Errick P. | Papuan Student
The Association of Regents for the Central Highlands of Papua has agreed to support the expansion of new autonomous regions (DOB) in Papua. The expansion is considered necessary in order to improve the welfare of the community.
Head of the Association of Regents for the Central Highlands of Papua, Befa Yigibalom, asked intellectuals in Papua, especially those in the Central Mountains of Papua, to close ranks to welcome the formation of a provincial expansion area in the Central Mountains. “As a good citizen, avoid all negative thoughts and welcome this well,” said the Regent of Lanny Jaya.
Support for regional expansion in Papua continues to flow from traditional leaders, mayors, and regents in the Central Highlands of Papua. Befa dismissed the notion that the formation of new autonomous regions in Papua was only the wish of certain groups.
“We have all said that the presence of this province is the political will of the state, not the struggle of the elites or anyone else or the division team.”
The proposed expansion in the Papua region has gone through a series of political processes before the new provincial bill (RUU) is passed by the DPR. The political process includes the discussion and absorption of aspirations through the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) and the Papuan People’s Representative Council (DPRP).”Where else are we going? We live on this earth, we live in this land, and we live in this country. And don’t forget that, we are still governed by this country so what we (the state) do, we accept,” he explained.
The Central Papua Mountains Regents Association consists of regents in Yalimo Regency, Jayawijaya Regency, Nduga Regency, Tolikara Regency, Yahukimo Regency, Bintang Mountains Regency, Puncak Jaya Regency, Lanny Jaya Regency, Central Mamberamo Regency, and Puncak Regency. Nine of the 10 districts, based on the Bill on the Central Mountains Province which was passed by the DPR Baleg on April 6, 2022, are included in the proposal for a new province.
The area of the area is more than 84 thousand Km, which includes Puncak Jaya Regency (14,532 Km), Jayawijaya Regency (13,925.31 Km), Lanny Jaya Regency (6,585 Km), Central Mamberamo Regency (1,275 Km), Nduga Regency (12,941 Km). Km), Tolikara Regency (14,263 Km), Yahukimo Regency (17,152 Km), and Yalimo Regency (3,568.52 Km). The region is relatively lagging behind in terms of development and public services. All of these districts are included in the category of the lowest human development index (HDI) in recent years.
By becoming a new province, the Central Mountains are expected to be more effective and focused on development. According to a study by the Financial Education and Training Center of the Ministry of Finance of Yogyakarta, special autonomy funds (Otsus) in Papua and West Papua Provinces have a positive effect on increasing HDI, but the contribution of the special autonomy funds is relatively small.
The small influence is caused by geographical, demographic, and sociological factors in the region. “From a regional perspective, the provinces of Papua and West Papua are very large and varied, so development faces extraordinary obstacles. The obstacles are very long distances and difficult to reach, steep mountains are a challenge in development in Papua,” the study said.
The expansion is believed to be able to encourage equitable development and accelerate public services, such as health and education, as well as encourage accelerated economic growth in remote areas. The study also shows that the special autonomy fund in West Papua is relatively less extensive in contributing to the increase in HDI compared to the much wider province of Papua.