TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, said that the government had allocated an additional social protection budget of Rp55.21 trillion during the Emergency PPKM. The budget will be disbursed for cash assistance, village BLT, assistance for the Family Hope Program or PKH, basic food assistance, internet quota assistance, and electricity subsidies.
"I have ordered the ministers to immediately distribute the social assistance to eligible citizens," Jokowi said at a press conference, Tuesday, May 20, 2021.
In addition to social protection, Jokowi said that the government also provides incentives for informal micro-enterprises of Rp1.2 million for around 1 million micro-enterprises. Jokowi explained that the government would also continue to distribute free medicine packages for people without symptoms and Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms in the amount of 2 million packages.
The government has extended the emergency PPKM until July 25, 2021. This policy was taken after observing the trend of spreading Covid-19 cases over the past two weeks.
Previously, the Emergency PPKM had lasted for two weeks from 3 to 20 July 2021. The PPKM policy was decided after the number of Covid-19 cases experienced a significant spike to exceed 20,000 additional cases in a day.
At the initial stage, the Emergency PPKM only applies to the Java and Bali regions which cover 44 districts and cities. However, after more than a week, on July 12, the government decided that PPKM would also apply to non-Java and Bali areas. PPKM outside Java and Bali covers 15 cities and regencies in areas with the highest number of corona virus spreads.
During the Emergency PPKM period, the government limited the movement of population mobilization. In using any modes of transportation, for example, residents are required to bring a vaccination certificate and the result of PCR swab test and an antigen test that shows a negative Covid-19 result.
For airplane passengers, the conditions are more stringent. Passengers are required to bring the results of PCR swab test. Tightening of mobilization also applies to offices. Essential and critical non-sector business entities are required to implement work from home (WFH) for all of their employees. Meanwhile, the essential sector is limited to a maximum capacity of 50 percent. Only critical sectors are allowed to operate their businesses with 100 percent of employees.
Jokowi added that the government would gradually open economic activities on July 26, 2021 if the number of Covid-19 cases declined. "We always monitor (the situation), we understand the dynamics in the field, and we also listen to the voices of the people affected by PPKM," he said.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA