Details on Social Restrictions Needed to Strengthen Synergy
The government has issued a government regulation (PP) regarding large-scale social restrictions. The issuance of more detailed policies is needed to strengthen the synergy between central and regional governments.
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BOGOR, KOMPAS - The government declared on Tuesday a public health emergency status in an effort to contain COVID-19 and simultaneously issued a legal umbrella on the implementation of large-scale social restrictions to help poor people meet their basic needs.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced the issuance of Presidential Decree No. 11/2020 concerning the public health emergency to contain COVID-19 and Government Regulation (PP) No. 21/2020 concerning large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in handling COVID-19 during a teleconference briefing at the Presidential Palace, Tuesday (3/31/2020).
The announcement of the PSBB legal umbrella took place a day after the President decided to enact the PSBB to cope with the widespread transmission of the coronavirus. As of Tuesday, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia reached 1,528, up 114 cases compared to the previous day, and 136 deaths.
The core of our policy is very clear and firm. First, public health is number one.
With the PP regarding the PSBB, issued as a derivative of Law No. 6/2018 on health quarantine, the President asked regional heads not to implement their own policies without his approval. All policies in the regions should in line with the law, PP and Keppres (Presidential decree). The Indonesian National Police are also expected to carry out legal enforcement so that the PSBB can be applied effectively and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"The core of our policy is very clear and firm. First, public health is number one. Therefore, [this means] controlling the spread of COVID-19 and treating those who are exposed, "said the President.
Details of the government regulation on the PSBB are still needed. The regulation, which consists of seven articles, should at least require the closure of schools, offices, the limitation of religious activities and the restriction of activities in public areas or public facilities. The PP also regulates the coordination of relevant ministries, the task force for handling COVID-19 and regional governments. Meanwhile, restrictions on the movement of people and goods for a particular province or district/city can be imposed through the issuance of a regional government’s regulation with the approval of the minister in charge of health affairs.
The PP also states that the implementation of the PSBB must meet two criteria, namely (a) the number of cases and/or the number of deaths due to disease increases and spreads significantly and rapidly to several regions; and (b) there are epidemiological links with similar events in other regions or countries.
The director of law and human rights office Lokataru, Haris Azhar, said that the PP on the PSBB was still too general and had not yet answered the challenge of how to cope with COVID-19. The articles in the regulation are similar to those that have been implemented in a number of regions.
The director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at Andalas University, Padang, Feri Amsari, said the PP should be able to regulate in more detail and accommodate the work chain so that the regions would not work separately with their own policies.
Agencies at the central government should also do the same thing. In order to cope with such weakness, the man in charge such as the chairman of the task force on handling COVID-19, should have the discretion to issue technical details on the regulation.
On Tuesday, the President also said that the government had prepared a social safety net for the grassroots level. Thus, the community can still meet their basic needs and maintain purchasing power. The business world, especially micro, small and medium enterprises, will also be given fiscal incentives so that they can continue to operate and hire people.
The relief to be given to the people will among other things include an increase in the number of recipients of social assistance programs such as the Family Hope Program (PKH), basic food and pre-employment cards and a cut in the electricity bills for customers with 450 voltage and 900 voltage capacity.
In addition, the President also signed Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) No. 1/2020 concerning state financial policy and financial system stability while handling the pandemic.
The Perppu regulates the reallocation of the state budget, fiscal and monetary stimulus and relaxation of the state budget deficit threshold policy. The first decision was the reallocation of the 2020 state budget and extra spending of Rp 405.1 trillion in dealing with COVID-19.
Social Affairs Minister Juliari P. Batubara gave assurances that the ministry\'s social protection and financial stimulus programs would be immediately implemented. (INA/LKT/ NTA /DE /ESA/VDL/ NDU/ OKA / XTI / NCA /CIP/ TAN/S ON/DIV/IAM)