Otsus for the Welfare of the Papuan People

The Papua Special Autonomy Policy is a meeting point for the middle ground to strengthen Papuan integration as well as a bridge to pursue peace and build prosperity in the Land of Papua.

Otsus itself is still ongoing according to Law Number 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for Papua. So far, since being implemented for 20 years, the amount of special autonomy funds for Papua has reached Rp. 126.9 trillion, which is focused mainly on 30% for the education sector and 15% for the health and nutrition sector.

The amount of the Special Autonomy fund shows the commitment of the Government of Indonesia to the development of Papua. Through Otsus, Indigenous Papuans are also required to become regional heads based on 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 Otsus in order to benefit the welfare of the Papuan people of Special Autonomy for Papua and the welfare of indigenous Papuans.

Chairman of the DPRD, Maybrat Ferdinando Solossa, explained that the presence of the Papua Special Autonomy since 2001 was a demand for 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.

"The benefits of Special Autonomy are enormous for Papua, even from a budget perspective every year it continues to increase," he said during a discussion on "Special Autonomy for Papua and the Welfare of Indigenous Papuans", Thursday night (13/8/2020).

Maybrat explained, the special autonomy budget disbursed by the central government from 2000 to 2020, in which the amount of funds continues to increase, is also prioritized for four priority programs. For example, aspects of education, health, infrastructure, to community economic empowerment. This is proof that the central government's attention to Papua is so great.

Maybrat hopes that, in future implementation, local governments will be given the greatest possible space in terms of authority so that Otsus can provide more optimal benefits. Also, so that the implementation of Otsus can be accommodated properly so that such a large budget can be realized according to its allocation. That way, the community can feel the benefits more.

Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Cendrawasih Hendrik Krisifu reminded the Papuan people not to misinterpret Otsus. According to him, Otsus will not end next year.

Hendrik explained that there are 78 articles of the Special Autonomy Law, not a single article that states it will end in 2021. What is clear, in Article 34 paragraph 6, it is stated that what ends in 2021 is the special autonomy fund. So, said Hendrik, there must be an understanding in the community that it is not Otsus that will end. However, its special autonomy funds will end. Papua will still be privileged.

"So, don't confuse the public that Otsus will end. That is wrong. What ends is the special autonomy fund in article 34 paragraph 6. The special autonomy fund ends next year, while the special autonomy will continue," explained Hendrik.

He considered that so far the implementation of Otsus was indeed encouraging. However, of course there is still room for improvement. If anything is missing, all parties should work together to improve. He gave an example of the implementation of special autonomy in terms of forming political parties. In that respect, it is somewhat different from Aceh.

Another thing that needs to be improved is the matter of the Otsus evaluation which needs to be improved so that the results can be seen by the public so that they can be seen and the community can also contribute to providing input. The hope is, by being more open, we can get a complete picture of the special autonomy in Papua.

However, he acknowledged that Otsus had also produced positive results. For example, there are expansion areas, distribution of authority in the regions, economic distribution and potential in the regions that are more optimal with the expansion.

"Because of this special autonomy, there have been divisions in Papua. This is an encouraging example," said Hendrik.

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