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Why West Papua Need Special Autonomy to Continue

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The Indonesian government grants Papua Province a Special Autonomy (Otsus) to regulate the local society’s importance in line with its initiative based on Papuan people’s basic rights. The objectives include improving the standard of living, prosperity, and welfare of the community.

Enacted in October 2001 and implemented since January 2002, the government has firmly stated that the Papua Special Autonomy will be continued into the second phase (2022-2041). Many hope that Special Autonomy volume 2 in West Papua can be realized so that customary territories can be developed according to their individual needs.

The Country’s Big Breakthrough

Deputy Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) John Wempi Wetipo said that Special Autonomy for Papua was born so that Papuans can become masters in their regions. Besides, it also becomes the hope and proper solution to promote the indigenous Papuan people, particularly for the young generation.

Papuan leaders and observers reckon Otsus Papua as the country’s big breakthrough to develop West Papua in all sectors, including health, education, infrastructure, and people’s economy. They emphasized that the existence of Special Autonomy has and will lead the Papuan people to prosperity.

The Success of The Special Autonomy Fund

The Otsus program is planned to be extended in 2021, and the community should heartily support it. The Special Autonomy volume 1 has given great results and proven to improve the Papuan people’s financial capabilities. Without a huge budget of the special autonomy funds divided into funds for health, religion, education, community empowerment, and so on, the development of Papua and West Papua will be far left behind.

The government has provided special autonomy funds for the education sector up to 40% of the total IDR 126.99 trillion for the Papuan people’s future advancement.

  • Many indigenous Papuan sons and daughters are studying abroad.
  • As many as 1051 people who participated in the special autonomy scholarship program were declared to have graduated from various educational institutions both at home and abroad.
  • Currently, there are 1,236 active students, studying at home and abroad, who are still funded by the Papuan government with special autonomy funds. 

Not to mention Sentani International Airport, the Trans Papua Road, and other infrastructure, which were built through Otsus funds. 

5 Framework of Special Autonomy Volume 2

Moeldoko, the Presidential Chief of Staff and member of the Steering Committee for the Acceleration of Development in the Papua & West Papua Regions, stated that there are five frameworks to realize the development in Papua.

  1. Local wisdom approach. The first step is to carry out an economictransformation based on indigenous territories. This issue is very critical because we respect local wisdom. After all, it is part of their culture.
  2. Environmental quality and disaster resistance. The Government of Indonesia is committed to helping the realization of community welfare and accelerating the development of the land of Papua.
  3. Creating human resources with character, superior, contextual, and innovation
  4. Infrastructure development, particularly basic infrastructure and economic issues
  5. Governance and security that respects the rights of indigenous Papuans.

More Attention to Health, Technology, and Education

Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani, stated that the nominal value of special autonomy funds increased from IDR 7.5 to IDR 7.8 trillion. For volume 2, the provision was specifically for the health, technology, and education sectors.

1. Health

No secret that the Papua region is still struggling to overcome the spread of dangerous diseases, like malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, and even HIV-AIDS. In West Papua Province, out of 16 hospitals, only Teluk Bintuni Hospital has a new CT Scan tool. Therefore, in the field of health, it can be used to build hospitals or complete facilities such as CT scans, ultrasound machines, x-rays, ventilators, and others.

2. Technology

It is also very important to follow the development of information technology. It is an effective means of communication in the current generation so that the possibility of losing signal in the interior is reduced. In addition, it is hoped that students in Papua will be proficient and understand the positive use of the internet.

3. Education

The quality of schools is one of the focuses that should be improved in Special Autonomy volume 2 in West Papua to complete the facilities like a computer with an internet network, for example. Besides that, Papuan students need competent teachers. Especially in rural areas where most of the teachers are only high school graduates, the Otsus funds can be used to train and educate teachers.

Nevertheless, the Special Autonomy (Otsus) funds received by The Papua Provincial Government in 2021 are confirmed to support development in four fields (health, education, infrastructure, and people’s economy). The budget is also confirmed to finance the 2020 National Sports Week (PON XX) implementation in October 2021.

Through Special Autonomy volume 2 in West Papua, the government will empower Small Medium Enterprises (UKM) and the agricultural business sector and encourage the village economy’s transformation through digital villages. Also, several programs for developing village potential, superior village products, rural areas, and increasing the role of BUMDes (Badan Usaha Milik Desa).

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