PEMALANG, NETRALNEWS.COM - Indonesia Minister of Social Affairs Juliari P Batubara has witnessed the distribution of Social Cash Assistance (BST) in Pemalang and Purbalingga Regencies, Central Java. The Minister of Social Affairs advised people who had not received assistance not to complain on social media.
"Don't talk on social media, but come to the village offices and sub-district offices, and report to these offices of not yet receiving any assistance. We make sure everyone will be served," said Social Affairs Minister Juliari.
This statement was conveyed by the Minister of Social Affairs in his remarks at the Cash Social Assistance Distribution event at the Taman Post Office, Taman District, Pemalang Regency, Central Java, on Friday (11/20/2020).
He asked the public not to have doubts, as government officials, House of Representatives members, and also their assistants are public servants.
"Public officials, whether ministers, governors, regents, mayors, members of the House and also assistants, are public servants. It is not the people who serve us. So we are fighting for society," he said.
Juliari reminded that distributing social assistance is also not an easy job. This is because after the Ministry of Social Affairs allocated the quota for assistance, it turned out that the regions could not absorb it.
"Pemalang Regency is a responsive area, as the quota of aid recipients can be absorbed properly. This all depends on the activeness of regional heads in communicating with the Ministry of Social Affairs," he said.
During this visit, the Minister of Social Affairs witnessed the distribution of BST in two locations in Central Java, namely the Taman Post Office, Pemalang District, Pemalang Regency, and at the Karanganyar District Office, Purbalingga Regency. On the same occasion, the Minister of Social Affairs also held a dialogue with Keluarga Harapan Program (PKH) facilitators in the two districts.
To the Beneficiary Families (KPM) who sat in formation to comply with health protocols in the two locations, Social Affairs Minister Juliari opened a dialogue. He explored the extent of the benefits they felt with government assistance.
On that occasion, Juliari said BST was given to poor, underprivileged and/or vulnerable families who were affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. He stated that the pandemic has made most people lose their jobs, and in turn cannot fulfill their basic needs.
"To the ministers, the President instructed us, his assistants, to ensure that during the pandemic no one will starve. BST is expected to help increase the purchasing power of people affected by the pandemic," Juliari said.
Juliari asked that the aid be used properly and not to buy cigarettes. Not forgetting, he reminded, that social assistance is temporary.
On this occasion, Social Affairs Minister Juliari also reviewed local MSME products which are E-Warong commodities, and had a dialogue with MSME businesses. Social Affairs Minister Juliari praised the entrepreneurship that is growing in the area.
The Ministry of Social Affairs distributed BST in Central Java Province to 1,412,938 KPMs in 35 districts/cities.
In Pemalang Regency, there were 38,952 BST KPMs spread over 14 sub-districts with a value of IDR11,685,600,000/month. BST in Purbalingga Regency is distributed to 30,603 KPMs in 18 sub-districts with a total value of IDR9,180,900,000.
Meanwhile, the Non-Cash Food Assistance/Staple Food Program (BPNT) in Central Java Province reached 3,431,209 KPMs spread across 35 districts/cities.
In Pemalang District, there are 171,684 KPMs for the Staple Food Program/BPNT in 14 sub-districts with assistance of IDR34,336,800,000/month.
In Purbalingga Regency, there are 110,241 KPMs spread over 18 sub-districts with a value of IDR22,048,200,000.
BST social cash assistance is distributed by PT. Pos Indonesia and Himbara member banks. The Minister of Social Affairs expressed his gratitude to the Directors of PT Pos, Himbara Banks, local governments, assistants, and all parties who helped smooth the implementation of the program.
"With the cooperation and support from various parties, the distribution of BST and the Staple Food Program/BPNT went well and smoothly. Hopefully this assistance will provide benefits to improve the welfare and health of KPMs," Juliari said.
In 2021, the BST program is still being continued to maintain national economic resilience to ten million KPMs in 34 provinces carried out for six months from January to June 2021, with a total budget of IDR12 trillion. Likewise, the Staple Food Program/BPNT for 18.5 million KPMs has a total budget of IDR45.12 trillion.
Hope Rises for Baked Crackers Business
Baked cracker entrepreneur Daryati only reminisces about the glory days of her business. Before the pandemic, the resident of Taman Kelurahan, Pemalang District District could produce and sell four bales of baked crackers per day with a value of IDR600,000/bale or IDR 18 million/gross month.
Assisted by two neighbors, the 50-year-old woman's business reached the cities around Pemalang, such as Brebes, Pekalongan and Kendal. Over the past seven years, she has enjoyed an abundance of fortunes from the home business that is managed with her husband, not to mention the coconut trade managed by her husband. Per day, a full truck can be brought in from Sumatra to fill the market in Pekalongan.
Now everything is just a memory. The pandemic has buried the sweet dreams of this mother of three children.
"Crackers sales now only reaches 2-3 bales a month, sir. Meanwhile, my husband's coconut business is not working at all," she said.
With 1 child who is married, and two still in college, it makes Daryati's life burden heavy. "There are a lot of fees for the two children to study," she continued.
However, in the midst of difficult times, she was grateful to Allah as she still received assistance from the Ministry of Social Affairs in the form of BST.
"Alhamdulillah, I still get help, sir. Well, mostly to cover tuition fees. The rest is for daily needs," she said.
Daryati thanked the government, including the Ministry of Social Affairs, because the assistance had ignited her hopes that had dimmed.