Home Economy New Directions for Special Autonomy in Papua | by Ricky P.

New Directions for Special Autonomy in Papua | by Ricky P.

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Ricky P. | Papuan Observer

The government has recently enacted Law Number 2 of 2021 concerning the Second Amendment to Law Number 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for the Province of Papua. Two Government Regulations (PP) derived from Law Number 2 of 2021 have also been completed.

First, PP No. 106 of 2021 concerning Authority and Institutional Implementation of the Papua Special Autonomy Policy. Second, PP Number 107 of 2021 concerning Acceptance, Management, Supervision, and Master Plan for the Acceleration of Development in the Framework of the Implementation of Special Autonomy for Papua Province. So, what are the implications for development in Papua?

Law Number 2 of 2021 and its derivative regulations were issued by the government to uphold the dignity, affirm, and protect the basic rights of the Indigenous Papuans (OAP), both in the economic, political, and socio-cultural fields according to the needs, developments and aspirations of the Papuan people.

Law Number 2 of 2021 has also accommodated several points from the evaluation of the implementation of special autonomy in Papua over the last 20 years. Two PPs that have just been signed by President Joko Widodo have even regulated in great detail several important points of the revision of the Special Autonomy Law for Papua.

For example, arrangements regarding the mechanism and procedures for filling in the members of the Papuan People’s Representative Council (DPRP) and the Regency/City People’s Representative Council (DPRK) who are appointed from OAP elements.

PP No. 106 of 2021 also provides space for OAP to be directly involved in regional development. This policy is reflected in the appointment of the State Civil Apparatus (ASN) who must prioritize OAP with a special quota of 60 to 80 percent. In addition, the Government also opens the widest opportunity for OAP to work and develop careers in central government agencies according to their competence and expertise.

In the regulation, the role of the district is also getting stronger in the public service process, mainly due to geographical reasons and span of control. The organizational structure and working procedures of the district administration are even regulated to be in accordance with the typology and classification based on adat and agroecosystems.

The three policies above are examples of efforts to protect and affirm OAP in political and government positions. This policy was motivated by the absence of local political parties in Papua that could become a forum for OAP. The opening of these special spaces is expected to increase OAP access in political and government positions so that they can present pro-OAP policies.

Meanwhile, PP Number 107 of 2021 has also regulated development funding in Papua. There are at least four sources of funding, namely profit sharing funds (DBH) for oil and gas mining natural resources of 70 percent, natural gas DBH 70 percent, special autonomy funds (otsus) of 2.25 percent of the national general allocation fund (DAU) ceiling, and additional infrastructure funds (DTI).

The arrangements for the use of these funds have also been regulated in detail. For example, the use of funds should be allocated for spending on education, health, and improving people’s welfare. The Papuan provincial government is also expected to allocate a portion of the regional revenue and expenditure budget (APBD) resulting from the exploitation of natural resources to be saved in the form of an endowment fund that can be used for future development.

Apart from that, the government has also opened wide space for religious institutions, the business world, and community organizations in terms of developing education, health, culture, as well as the economy. This stakeholder collaboration is important in the midst of Papua’s complicated and special problems.

Many parties have high hopes for Law Number 2 of 2021 and its derivative regulations. Pressure from various circles also emerged so that the various policies contained in the PP could be implemented immediately. For example, policies related to DPRK members who were appointed from OAP elements and also filling in the DPRP leadership elements from the special autonomy faction.

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