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The Papua Special Autonomy Fund Favors Indigenous Papuans

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By : Hugo Steve Momoribo )*

The government extended Otsus (Special Autonomy) because this program is very useful for the people of Bumi Cendrawasih. The Special Autonomy Fund is in favor of indigenous Papuans (OAP) because it is intended for development there. Apart from that, Special Autonomy funds are also used for scholarships to outstanding pupils and students so that they can receive higher education and improve their standard of living.

Special autonomy (Otsus) 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 be prosperous. Special Autonomy is also implemented in various fields so that there will be more progress in Papua.

The special autonomy funds provided in 2023 amount to 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.

The larger nominal special autonomy funds disbursed this year is natural because the geographical conditions in Bumi Cendrawasih are difficult, so more funds are needed for development. Apart from that, the price of materials such as cement is also more expensive than in Java because the transportation costs are higher.

Regency/city governments in Papua Province in 2023, in creating activity programs sourced from the Papua Special Autonomy (Otsus) funds, must side with indigenous Papuans (OAP). Papuan Regional Development Planning Agency (Bappeda) functionary Ilyas Pawannggana stated that any program determined with Papua’s Special Autonomy funds must be approved by the center and made in detail by prioritizing real support for OAP.

Ilyas continued, the transfer of Papua Special Autonomy funds from the central government through the Indonesian Ministry of Finance is currently directly through regional treasuries in district/city governments. Meanwhile, to monitor the use and utilization of Papua Special Autonomy funds, currently the central government has formed a special agency to accelerate development in the Land of Papua.

Ilyas said that the supervisory task was carried out by the Guiding Body for the Acceleration of Development of Special Autonomy for Papua or the Papua Steering Committee, which is a non-structural institution that is under and responsible to the president. The body is chaired by Vice President KH Ma’ruf Amin. 

Meanwhile, the disbursement of Special Autonomy funds in 2023 will be used to speed up the development process for OAP needs and improve the welfare of indigenous Papuans in various villages. The Special Autonomy Fund is managed by the Papua Steering Committee so that its use and utilization is more targeted.

In other words, the nominal value of the Special Autonomy funds is getting bigger, with the hope that it will be useful for all indigenous Papuans. The aim of the Special Autonomy program is for the welfare of the Papuan people, and is realized by providing funds for infrastructure development. Apart from that, Special Autonomy funds are also channeled for development in the health and education sectors.

For the infrastructure sector, Special Autonomy funds are used for equitable development in the provinces of Papua, West Papua, Central Papua and other provinces. Especially for the 4 new autonomous regions (DOB) which need infrastructure to develop their areas better, and need Special Autonomy funds for development.

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. The 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.

Meanwhile, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD stated that the government would increase supervision over the use of Special Autonomy funds, the nominal value of which had increased drastically. This task will be carried out by the Financial Supervisory Agency (BPK).

Why is there a need for supervision? It’s not that I don’t believe it, but that much money can tempt individuals into corruption. Special autonomy is given to the people, and unscrupulous officers who want to corrupt are tantamount to stealing people’s money. Don’t let anyone dare to do KKN, because it’s the same as eating the carcass of your own brother.

Special Autonomy Funds are used for the Papuan people so there must be strict supervision, both from the BPK and the Papua Steering Committee. With supervision, apart from reducing the possibility of corruption, it also ensures that all programs using Special Autonomy funds are used for the welfare of the people in Bumi Cendrawasih.

All Special Autonomy funds are used for indigenous Papuans because this program is for them. The money is used to finance programs such as infrastructure development, education and health. With Special Autonomy funds, there are scholarships for outstanding pupils and students so they can study without worrying about the costs.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Yogyakarta

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