Social Affairs Ministry Set to Continue Social Aid Program for People Affected by Pandemic in 2022

Wednesday, 22-September-2021 19:02

Indonesian Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini
Image : Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs
Indonesian Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - The Indonesian government, through the Ministry of Social Affairs, continues to implement the Social Assistance (Bansos) program for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With a budget of IDR78.25 trillion for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 that has been approved by the House of Representatives, the Ministry of Social Affairs has allocated IDR 74.08 trillion (94.67%) for social assistance spending.

With that in mind, Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini says the Ministry of Social Affairs will continue to carry out social protection tasks through the Bansos program. Tri Rismaharini, also known as Risma, has ensured that the government would not stop delivering aid to the poor affected by the pandemic.

"Social assistance for the poor and vulnerable continues. Next year, the Ministry of Social Affairs has budgeted IDR74.08 trillion or 94.67% for social aid. Thus, it is not true that the Ministry of Social Affairs stopped the social assistance program," Risma said in Jakarta, on Wednesday (09/22/2021).

The Social Assistance Program managed by the Ministry of Social Affairs consists of regular social aid and special social assistance. Regular social assistance is designed to support government policies in accelerating poverty alleviation. The regular social assistance includes the Keluarga Harapan Program (PKH) and Non-Cash Food Assistance (BPNT)/Staple Food Cards.

"PKH and BPNT continues to be distributed whether or not there is a pandemic, as they are intended to tackle poverty and improve the quality of leading human resources,” said the Minister of Social Affairs.

The special social assistance has different characteristics. The existing special social assistance managed by the Ministry of Social Affairs is Cash Social Assistance (BST).

"BST is designed for emergencies, not for permanent purposes. BST was launched by the government related to the policy for the Implementation of Public Activity Restrictions (PPKM), in line with the high number of virus transmissions at that time," said the Minister of Social Affairs.

Activity restrictions have an impact on decreasing economic activity and reducing people's income.

"So the government needs to provide assistance to the affected people. In line with the decline in the number of virus transmissions, the government also loosens up activity restrictions, the economy moves, and the public can return to being productive," Risma said.

BST was launched by the government in 2020 as an effort to ease the burden on people affected by the pandemic. In 2021, the government will continue the BST program for four months, namely January-April 2021, considering the impact of the pandemic has not completely decreased.

Then, the BST was again extended for two months, namely May and June 2021, with an index of IDR300,000/month/Beneficiary Family Recipient (KPM). BST is targeted to be disbursed to 10 million KPMs, with distribution through PT Pos Indonesia.

In 2022, the Ministry of Social Affairs will continue the regular Social Assistance Program, namely PKH, with a budget of IDR28.7 trillion and a target of 10 million KPMs. The distribution is carried out every three months in four stages (January, April, July and October) through the State Banks Association (Himbara) members BNI, BRI, Mandiri and BTN.

BPNT/Staple Food Cards has a budget of IDR45.12 trillion and target of 18.8 million KPMs. Distribution is carried out every month during the period January-December 2021 through Himbara and appointed agents. The aid index is set at IDR200,000/month/KPM.

Apart from the Ministry of Social Affairs, the public is still receiving various assistance from other ministries and local governments. The ongoing assistance includes Pre-Employment Cards, electricity subsidies, direct assistance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and so on.

According to the Minister of Social Affairs, this shows that the government's support for communities affected by the pandemic continues, although the BST channel is only extended until May and June 2021. Risma ensures that the poor and vulnerable remain the focus of the Ministry of Social Affairs' attention.

"We will continue to help the poor and vulnerable," she said. The Minister of Social Affairs encourages the public to report themselves to the relevant local government apparatus, such as the social service office, hamlet/village, or RT/RW, if they feel they deserve assistance.

Or take advantage of the "propose" and "rebut" features on the Cekbansos website. With these two features, people can register themselves to be considered for their eligibility to receive social assistance.

In an effort to reach assistance for communities affected by the pandemic, the Ministry of Social Affairs has allocated BPNT PPKM assistance to 5.9 million KPMs with a budget of IDR7.08 trillion. The allocation of 5.9 million KPM recipients of BPNT social assistance is a proposal from the regions.

"It is possible to enter as a participant in the BPNT/Staple Food Program. However, the index is IDR200,000," she said.

In this regard, the Minister of Social Affairs re-emphasized that local governments have a major role in ensuring that aid is right on target.

Reporter : turkhan
Editor : turkhan