TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A total of Rp1.1 trillion has been earmarked to handle adverse impacts of ongoing land and forest fires in Kalimantan and Sumatra per September 17.
The fund, however, is smaller than that of disbursed throughout last year. “The realization in 2018 amounted to Rp2.4 trillion,” said Finance Ministry spokesman Nufransa Wira Sakti to Tempo, Tuesday, September 17.
Since the last five years, the government regularly allocated the budget of wildfire mitigation, Nufransa added.
He outlined that Rp640.9 billion was allotted in 2014, Rp1.1 trillion in 2015, Rp835.24 billion in 2016, and Rp957.1 billion in 2017.
Referred to the National Mitigation Disaster Agency (BNPB) data, the state does indeed suffer losses due to the widespread forest and land fires. In 2015 alone, the cost due to smog issues was recorded up to Rp220 trillion.
However, the fire incident from 2016 to 2018 was not as severe as in previous years. The economy in several regions was not significantly dropped as well. “Albeit fire broke out in several regions, the haze did not cause complaints. Aviation operation, tourism sector, and the economy ran well,” as quoted from BNPB.
The government claimed to have taken every effort such as direct firefighting, water bombing, and weather modification to overcome this year’s forest fire. A total of 52 planes have also been deployed to tackle widespread fires and smog to fire locations. Besides, the government dispatched thousands of personnel to disaster-affected areas.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA