During the Covid-19 pandemic, the government provides direct and indirect aid packages for people. A large amount of funds have been distributed as anticipation strategies during this outbreak/pandemic. Hard work is needed to ensure that the huge amount of funds is distributed right on target.
The principle of prudence and transparency in managing funds for mitigating the Covid-19 needs to be prioritized so as to avoid moral hazard or misuse. Moreover, the allocated funds were extremely big, reaching IDR 405 trillions. The misuse possibility of the Covid-19 assistance funds is vulnerably wide open because Government Regulation in Lieu of Act (Perppu) No.1 of 2020 provides immunity rights from civil suits and criminal charges for any parties implementing the Perppu.
We hope that there will be a system that can monitor the distribution of the social assistance just similar to the last election through an E-monitoring system that can monitor the distribution of voters to the polling stations at the RT (neighborhood association) and RW (community association) levels. Just like the election, the existence of an E-monitoring assistance system during the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to be able to monitor the distribution of the assistance funds in real time correctly. With this system, it is expected that people will be able to find out the assistance funds distribution from the central government to the RT and RW levels. But unfortunately, as of this writing, the government only provides complaint services by telephone, SMS and WhatsApp. The realization of the e-monitoring system seems to be a dream.
While e-monitoring is still a dream, active community participation is highly expected. Because without community participation, no matter how strong the system is prepared, everything will be in vain.
Types of Government Assistance during the Pandemic
During the Covid-19 Pandemic, the government provides 7 types of social assistance to the people, consisting three regular programs and four non-regular programs. Each assistance has a different scheme and designation. The following is the detailed information :
1. Pre-employment Card (Kartu Prakerja)
Through the Presidential Regulation Number 36 of 2020 concerning Work Competency Development via the Pre-Employment Card Program, the government provides job training and incentives for those workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government provides opportunities for 5.6 million applicants. The criteria for applicants are Indonesian citizens over 18 years old and not currently pursuing an education program. If the requirements are fulfilled by the applicants, the registration process can be accessed through the website: prakerja.go.id.
Successful applicants will receive a code consisting of 16 digits. This figure becomes the participant’s identity. Participants will get a balance of 1 million Rupiah written on the account dashboard.
The balance can be used by the participant to take part in job training provided by eight government platforms, such as Skill Academy, Pintaria, Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Sekolahmu, Mau Belajar Apa, Pijar Mahir, and Sisnaker.
After taking part in the job training, the participants are entitled to receive an incentive fund of IDR 600,000. The fund will be cashed after five days the participant has finished the training. The fund will be transferred directly to the participant’s account for four consecutive months. An additional incentive called employment survey of Rp 150.000 will also be given to the participant.
2. Increase of Family Hope Program Participants (Program Keluarga Harapan)
The Family Hope Program is a routine program of the Ministry of Social Affairs that has been running since 2007. This program is based on Law Number 40 of 2004 concerning the National Social Security System.
During this pandemic, the government increased the number of participants in the Family Hope Program, from 9.2 million beneficiary families (Keluarga Penerima Manfaat -KPM) to 10 million KPM. This increase is based on the Integrated Social Welfare Data and the updating of the KPM data by the regional government.
The provided assistance is IDR 250,000 per month for pregnant women and children aged 0-6 years old, IDR 75,000 per month for elementary school students, IDR 125,000 for junior high school students, and Rp. 125.000 per month for senior high school students. Meanwhile, people with severe disabilities and participants aged over 70 years old receive IDR 200,000 per month.
There is a different frequency of KPM distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic. The assistance is usually distributed in four different months, namely January, April, July and October, this time it is distributed every month from April to December 2020.
The assistance will be transferred to himbara banks (the Association of State-Owned Banks). The participants will be assisted by PKH facilitators to withdraw the money.
3. Staple Food Card
This program was formerly called Non-Cash Food Assistance and has been implemented since 2017. This program is based on Presidential Regulation (Perpres) Number 63 Year 2017 regarding the Distribution of Non-Cash Social Aid. However, since February 2020, the name of the program has changed to Cheap Staple Food Cards.
During this pandemic, the government increased the number of beneficiaries to 20 million people from the initial 15 millions.
To become a beneficiary, the resident needs to report to RT/RW or village authorities. A prospective beneficiary will receive a registration number. Afterwards, the beneficiary will be registered for a State-Owned Bank Association (Himbara) bank account.
After the process of data verification and registration at a Himbara bank, the participant will receive a card containing a balance. In this pandemic, the government adds the balance value of the beneficiary, from the initial IDR 150,000 per month to IDR 200,000 per month. The added value of this balance is valid from April to September 2020.
The Beneficiary can spend the aid funding at e-Warong which has cooperated with the channeling bank.
1. Staple Food Social Assistance for Jabodetabek
The government provides special food assistance for the residents in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek). The beneficiaries are the residents who are recorded in the Integrated Social Welfare Data (DTKS) who are in Jabodetabek areas.
