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Encouraging the Evaluation of Papua’s Special Autonomy for the Welfare of the Papuan People, by Nino Rumbayam

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Nino Rumbayam | Papuan Observer

The implementation of special autonomy (autonomy) for Papua has been going on for 20 years since the enactment of Law Number 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for Papua Province.

However, the government failed to convey the results of a comprehensive evaluation of the implementation of the Papua Special Autonomy to the public, until finally the Papua Special Autonomy Bill (RUU) appeared.

In the government’s proposed amendment to the Papua Special Autonomy Law, there are at least two new provisions. The government proposes an increase in Papua’s special autonomy fund to 2.25 percent from the previous two percent and the government can expand the regions in Papua.

Cahyo Pamungkas, a researcher from the Regional Research Center for the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), questioned the study and evaluation of the proposed increase in Papua’s special autonomy funds.

 

“The most basic thing is whether the increase in the amount of special autonomy funds can be more beneficial for indigenous Papuans.”

 

The increase in Papua’s special autonomy funds also needs to be accompanied by improvements in governance, allocation, planning, assistance and supervision. According to Cahyo, there needs to be a compelling obligation to share the portion of the special autonomy fund, for example 30 percent for education and 16 percent for health.

Next, he suggested, that the special autonomy fund be given per sector, not logs. Then another important thing that needs to be considered is the tighter supervision of the use of the Papua special autonomy fund so that it is in accordance with its allocation and avoid acts of fraud.

Cahyo said, the results of the LIPI study in 2018 and 2019, the Human Development Index (HDI) in several regions in Papua and West Papua had gaps. Regions that are dominated by non-indigenous Papuans or immigrants have a higher HDI average and lower poverty rates, compared to areas where indigenous Papuans live.

 

“This means that development has been used more by migrants or non-Papuans than by Papuans.”

 

He said that development has been based on economic growth, opening up geographic isolation, investing, and opening up oil palm land, which benefits non-Papuans. Meanwhile, the special autonomy is considered to have not brought prosperity to indigenous Papuans.

With these data, it shows that the implementation of Otsus has not been optimal. Therefore, it is appropriate for the Government to optimize the revision of Otsus for the welfare of the indigenous Papuan people, so that they are not left behind with other regions.

 

 

 

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