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Development of Papua Special Region Eliminates Gaps in Society

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By : Ixtusya Engresya )*

Accelerating the development of the New Autonomous Region (DOB) in Papua is not just an administrative policy, but is a strategic initiative in an effort to eliminate disparities that have long plagued communities in the region. 

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, John Wempi Watipo, revealed that there were significant changes in the budget allocation for construction in three new autonomous regions, namely South Papua Province, Mountainous Papua Province and Central Papua Province. The budget, which previously reached IDR 11.3 trillion, has decreased quite drastically to IDR 6.9 trillion. 

This decline, as explained by Wempi, is related to delays in preparing the master plan and delays in finalizing the status of the land that will become the location for the government center.

The Regent of Jayawijaya, who has held this position for two terms, did not close his eyes to the impact of losses caused by the budget reduction. According to him, quick and effective action must be taken immediately to follow up on mutual obligations. 

He emphasized that the budget provided by the state must be absorbed immediately, especially considering that the 2024 political year is approaching. The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs also emphasized the urgency of accelerating the preparation of the master plan and finalizing land status to ensure optimal budget absorption. 

Reluctance to act quickly to address these delays could lead to further budget reductions, which would further exacerbate resource constraints in the three DOBs.

The expansion of Papua Province, which involves the formation of a new new autonomous region, is expected to be a new way to improve the welfare of the Papuan people. This step is seen as a strategic effort to accelerate development and overcome lagging behind other regions. So far, development has tended to focus on two main provinces, Papua and West Papua. 

With the formation of the new autonomous region, it is hoped that not only will new enthusiasm and hope emerge among the community, but it will also provide a golden opportunity for the Papuan generation to achieve a better level of prosperity.

Wempi emphasized the importance of developing new autonomous regions in reducing the distance people travel, so that they can save time, money and energy when accessing public facilities. With the existence of offices and public service centers in each new province, it is hoped that accessibility for the community will be easier. 

The increase in the number of members of the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) after expansion is also seen as a positive step, which creates better representation and increases the absorption of community aspirations.

The government has also set an ambitious target by targeting at least 80 percent of the State Civil Apparatus (ASN) in Papua to come from indigenous Papuans. This is considered a strategy to ensure a sustainable increase in welfare among the community. 

The development of new autonomous regions in Papua is considered an effective step to optimize public services to indigenous Papuans and achieve the government’s goal of realizing equitable development.

The Regent of Mimika, Eltinus Omaleng, emphasized that the completeness and smooth running of the DOB will make a positive contribution to improving the welfare of the people in Bumi Cenderawasih. 

He realizes that every process requires time and patience, but he is confident that commensurate results will be achieved. The DPR’s ratification of the Southwest Papua Special Region is also seen as a positive step, bringing the total number of provinces in Indonesia to 38.

The formation of the new autonomous region in Papua is not only the result of administrative policy, but is also the product of a political compromise between the indigenous Papuan people and the central government in resolving the multidimensional conflict that has been going on for a long time in Bumi Cenderawasih. 

Better and more equitable public services in Papua are recognized as the result of the existence of new autonomous regions, which help deliver services to communities throughout the region.

Accelerating new autonomous development in Papua is not just about physical infrastructure, but also about changing paradigms and improving the quality of life of the community. The government, through its policy of establishing new autonomous regions, is trying to ensure that every development step taken will be equitable and have a positive impact on all levels of society.

The ratification of the Southwest Papua Special Region by the DPR is considered a historical milestone. This not only increases the number of provinces in Indonesia, but also reflects the spirit of inclusiveness and conflict resolution recognized by the central government. 

This political process must continue to be encouraged, and the government needs to ensure that every regional expansion is followed by the maintenance and improvement of balanced social conditions in society.

From various perspectives, the expansion of four new autonomous regions in Papua can have a significant positive impact. Ease of public access to public service facilities is a positive value that should be appreciated. 

As Indonesian citizens, we have reason to be proud and support the government’s efforts in equitable national development, with the aim of improving the welfare of society in all corners of Indonesia. Accelerating the development of new autonomous regions in Papua is not only an important milestone, but also a strategic step in achieving this goal.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Manado

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