Coronavirus Pandemic; Jokowi Sets 6 Social Assistance Programs

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko Widodo or Jokowi is currently preparing a number of social assistance programs for the working class families affected by the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.

    One of them is the proposed increase in the number of families receiving benefits from the Hopeful Family Program (PKH) from 9.2 million to 10 million beneficiary families. 

    "While the amount of benefit will be increased to 25 percent," the president said on Tuesday, March 31, adding that this policy will be effective in April 2020.

    The assistance will also be available for food procurement whereby the number of recipients will be increased from 15.2 million to 20 million beneficiaries. On top of that, the amount will rise from Rp150,000 to Rp200,000, which will be provided for the period of 9 months.

    For recipients of the pre-employment card program, the president is set to raise the budget from Rp10 trillion to Rp20 trillion. The number of beneficiaries will also be increased to 5.6 million people; prioritizing informal sector workers and SMEs affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

    "The amount will be Rp650,000 to Rp1 million per month for the next 4 months," said Jokowi.

    Continuing on, he will scraped electricity bills for 24 million households subscribed for 450 VA power for the next 3 months, until June 2020, while a 50 percent discount will be applied for those who subscribed for 900 VA power.

    Meanwhile, the government has set Rp25 trillion to meet the demands of basic needs and market operations as well as logistics.

    Finally, Jokowi added that the Financial Services Authority (OJK) has issued credit relief for informal workers, such as online motorcycle taxi (ojek) drivers, taxi drivers, SMEs, and fishermen with a daily income and credit lower than Rp10 billion.

    FRISKI RIANA | DIO SUHENDA (Intern Translator)