Proof of the Indonesian Government’s Commitment to Develop Papua

(Trans Papua Road; source: okezone.com)

The massive infrastructure development in Papua makes access easier. Infrastructure is the lifeblood of Papua’s sustainable development of welfare.

(Papuan figure, Izak Randi Hikoyabi)

The land of Papua is an indisputable integral part of the Republic of Indonesia. The commitment of the Indonesian government to prosper this easternmost province cannot be doubted. Starting from the privilege of the Special Autonomy for Papua which has been carried out since 2001 and continued by President Joko Widodo with the Papua Special Autonomy for the second period.

In line with the second special Autonomy, Jokowi issued the Presidential Instruction number 9/2020, concerning the Acceleration of Welfare Development in Papua and West Papua Provinces. Based on this, Jokowi specifically instructed the ranks of ministers, National Army, Police, and state institutions, as well as local governments. They are asked to take breakthrough, integrated, precise, focused and synergic steps according to their respective duties, functions and authorities in a coordinated and integrated manner. This breakthrough step is to accelerate welfare development in Papua and West Papua.

Minister of National Development Planning, Suharso Monoarfa said, that since special autonomy was implemented in Papua, the percentage of the poor decreased 54.75 percent in March 1999 to 26.55 percent in September 2019.

In addition, continued Monoarfa, the government also made a design to accelerate the development of welfare in Papua and West Papua, including seven strategic steps. The seven steps are that the government agrees that the autonomy framework in accordance with Law 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for Papua Province is an asymmetric, affirmative, and contextual step in managing development, regional governance, and public services in Papua.

Second, special autonomy has pushed political decentralization which opens up space for indigenous Papuans (OAP) to participate in regional governance. Third, the special autonomy system becomes the government’s guidance in the special design of accelerated development of Papua, through Presidential Instruction No. 9 of 2017 concerning the Acceleration of Welfare Development in Papua and West Papua Provinces and most recently, Presidential Instruction 9 of 2020 concerning the same matter.

Fourth, referring to President Joko Widodo’s steps to adopt a cultural approach to customary and ecological areas, in national development planning, both in the 2015-2019 National Mid-Term Development Plan and 2020-2024. Fifth, commitment to empowering OAP in the ranks of ministries / institutions, TNI / Polri, and BUMN. In particular, President Joko Widodo issued Presidential Decree number 17/2019 concerning the Procurement of Goods and Services in the Context of Accelerating Welfare Development in Papua and West Papua.

Furthermore, the sixth is that the government also designated Papua Province as the host of the Twentieth (XX) PON which was postponed to October 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Finally the seventh step, various approaches, strategies and policies that are holistic and affirmative for Papua are based on the prevailing global conditions, including climate change adaptation, disaster resilience, gender and social inclusion, collaborative and open governance, and human security.

Apart from that commitment, the President also appointed Wempi Wetipo, from Papua, as Deputy Minister of Public Works and Public Housing. Wempi was assigned to oversee all infrastructure development, especially in Papua and West Papua.

Currently, the infrastructure that has been built in Papua is 10 airports, namely six airports in Papua Province (Ewer Airport, Kepi Airport, Ilaga Airport, Oksibil Airport, New Nabire Airport, and Mopah Airport); while four airports in West Papua Province (Rendani Manokwari Airport, Waisai Raja Ampat Airport, Wasior Baru Airport, and New Airport in Siboru Fak-fak.

Other infrastructure are the Depapre Port, Nabire Harbor, Pomako Port, Moor Harbor, Srui Port for Papua Province, and Kaimana Port in West Papua Province. Meanwhile, for access to PON XX, the infrastructure that has been built is the Entrop Bus Terminal in Jayapura City, a water bus dock on Lake Sentani and a cross-border post facility in Skouw, Jayapura Regency.

There is also a trans Papua road which has been connected since 2018. This trans Papua road is divided into two segments or sections, namely segment I Sorong-Maybrat-Manokwari along 595 kilometers. This segment connects the two economic centers in West Papua between the cities of Sorong and Manokwari.

For the development that has been carried out, the Papuan people are very proud and thank the government. One of them is the Papuan leader Izak Randi Hikoyabi. According to Izak, massive infrastructure development in Papua makes access easier. He said that infrastructure is the lifeblood of Papua’s welfare development in a sustainable manner.

Izak said that the population growth in Papua requires a lot of access to support. This access to support can have an impact on economy, social, culture and others. For infrastructure development, Papuans can now enjoy easy access that supports their activities.

Meanwhile, Public Policy Observer Imron Cotan stated that the distribution and marketing of goods and crops has become faster after infrastructure development in Papua. Imron compared the current condition of Papua with the past decade. If in the past the price of fuel was expensive, now it is the same as the price in Java.

The Papuan people, honestly, recognize President Jokowi’s seriousness in advancing Papua. The Papuan people think that the President understands Papua’s problems with the existing infrastructure development. Development is considered as a form of state presence for the Papuan people. ()

by Achmad Faisal (a former journalist observing Papua)