The local governments of Papua and West Papua can optimize the Special Autonomy Fund

President Joko Widodo set a special autonomy fund (autonomy) for Papua and West Papua Provinces in the 2021 State Revenue and Expenditure Budget Draft (RAPBN 2021) amounting to IDR 7.8 trillion. This figure is up from the 2020 Revised State Budget, which is IDR 7.6 trillion.

In accordance with the mandate of the law, the allocation of special autonomy funds for the provinces of Papua and West Papua is equivalent to two percent of the total national general allocation fund ceiling (DAU) and is valid for 20 years.

The Special Autonomy Fund is also directed to finance the development and maintenance of infrastructure, empowerment of the people's economy, poverty alleviation, as well as education, social and health funding.

"The Special Autonomy Fund has been helping indigenous Papuans, helping to develop Papua, especially in terms of the budget, it continues to increase," said Abisai Rollo, Chair of the Jayapura City DPRD, in his statement via the Webinar "Jokowi and the Papua Special Autonomy Fund," Tuesday (25 / 8).

He suggested, to be more optimal in terms of use, a special institution that manages funds should be created. If not, it is hoped that the regional government that receives the funds will actually use the funds according to their allocation so that the benefits are truly felt by the Papuan people. Abisai explained that what has been good from the implementation of Otsus must be maintained.

He hopes that the special autonomy funds can actually be directed to traditional villages, indigenous Papuans. Native Papuans who want to study both at home and abroad can find it easy.

If necessary, create a special hospital with special autonomy funds so that residents no longer have to pay expenses if they are sick.

"If it is good, proceed with the system. If it is not good, a special body can be formed," he said.

Yorrys Raweyai, Chairperson for Papua MPR RI and DPD RI members for Papua, added that the Special Autonomy funds received by Papua were the result of political struggles so that these funds had to be on target and provide benefits to indigenous Papuans.

He encouraged all parties, the golden generation of Papua, to equalize perceptions in order to make the best contribution to the land of Papua and also to the country.

Special Autonomy was achieved from an extraordinary political situation, in order to produce a win-win solution, that the state is present and gives more attention to Papua, through special regulatory instruments and budget support with a focus on improving the quality of life, health, education, local-based economy, to infrastructure.

Through the Special Autonomy Fund, education funds are almost double the stipulated amount, reaching 37%. Likewise the health budget to increase life expectancy.

"The special autonomy fund is needed and necessary, just to implement it through affirmations of action so that it can be felt and maximized. Special autonomy was not a gift but a long struggle and was resolved through affirmative politics, ”said Yoris.

Michael Manufandu, Ambassador and Senior Pamong Papua, explained that the policy of special autonomy funds that continued in the Jokowi era also indicated a real commitment and support from the central government to Papua. Moreover, from the budget side since the beginning, it has continued to increase.

Michael said, in terms of political decisions, the willingness to support Otsus is still running and still being increased. Even before becoming two Provinces, regions in Papua have also received a General Allocation Fund (DAU) and a Special Allocation Fund (DAK), as well as a deconcentration fund, which is distributed to each regional government. Staying at the regional government level really maximizes the use of funds.

Moreover, with the autonomy authority, the regions can really manage various needs, affairs, policies in all sectors so that the local community can prosper.

So, it should have been, if there were problems such as starving residents, sick people, they should no longer be able to point to the center because these issues fall under the full authority of the regional government which has received various financial support.

Therefore, there needs to be an understanding, a common vision between the regional centers, so that the benefits of the Special Autonomy Fund are truly felt, especially for the education and health sectors.

"If the regent receives funds for the improvement of the kampung kampung, it will be done because there is an authority. Don't let Otsus money run wild everywhere, here and there, because it still needs supervision. There are still weaknesses, the funds are given and cannot be controlled. For example, in a district with a population of 15 thousand people, it will receive Rp1 trillion in funds. If it is managed properly, there will be no hungry people, "explained Michael.

Despite the shortcomings, Yoris invited all parties to sit down together to have a dialogue so that central government support through Otsus can be implemented better. Therefore, it is necessary to see the implementation and evaluation in a comprehensive manner, not half-heartedly, let alone there are great benefits from Otsus.

"The evaluation is necessary so that the funds that will be disbursed are still needed for the completion of Papua but a design must be made. From the cultural aspect, all sit down so that in the future we can see hope arise, "said Yoris.

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