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Jakarta Governor Basuki T.Purnama (Ahok) and His Social Programs

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Socialism has always been a debatable topic in terms of its successfulness as a system. In this article we are going to see various social programs carried out in Jakarta, the capital region of Indonesia.

Under the leadership of Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (who is better known as Ahok), Jakarta has been going through massive social programs in the areas of Housing, Education, Health and Transportation. Here are some examples of his Social Programs:

Health Care and Free Education:

Jakarta Health Card (KJS/Kartu Jakarta Sehat) and Jakarta Education Card (KJP/Kartu Jakarta Pintar) were launched on November 2012. Both cards guarantee low-cost health care and free education only for those who qualify being in the poor or low-income category. According to governor Basuki, the benefits are provided, not in cash, but in the form of Electronic-Cards so their usage can be easily tracked, verified and controlled. It would ensure accountability and achievement of the intended result as well as to avoid benefits misuse, waste and corruption. Jakarta has recently built 44 community hospitals in 44 districts across its region.

Low-Cost Housing:

Several high rises of Low-Cost Public Apartment complexes were built to accommodate poor people who were removed and then relocated from their slum/makeshift dwellings along the banks of Jakarta’s 13 main rivers. This is an ongoing process until it is completed. Jakarta has also built waste dumping sites in all of its district neighborhoods. Dikes and two big Reservoirs have been restored, and more are to come. The rivers have now become garbage free, cleaner, and deeper. The flooding problem Jakarta had to face every year is practically gone. This achievement translates to a big saving for the region. In addition, Jakarta is also developing its Northern Coast Line in reference to its Water and Flood Management program and its Protection Plan from the raising sea-level consequences. A huge reclamation project consisting of building Artificial Islands and a Giant Sea Wall is under way.

Subsidized Community Markets, Free Community Parks & Sport Centers:

Subsidized community markets were built for the poor near their low-cost public apartments. They could use it either to open their own businesses or conveniently use it as consumers. In partnership with local businesses, free integrated family community parks and sport centers are being built for the well-being of the communities.

Free Transportation:

The poor also have accessed to free transportation. At the same time, public transportation such as buses are being added and modernized. Mass Rapid Transportation system (MRT) and Light Rail Transportation system (LRT) are being built to alleviate chronic traffic jam problems.

It is interesting to note that Indonesia as a socialist country has no formal welfare program for the un-employed. This includes Jakarta. It appears that there’s no incentive for not working. Obviously this condition requires economic healthy growth; which Jakarta has at the moment. During crisis this social protection has been largely based on an informal arrangements, such as community involvement and faith-based donations. Indonesian are known for its cultural trait called “Gotong – Royong”, a spirit of team work in the context and frame of the first 3 principles of Pancasila namely, the belief in God, Humanity and Unity.

The low-cost Health Care, Housing, Free Education, Free Transportation, and easy access to Community Markets have the effect on increasing the poor people’s residual income, living standard and therefore, ability to compete and participate in the open labor market; hence, resulting in the increase of labor participation and productive population in Jakarta. Under the Governor’s social programs and policies, Jakarta has been transforming rapidly to a better city or region within the past 4 years.

So far, the social policies based on Pancasila under Governor Ahok has been proven successful. The next important question we must ask is: How is the Social Programs funded and managed? We will visit and examine this issue in my next writing.

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Source by Andy Wirjadi

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