Kamis, 26 Juli 2018

INDONESIA SHOWCASES MAIN TOURIST DESTINATIONS DURING ASIAN GAMES TORCH RELAY by Fardah

 Jakarta, July 26, 2018 (Antara) - The Asian Games 2018 torch is currently being relayed in 53 cities and districts in 18 provinces, covering a total distance of over 18 thousand kilometers, via land, air, and even under the sea, similar to what happened when it arrived in Raja Ampat on July 26.  
   The flame, a merging of flame from India, the first host of the Asian Games in 1951, and Merapen flame from Central Java, Indonesia, this year's host of the Asian Games, was kept in a tinderbox while diving.
        The diver who took the torch while diving in crystal clear turquoise sea waters off Piaynemo Island, West Papua, was Tri Suswati, wife of General Tito Karnavian, Chief of the National Police.
        Suswati was accompanied by Nadine Chandrawinata, a beautiful Indonesian actress, and eight other divers grouped under the Indonesian Female Divers (WASI) Cub headed by her.
        She dove at a depth of three meters for nearly one minute with the torch in her hand and later returned the torch to Chandrawinata.
         Raja Ampat is currently one of the best marine tourist destinations in Indonesia, if not the world. It is a crown jewel, thanks to its crystal clear turquoise sea waters and several isles covered by a thick green carpet of dense forests and mangrove swamps.
             The stunning natural beauty of Raja Ampat isles, located on the northwestern tip of the Indonesian province of West Papua, is often seen as a heaven on earth, where dreams of divers come true and nature lovers find a perfect place.

Sabtu, 21 Juli 2018

POVERTY REMAINS CHALLENGE FOR INDONESIA by Fardah

  Jakarta, July 21, 2018 (Antara) -The Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) recently spread the good news that the poverty rate in Indonesia has dropped to the lowest compared to the ratios in the earlier periods. 
       The number of people living below the poverty line has dropped to 25.95 million, or 9.82 percent of the population, in March 2018 from 27.77 million, or 10.64 percent of the population, a year earlier.
         BPS head Suhariyanto told reporters in Jakarta on July 16, 2018, that nationally, the number of people categorized as poor in March 2018 dropped 1.82 million from a year earlier.
         The success in the drop in poverty rate was thanks to all priority programs of the government, such as infrastructure development for better connectivity; village funds; improvement in logistics distribution; and several social allowances for health, family welfare, and education, among others.
        Social Affairs Minister Idrus Marham lauded the achievement and was convinced that it was due to the successful government programs.
         "It indicates that the government programs, such as KIP (Indonesian Smart Card (KIP), Indonesia¿s Health Card (KIS), Family Hope Program, Joint Business Group (Kube), and social insurances (BPJS), have worked,¿ the minister remarked.
          He is optimistic that the poverty rate will decrease further to nine percent, lower than the poverty reduction target set by the President Joko Widodo Administration, which is at one digit, by the end of his administration.
         However, despite the success, Widodo reminded the citizens that poverty reduction and social gap cut are still challenges and homework that need to be dealt with.
        "Again, I reiterate that social gap and poverty remain our common challenges,¿ he added.
         The head of state expressed concern over the social gap and wealth disparity between western and eastern Indonesian regions.
         He believed that infrastructure development could become a solution to inequality between the country¿s eastern and western regions.
          "Infrastructure is crucial, and once again it is not merely related to economic matters. As a huge country with 17 thousand islands, Indonesia needs seaports, airports, and roads, including toll roads. We can deliver unity and equality from west until east and from north until south," he explained.  
      Basically, the percentage of people living in poverty in the eastern part of Indonesia in March 2018 was still higher than that of the western part.
             "It (the poverty rate) mostly fell, but it remains a major homework in the eastern part of Indonesia, as the percentage of its poor people is far higher than that of the western part," BPS Chief Suhariyanto pointed out.
            Sharing the president¿s view, Suhariyanto believed that several infrastructure projects being implemented in the eastern part of Indonesia would help reduce the number of people living in poverty there.
          Meanwhile, National Development Planning Minister, who is concurrently the Head of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Bambang Brodjonegoro, emphasized the importance of manageable inflation to reduce the poverty rate.
         "The key factor to reducing the poverty rate is the government's intervention. However, there is still one important aspect needed to manage the inflation rate. It is not 100 percent dependent on the government, but there are several factors involved," Brodjonegoro explained.
        He remarked that a high inflation rate will make the increase in income worthless.
            "Hence, it is crucial for us to maintain the inflation rate," he explained.
            According to data of the Central Statistic Agency (BPS), food commodities that have a significant impact on the poverty rate in rural and urban areas are rice, cigarettes, eggs, chicken, instant noodles, and sugar.
            Non-edible commodities that have a significant impact on the poverty rate are housing, fuel oil, electricity, education, and toiletries.
            "Rice has a 27 percent contribution (to the poverty rate). It means that the price of rice should not be increased," the minister stated.
            Cigarettes have a 10.21 percent impact on the poverty rate. Any increase in the price of the commodity would have a significant impact on the poverty rate.
            "However, it does not mean that we could not increase the price of cigarettes. Their consumption must be reduced," he noted.
            The impact of cigarettes on the poverty rate is higher than those of the housing sector, fuel oil, sugar, instant noodles, chicken, and eggs.
           "It is a big task to create public awareness in Indonesia, in order to reduce (cigarette) consumption, which is not only unproductive but also unhealthy," Brodjonegoro noted here on Thursday.
            He elaborated that if smokers would spend money to buy cigarettes, they would have to spend more money for tobacco-related health problems in the longer term.
            "The national health insurance (the healthcare BPJS) would also become another victim. The more the money people spend on cigarettes, the more funds BPJS would have to spend for their healthcare costs," the minister explained.
            According to Brodjonegoro, one concrete move to reduce cigarette consumption is to increase its price. ***4***
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Jumat, 20 Juli 2018

