Home Economy Positive Impact of Special Autonomy on Papua, By Mathius Hanggara

Positive Impact of Special Autonomy on Papua, By Mathius Hanggara


Mathius Hanggara | Papuan Observer

The conflicts that often occur in Papua have caught the attention of Indonesia and even the international community. Several weeks ago, Vanuatu touched on the issue of human rights violations in Papua through an international forum. According to the author, this is not a sign of Indonesia’s inability to resolve the year-long issue because many policies related to Papua have been constituted since joining Indonesia. One of Indonesia’s efforts is to implement Special Autonomy for Papua. The implementation of this policy is in line with the complexity of the problems that occur in Papua that are generally caused by politics, economy, structure, socio-culture, and history.

Papua has received special autonomy since 2001 to be able to solve problems in Papua according to the aspirations of the indigenous Papuan population

The constitutional basis for Papua Special Autonomy is Article 18B of the 1945 Constitution says that the state recognizes and respects regional government units that are special and special which are regulated by law. Besides, Article 18A of the 1945 Constitution also stipulates that the relationship of authority between the central government and provincial, district, and city governments or between provinces and regencies and cities is regulated by law with due regard to regional specificities and diversity. This provision provides the possibility of regulating the granting of autonomy and decentralization of authority which is not the same for certain special regions, in contrast to autonomy arrangements for other regions which are generally regulated based on Article 18 of the 1945 Constitution.

With the enactment of Otsus, it opens up opportunities for each district in Papua Province to be expanded, so that a lot of Otsus funds must be spent on the preparation of the new district. The expansion is also an effort to carry out the aspirations of the people under Papua. The good impact of Otsus on the Papuan economy is very obvious and true.

Another impact of the implementation of Otsus is that the development process will run smoother and can be spurred faster because the strategic decision-making process is at the local government level. Otsus also provides the widest possible opportunity for regions to design development following the conditions of regional problems. Moreover, with Otsus, the disbursement of development funds is not only more but can be channeled more smoothly. At the time of Otsus and expansion, local sons emerged as leaders, both as regents, legislators, and heads of offices.

Utilization of the special autonomy fund in Papua has two main focuses, namely to finance the education sector as much as 30% and to the health and nutrition sector as much as 15%. The utilization of the Infrastructure Transfer Fund (DTI) is expected to accelerate the development of infrastructures such as electricity, roads, bridges, river, and sea transportation facilities, which are also expected to overcome the problems of isolation and gaps in infrastructure provision between Papua and West Papua and other regions.

Behind the many demonstrations that reject Otsus, in fact, during the implementation of Special Autonomy in Papua Province, there have been many significant developments, especially during the reign of President Jokowidodo. Development is carried out not only in the infrastructure sector but also in human resources. Utilizing Otsus funds for the construction of Public health centers (puskesmas), hospitals, and schools have made access to human resources easier. Human resource development that is very prominent is the opening of scholarships for indigenous Papuans, as well as making employment for Papuan people in government institutions.

The economy in Papua during the Covid-19 Pandemic was still on the green path, in contrast to other provinces which mostly experienced a setback in the economic cycle. In fact, in the second quarter of 2020, Papua’s economy grew 4.52% compared to the same period the previous year (year on year / yoy). This proves that the special autonomy funds provided by the Government of Indonesia since 2002 have had a good impact on the Papuan economy.

Special Autonomy as a government effort to develop the Papua region deserves appreciation. Papua has lagged behind other regions in Indonesia, but little by little the implementation of Special Autonomy for Papua has yielded results, both in physically building infrastructure and building human resources. Conflicts are natural and can be used as input for the government to determine the policies to be taken next. With the improving situation in Papua, it will minimize the occurrence of conflict conflicts and serious separatism wants to separate from Indonesia. It can also improve the international world view on Indonesia’s inability to address the problem of human rights violations which have been blamed to worsen Indonesia’s image. By providing a positive image and guaranteed security, it will attract other countries to cooperate with Indonesia



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