Robert Takashi | Papuan Observer (31 Oktober 2021)
Papua will be divided again into 6 provinces. The community is also trying to make the program a success so that there will be significant progress in the Papua region.
Currently there are 2 provinces in Papua, namely Papua and West Papua. At its inception (in the old order) there was only 1 province, and at that time Papua was still called Irian Jaya. Regional expansion is a common thing, because of the many benefits. The proof is that currently in Indonesia there are 34 provinces, from the previous only 27 provinces.
“Provincial expansion in Papua aims to absorb the maximum budget absorption so that infrastructure development can be carried out massively”
The plan is that Papua will be divided again into a total of 6 provinces, namely Papua, West Papua, South West Papua, Central Papua, South Papua, and Papua Tabi Saireri. This expansion is still in the preparation stage (because of the pandemic) but it is getting more mature. Later, when it is actually implemented, the Papua and West Papua regional governments will already have sufficient preparation.
Regional expansion is something that is relatively new in Indonesia, because during the Old Order and the New Order, it was almost non-existent. However, when there was reform, there was turmoil in areas in Indonesia, especially outside Java. They are happy with decentralization and ask for additional provinces, to advance their own territory.
Likewise in Papua. When there will be additional provinces, then all parties agree. The head of the Mee Pago tribe, Hans Mote, expressed his support for the regional expansion program in Papua. With the expansion of regions and new autonomy, there will be an even distribution of progress in the Earth of Cendrawasih region, so that there will be no inequality.
So far, there are only a few areas that look modern, such as Jayapura, Merauke, and several other cities. However, for areas in the mountains like Yakuhimo it still looks traditional. Even though progress is needed so that the people are more prosperous and their incomes can increase if they are supported by adequate infrastructure.
To build infrastructure, it requires large funds. Then when there is a new province resulting from the division, the special autonomy funds issued by the central government will also increase. Logically, the more provinces, the bigger the APBD funds. That money is used to make Papua’s face more advanced and free from its image as an area that is still far from technology.
If there are more provinces in Papua, the more public schools will be built. Papuan sons can continue their studies to junior and senior high schools near their homes, without having to walk long distances, because there are only school buildings in other cities or districts. If there are more junior and senior high schools, it will minimize the number of children who drop out of school.
Papuan sons can also continue their studies with special autonomy scholarships so they don’t have to worry about the costs. After graduating from high school, they can also continue to apply for college scholarships, both for universities in Papua, Java, and abroad.
In addition, another advantage of regional expansion is that it is easier to manage administration. The territory of Papua is indeed vast (more than 4,000 KM2) and if there are only 2 provinces, it will be difficult to go to the governor’s office, like from end to end. However, if there are 6 provinces later, the residents can take care of permits and other administrations at a closer distance.
The expansion of the region is an effort to advance the people of Papua, because more and more APBD will be obtained. The people also benefit because more and more state schools are being built. Administration management is also easier.