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Time Division in Indonesia, Everything About West Papua Time Zone

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Indonesia does not have one standardized time zone across the country. Instead, Indonesia divides the time zones into three. They are WIB (Waktu Indonesia Barat or Western Indonesia Time), WITA (Waktu Indonesia Tengah or Central Indonesia Time), and WIT (Waktu Indonesia Timur or Eastern Indonesia Time). West Papua time zone is included in WIT.

The time division in Indonesia is regulated by a Presidential Decree of the Republic of Indonesia Number 41 of 1897. The decree contains the regulation of the Division of the Territory of the Republic of Indonesia into 3 Time Zones. WIT comprises the areas of Moluccas Island and Papua Island. The provinces are Moluccas, North Moluccas, Papua, West Papua, Southwest Papua, South Papua, Central Papua, and Highlands Papua.

Everything You Need to Know About West Papua Time Zone

1. Time Division in Indonesia

As mentioned in the previous section, Indonesia has three different time zones. For more information, the WIB time zone area includes the provinces of Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, Jambi, Bangka Belitung, Bengkulu, Lampung, Jakarta, Banten, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan.

The WITA time zone area covers the provinces of North Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Bali, West Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, Gorontalo, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara.

The West Papua time zone is equivalent to UTC+09:00. Meanwhile, the WITA is UTC+08:00, and the WIB is UTC+07:00. Let’s look at the following example. Assuming the current time in West Papua is 08:00 WIT, then it is 07:00 WITA in Bali, whereas Jakarta is at 06:00 WIB. There is a one-hour difference in each time zone.

2. The Cause for Dividing Indonesia Time Zones

The cause of Indonesia’s time zone division rests in the country’s astronomical position. Astronomical position refers to the work based on Latitude and Longitude. Indonesia is located at 6° North Latitude to 11° South Latitude. Also, Indonesia is positioned between 95° East Longitude to 141° East Longitude. This difference in Longitude causes the time zones in Indonesia to be divided into three: WIB, WITA, and WIT.

3. The Effects of Time Zone Differences on Indonesians

Activities in Indonesia are centered in the Province of Jakarta. Thus, all daily activities must comply with the time of WIB. This situation can create a gap in the start of economic and educational activities because of the limited production time between regions with different time zones. Such an undesirable effect dramatically affects the people and students in the east.

For example, students in the eastern time zone joining an online class in Jakarta will face difficulty adjusting to the school schedule made to the WIB standard because of the difference of two hours. If the course starts at 4 p.m., they will join the class at 6 p.m. This causes a limitation for the students to do other activities in the evening. In addition, they might miss a class if there is a change in the school’s schedule.

Another example is the business relationship between offices in western and eastern Indonesia. Most office hours began at 08:00 WIB. While offices in the east of Indonesia are already open, offices in the west of Indonesia are still closed. People in eastern Indonesia must wait two hours to communicate with the western offices. In addition, there will be a delay in delivering information if the west offices want to contact the eastern offices at 10:00 WIB because they will have a one-hour break for lunch and prayer.

The WIT (Eastern Indonesia Time) is the West Papua time zone. It has one hour difference from the WITA and two hours distinction from the WIB. This gap in time, however, creates problems in economic and educational activities.

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