (Otsus), New Autonomous Regions (DOB), and cutting regulations or bureaucracy. Special Autonomy for Papua was given by the Government to catch up with development in the easternmost region of Indonesia. In the future, through Special Autonomy funds, development in Papua will be more equitable. Both in the fields of health, infrastructure and education.

Special Autonomy is a special program for the Papuan people because there are funds to build Bumi Cendrawasih, so that the people are more advanced and there is no inequality with other regions. With Special Autonomy funds, it is hoped that more residents will prosper. Special Autonomy is also implemented in various fields so that there will be more progress in Papua.

Secretary General (Sekjen) of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Suhajar Diantoro, said that the strategic point of Papua’s Special Autonomy lies in the large Special Autonomy fund which is different from other provinces in Indonesia. This is intended to accelerate development in Papua, which is considered to be still lagging behind. 

This large budget must be managed well by the Regional Government, efficiently and oriented towards community needs. According to him, only with efficient management can the main objective of the presence of Special Autonomy be achieved. Namely, development in Papua is parallel to other regions in Indonesia. Special Autonomy must uphold the principle of efficiency, so that effectiveness may have been achieved. 

The Special Autonomy Fund provided in 2023 is 177 billion rupiah. The budget is much larger than in previous years. Funds of this size are reasonable because the need for development in Bumi Cendrawasih is increasing. 100% of the Special Autonomy budget is used for the needs of the Papuan people, so that there is equality throughout Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Member of Commission I DPR RI Yan Permenas Mandenas invited the public to actively monitor the use of the Papua Special Autonomy Fund for the 2023 Fiscal Year. This is because the use of these funds has been strictly regulated in Law (UU) Number 2 of 2021 concerning Special Autonomy (Otsus) for Papua. According to him, supervision from the community is needed so that the Special Autonomy funds are not misused by officials in Papua. These funds are entirely for the benefit of the Papuan people.

The legislator from Papua explained that in the 2023 Fiscal Year, the DPR RI has attempted to provide quite large additional Special Autonomy funds to Regency/City Governments in Papua. The Special Autonomy funds are more focused on allocating education and health for the Papuan people.

In terms of infrastructure development, Special Autonomy funds are used for equal distribution in the 4 new autonomous regions which currently need infrastructure to develop their areas better. Meanwhile, Special Autonomy funds for education were used to build school buildings, complete with libraries. Special Autonomy Funds are also used to add book collections, encyclopedias and facilities such as LCD screens. It can also be added with free wifi for students and teachers, so they can look for references on the internet.

Special Autonomy Funds will also be channeled to the health sector. So far, there are still diseases that must be eradicated on Earth of Cendrawasih, for example malaria, tuberculosis and HIV. Special autonomy funds will be used to purchase medicines and supporting health facilities. The funds can also be used to create programs to prevent these diseases.

Head of the Jayapura Regency Social Service, Arry Ronny Deda, said that the management of Special Autonomy funds was carried out transparently and optimally. This can be clearly seen from the absorption which is going very well, reaching 80 percent. The remaining 20 percent will immediately be followed by physical activities such as solar cell installation which is expected to be completed by the end of November 2023. 

Regarding guidance and supervision, implementation or absorption capacity of the Papua special autonomy fund, a systematic and collaborative evaluation must be carried out by the central government. The central government has set performance targets,  output , and even influence on regional governments regarding the budget disbursed for special autonomy funds which are given every year. So, it can minimize misappropriation of Special Autonomy funds. 

President Joko Widodo continues to make various efforts and breakthroughs to improve the welfare of the Papuan people. Starting from launching a one-price fuel policy in 2016, which is now underway, to continuing Special Autonomy volume II. The commitment to make Papua prosperous has become the mandate and goal of the Indonesian people. So, poverty, isolation, and the expensive cost of living in Papua can be eradicated. If this is realized, it is certain that Papua will be on par with other provinces in Indonesia.

The Government’s strong desire, which includes human resource development, infrastructure development, and support for fair development policies for the interests of the Papuan people, is the main capital for developing the prosperity of the Land of Papua. All of these things were presented in the Advanced Indonesia Cabinet era. In this way, Papua can immediately become a region that is economically and humanly advanced, with a prosperous community life.

)* The author is a Political Science Student at Siliwangi University 

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