The aid that has been deployed since April will last until June 2020. The staple food packages given are worth IDR 600,000 per family.
2. Cash Social Assistance
The Ministry of Social Affairs released a policy about the distribution of cash social assistance to 9 million people outside Jabodetabek.
This policy is based on the issuance of the Minister of Social Affairs Decree No. 54 / HUK / 2020 with regard to Implementation of Staple Food Social Assistance and Cash Social Assistance in Handling the Impacts of COVID-19.
The registration of the beneficiaries is carried out by the local government that inputs the data of potential beneficiaries to the Ministry of Social Affairs. Aid funding worth IDR 600,000 will be received by the beneficiaries for three months, from April to June 2020.
The aid will be transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries for the holders of Himbara bank accounts (state-owned bank associations) such as Mandiri, BNI, BRI and BTN. For those who do not have Himbara bank accounts, the assistance will be sent by PT Pos Indonesia.
3. Electricity Fee Waiver
The government waives the fee of electricity for 24 million electricity users with a capacity of 450 KV. This exemption is mandated through Perppu 1 of 2020 concerning State Financial Policy and Financial System Stability for The Handling of Corona Pandemic.
The free electricity lasts for three months, from April to June 2020. The State Electricity Company (PLN) explained that postpaid users can enjoy the fee waiver directly. Meanwhile, prepaid users or token users can obtain fee waivers by sending the customer ID numbers to WhatsApp 08122123123.
They can also access it via PLN website www.pln.co.id using customer IDs. After the registration is done, the electricity users can enjoy the fee waivers for three months.
The reduction in usage fees during the COVID-19 pandemic does not only apply to the users of 450 KV. The government through Perppu 1 Year 2020 also provides fee waivers in the form of 50 percent discount for the electricity users with a capacity of 900 VA. To get this waiver, postpaid customers only need to pay 50 percent of the cost of the regular bill.
Meanwhile, token users only require to access it via www.pln.co.id or WhatsApp number 08122123123. The discounts are given from the highest monthly usage in the last three months.
4. Village Fund Direct Cash Assistance
The government approves the use of village funds as a source of direct cash assistance. This was legalized through the Regulation of the Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration (Permendes PDTT) Number 6 of 2020 concerning Amendments to the Regulation of the Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Areas, and Transmigration Number 11 of 2019 concerning Priority of The Use of Village Funds in 2020.
The beneficiaries of this aid are villagers who are included in the data of RT / RW in the village. Meanwhile, for those who registered as participants of Family Hope Program of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Non-Cash Food Assistance, Pre-Employment Cards, as well as family members who are vulnerable to chronic illnesses, cannot get this assistance.
The amount of aid received reaches IDR 600,000. Assistance will be received for three months, from April to June.
The method of funding distribution can be implemented in two ways. For those who have bank accounts, the money will be transferred to the accounts. Meanwhile, money will be sent door-to-door for prospective recipients who do not have any bank accounts.
Some terms: DTKS and Non-DTKS, BST AND BLT-DD
DTKS and Non- DTKS.
DTKS (Integrated Social Welfare Data). The residents who are included in the DTKS are citizens who have been registered at the Ministry of Social Affairs as impoverished or old impoverished people who have received assistance from the government.
Meanwhile, the residents affected by Covid-19 who potentially become new poor citizens fall into the non-DTKS category. Data collection on the community who falls into this category is carried out at the RT and RW levels by local village communities or by the volunteers of Village Against Covid-19.
BST (Cash Social Assistance)
BST recipients from the Ministry of Social Affairs/central government are proposd from the DTKS list (Integrated Social Welfare Data).
BLT-DD (Direct Cash Assistance – Village Fund)
BLT-DD recipients are appointed by the Head of The Village and get approval from the Regent or Head of The Sub-District through a Special Village Discussion based on the results of data collection conducted by the volunteers of Village Against Covid-19. Referring to the PDTT Permendes Number 6 of 2020, the amount of village fund that can be used is: for the village fund that are below IDR 800 million per year, a maximum of 25 percent is allocated by BLT. Furthermore, for the village fund between IDR 800 million to IDR 1.2 billion, the allocation is 30 percent, while over IDR 1.2 billion, over 35 percent is allocated.
Selecting the best mechanism for the monitoring of various social assistance packages to the community in the pandemic era is definitely quite complex. As previously mentioned, an active participation of the community in ensuring the aid distribution is appropriately received by the affected communities is becoming our foothold. Active communication with the closest structure to our environment becomes the most possible solution when the e-monitoring option has not been available.
May this storm of pandemic pass soon and we can live our lives again with all the normalcy. Amin.
Internal Discussion of Gemawan with The Theme “Getting to Know Aid during the Covid-19 Pandemic” http://indonesiabaik.id/infografis/kartu-sembako-rakyat-mudah-dapat-bahan-pangan-murah