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Appreciate the Government Issues Regulations to Accelerate the Management of Special Autonomy

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By: Rebeca Marian)*

Otsus is a form of the Indonesian government’s love for Papua, and this program will be extended again in 2021. The community appreciates the Government’s efforts to issue regulations for accelerating the management of Otsus to ensure that the program benefits all Papuans.

Historically, Papua is the youngest province, because it only joined Indonesia in the 60s. The existence of this distance and its location which is quite far from Jakarta, especially during the New Order government was still centralized, so the development there was not as fast as in Java. Therefore, the government created a special autonomy program (Otsus) in 2001.

Otsus is held every 20 years so that in 2021 there will be an extension. The community certainly agreed because they had seen progress in Papua, thanks to the Special Autonomy Fund. These funds are not only used for infrastructure but also for other fields, such as the economy, education, health, etc.

The government has just issued Government Regulation number 107 of 2021 concerning the Reception, Management, Supervision, and Master Plan for the Acceleration of Development in the context of implementing Papua’s special autonomy. The regulation is effective from 15 October 2021.

After having PP Otsus, there are specifications in the management and distribution of Otsus funds. This is very important because from year to year the budget always increases. In 2021 alone, the Special Autonomy funds disbursed by the government amounted to 12.8 trillion. This amount of money certainly needs supervision so that it is not misused by unscrupulous persons, so there needs to be a PP for the legal basis.

In Article 5 of PP number 107 of 2021, it is stated about good financial management, and must be obeyed by local governments (city/district, etc.). President Jokowi stated that the funding for Papua (Otsus) is 70% of the revenue-sharing funds for mining natural resources, oil and gas, and 70% of natural gas.

In a sense, the Papuan people cannot be provoked by individuals who accuse the government of exploiting the natural resources in Bumi Cendrawasih, because the proceeds from the processing and sale are returned to the residents in the form of Special Autonomy funds. The Special Autonomy budget is intended for the progress of the people, so that they are more modern and there are improvements in their standard of living.

President Jokowi continued, the revenue sharing fund (DBH) for processing natural resources is still being divided again. The details are 35% for provincial and city/district education spending, 25% for health and nutrition improvement spending, 10% for indigenous peoples empowerment, and 30% for infrastructure.

In a sense, the Special Autonomy funds are not only used in the construction of roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. However, it is also intended for education, and is made for the construction of schools and their equipment (books, teaching aids). The Special Autonomy Fund is also channeled for scholarships so that Papuan children are smarter.

In addition, the Special Autonomy funds are also channeled to the health budget and nutrition improvement. Papuan children are given food and milk packages to fulfill their nutrition and grow up healthy. They also have good immunity thanks to vaccination. Residents also get good health facilities, which were built thanks to Otsus funds.

The Special Autonomy budget is also earmarked for indigenous peoples. They are undeniably part of Papuan culture. Residents of the Earth of Cendrawasih strictly adhere to customary law and customary leaders are highly respected. When indigenous peoples receive special autonomy funds, of course, they will grow.

The existence of Otsus is very encouraging because it is intended for the prosperity of Papua. The people are very happy because Otsus is being channeled to modernize Papua, so that their lives are more advanced. The PP Otsus also mentions supervision, so that Otsus funds will not be misused by unscrupulous persons.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Jakarta

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