ASIAN GAMES TORCH BEGINS TOUR OF 53 CITIES, 18 PROVINCES by Fardah

Jakarta, July 20, 2018 (Antara) - Several Indonesians are enthusiastically welcoming the 18th Asian Games torch relay touring 53 cities and districts in 18 Indonesian provinces, covering a total distance of over 18 thousand kilometers.
              The torch relay of the largest multi-sport event, held every four years in Asia, began from Yogyakarta on July 18 and will end on Aug 17 in Jakarta, a day before the Asian Games 2018 to be officially opened by President Joko Widodo.
              The torch relay will pass through Solo, Central Java Province; Blitar, Malang, Probolinggo, and Banyuwangi in East Java; Gilimanuk, Kuta, and Denpasar in Bali Province; Mataram in West Nusa Tenggara; Raja Ampat and Sorong in West Papua; Makassar in South Sulawesi; Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan; Banda Aceh in Aceh Province; Lake Toba in North Sumatra; Pekanbaru in Riau; Bukit Tinggi in West Sumatra; Jambi, Palembang, Banyuasin, and Prabumulih in South Sumatra; Bandar Lampung in Lampung; Serang in Banten; and Purwakarta, Bandung, Garut, Cianjur, and Bogor in West Java Province, among others.
              For Indonesia, the Asian Games is not merely a sporting event but also a huge international gathering that offers a rare opportunity to promote its tourism. Hence, most of the cities and districts, such as Raja Ampat, Banyuwangi, and Lake Toba, to be covered as part of the torch relay, are major tourist destinations.
              Yogyakarta, the start of the torch relay, is known as a city of cultural, historical, educational, and tourism attractions, which is home to the largest Javanese sultanate and ancient Hindu temple, Prambanan.

Selasa, 17 Juli 2018

ASIAN GAMES TORCH RELAY TO START FROM HISTORIC, CULTURAL YOGYAKARTA by Fardah

Jakarta, July 17, 2018 (Antara) - Yogyakarta, which is known as the city of culture, history, education, and tourism, has the honor to be the start of the Asian Games torch relay, which will begin on July 18, 2018.
         Choosing the right city as the start line of the Asian Games torch relay is important because the Games is not just a mere multi-sport event but is also a means to promote the tourism and image of Indonesia worldwide, Erick Thohir, Chairman of the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC), has revealed.
         "Yogyakarta is a historic city, and we want to promote its tourism," Thohir stated on July 17, 2018, upon his arrival in Yogyakarta from India, the host of the first Asian Games in 1951, to pick up the torch.
         In India, the flame was generated from a parabolic mirror directed straight at the sun.
         The 2018 Asian Games torch relay began its 18,000-kilometer journey on July 15, 2018, from the Major Dyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi, where the flame was lit for the first time at the inaugural edition in 1951.
         "India always holds a special place in the hearts of sportspeople in Asia, because the nation, specifically New Delhi, was the birthplace of the Asian Games. The torch relay today will bring the two countries even closer," Thohir stated while in New Delhi.
         From India, the torch was transported to Indonesia. It arrived at the Adi Sutjipto Air Force Base in Yogyakarta, in the morning of July 17, aboard a Boeing 737-500 aircraft of the Indonesian Air Force.

INDONESIA MANAGES TO LOWER POVERTY RATE by Fardah

Jakarta, July 17, 2018 (Antara) - The Indonesian government has prioritized programs on reducing the poverty rate, and the efforts seem to have yielded positive results.
         The Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) revealed that the number of people living below the poverty line had dropped to 25.95 million, or 9.82 percent of the population in March 2018, from 27.77  million, or 10.64 percent of the population a year earlier.
         "The poverty ratio (in March 2018) was the lowest in comparison with the ratios in the earlier periods," BPS Head Suhariyanto informed reporters in Jakarta on July 16, 2018.
         Across Indonesia, the number of people categorized as poor in March 2018 had dropped to 1.82 million from that recorded a year earlier.
         In urban areas, the number of poor in urban areas in March 2018 totaled 10.14 million people, or 7.02 percent, and in rural areas, 15.81 million, or 13.2 percent.
         In March 2017, the number of poor people in urban areas had reached 10.67 million, or 7.72 percent, while in urban areas, the figure totaled 17.1 million, or 13.93 percent.
         Food commodities having a major impact on poverty in urban and rural areas are rice, cigarettes, eggs, instant noodles, and refined sugar, while non-food commodities include housing, gasoline, electricity, education, and toiletry.  
    At the regional level, the lowest poverty rate was recorded in Kalimantan, at 6.09 percent, totaling 982,300 people.
         The number of poor in Java reached 13.34 million, followed by Sumatra, 5.9 million; and Sulawesi, two million.

Sabtu, 14 Juli 2018

BALI'S TOURISM REMAINS UNAFFECTED BY ACTIVE MOUNT AGUNG by Fardah

Jakarta, July 14, 2018 (Antara)- Mount Agung, located in Karangasem District, Bali Province, erupted again early this month, but it had no impact on the tourism industry on the famous resort island.
        The tourism industry was unaffected as the eruption was relatively of low intensity, and the volcano was quite far from most of the attractive tourist destinations.
        The 3,142-meter-high Mount Agung had been rumbling since August 2017 and had erupted in November. The volcano later became relatively calm until the most recent eruptions, which occurred on July 2, when it sent out burning lava up to 1.5 kilometers high.
         According to Devy Kamil Syahbana of the Center for Volcanology and Geology Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG), the condition of Mount Agung was still unstable, and it was likely to erupt again at low intensity.
           Records since 1800 reveal that Mount Agung had experienced four mega eruptions, namely in 1908, 1823, 1843, and 1963.    
   Following the latest eruptions, the PVMBG had declared the alert status of Mount Agung at third level and has ordered people to stay away from a radius of four kilometers from the mountain's top until now.

      "People living outside the 4-kilometer radius zone are urged to remain calm," he added.
       Despite the volcanic activities, the Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (Asita) believes that the tourism industry in Bali is not affected by the strombolian eruption.