Jumat, 22 November 2019

Active generosity should be reflected in anti-poverty efforts by Fardah

Jakarta , Nov 22, 2019 (ANTARA) - Over 74 years after it gained independence, Indonesia continues to face the challenge of poverty inflicting several million of its populace despite a continued drop through the years.
The Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) in 2018 revealed that the poverty rate in Indonesia had dropped to the lowest as compared to the ratios in the earlier periods.

The number of people living below the poverty line 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 had told reporters in Jakarta on July 16, 2018, that nationally, the number of people categorized as poor in March 2018 had decreased 1.82 million from a year earlier.

The success achieved in reducing the poverty rate was attributable 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.

However, despite the success, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has reminded citizens that alleviating poverty and reducing the social gap remained persistent challenges and homework that necessitated all-encompassing efforts.
Speaking on National Heroes Day themed “I am a Hero of the Present” and observed on Nov 10, 2019, Jokowi called for heroic figures keen to fight poverty, ignorance, and inequality.

During the post-independence era, the nation requires to continue its struggle, but this time it is to combat poverty, ignorance, backwardness, and inequality, Jokowi stated.

The president remarked that despite Indonesia having successfully reduced its poverty rate to a historical low of 9.66 percent in 2018, from 10.96 percent in 2014, the government had yet to revel in this achievement.

"We are not satisfied with it. We yet have to accomplish several things, while on the hand, we are facing a shortage of time. We only have 11 years left to achieve the target of SDGs," he remarked.

The president is targeting to reduce the poverty rate to below nine percent.

"He (the president) has ordered that the poverty rate be cut further to below nine percent," new Social Affairs Minister Juliari Peter Batubara had stated in October 2019.

The new minister remains resolved to attain the target in spite of the challenges of the globalization era.

"This is not easy, but it would be a record if we manage to suppress the national poverty line to below nine percent," he stated.

The PDIP politician is upbeat about achieving the target, which is the lowest ever.

The target is also in tune with the government's programs to boost the development of human resources and to create more job opportunities as well as to increase economic growth.

"I think we in the cabinet must ensure that our programs are in line with the president's vision and mission," he remarked.

Related news: Poverty remains major problem in Indonesia: ACT chief
The government’s intervention is indeed deemed necessary to help lower the poverty rate.

However, Ahyuddin, chairman of the advisory board of ACT (Swift Response and Action), expressed belief that generosity can help eradicate poverty that remains a glaring problem in Indonesia.

"Poverty is a humanitarian affair. Humanitarian action does not only concern natural disasters or people being displaced due to conflict or war," he remarked in Bandung, West Java, on Nov 21, 2019, following the launch of the Humanity Rice Truck expedition program.

The ACT focuses on humanitarianism, generosity, and volunteerism to aid in addressing the country's problems concerning poverty.

"I believe that however grave the problem of poverty is, it could be solved if this nation becomes a generous one," he stated.

He called on more Indonesians to become volunteers in dealing with humanitarian problems.

To deal with poverty, the ACT focuses on providing food, such as rice, for the poor. He proposed a program called "Rice for Indonesian mothers."

This is since it is the mothers that harbor the deepest concerns when their families have no food to eat.

The ACT provides 250 tons of rice monthly for the poor. It means the humanitarian NGO distributes rice to two thousand families daily, or 50 thousand families monthly.

By 2020, the ACT is upbeat about providing rice to 500 thousand families across Indonesia with donations from the public.

Selasa, 05 November 2019

Increasing awareness of environmental preservation among millennials by Fardah

Jakarta, Nov 5, 2019 - With Indonesia observing National Flora and Fauna Day on November 5, 2019, the millennial generation has become the focus of a public awareness campaign on preservation of biological diversity, or biodiversity.

Home to some 17 thousand islands and a population of some 260 million, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, situated between the Pacific and Indian oceans and bridging the two continents of Asia and Australia.

As the world's largest archipelagic nation, Indonesia has copious species of plants and animals coupled with a unique ecosystem.

As a matter of fact, scientists have acknowledged Indonesia as one of the world’s mega centers of biodiversity for its abundant flora and fauna species and a wide range of natural habitats.

Indonesia is home to some 17 percent of all species in the world, though it accounts for only 1.3 percent of the Earth’s land surface.

The Muslim-majority nation has over 25 thousand species of flowering plants, comprising 10 percent of the world's flowering plant species.

The country also has some 500 mammalian species, 600 reptilian species, some 1,500 avian species, some 270 species of amphibians, and over 2,500 species of fish, or constituting 45 percent of the world's fish species.

It is also home to 121 species of butterflies, or 44 percent of the endemics; 480 species of hard corals, or 60 percent of the world’s coral species; and 240 rare species, or one percent of the world’s species.

Senin, 04 November 2019

INDONESIA PRIORITIZES FIGHT FOR HEALTHY GOLDEN GENERATION

Senin, 4 Nov 2019 22:23
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 4/11 (Antara) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has made the health and development of Indonesias human resources, especially children, as one of the priorities of his second-term five-year administration that will end in 2024.
Investment in human resources is not just regarding education but also medical care, because the health of a person helps him to realize his potential optimally, besides the ability to fight illness.

During the first plenary meeting of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet 2019-2024 on October 24, 2019, President Widodo ordered the newly appointed Health Minister Terawan Agus to reduce the cases of stunting among Indonesian children.
The stunting rate in Indonesia has been reduced to 27.67 percent this year, from 30.8 percent in 2018. The government has outlined a target to reduce the prevalence in the country to under 20 percent by 2024, as per the United Nations target.

Currently, child stunting has been observed in several provinces, including East Nusa Tenggara and East Java.
This condition among children under the age of five is a reflection of Indonesias future. The issue is now a government priority, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani had once said.
Therefore, the government has prioritized the issue to prepare a golden generation for onward Indonesia.
"Addressing the stunting problem has become a priority national program to prepare a golden generation for onward Indonesia when Indonesia celebrates its centennial anniversary in 2045. The stunting rate is now still fluctuating," Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy said in a statement November 1, 2019.

Rabu, 30 Oktober 2019

PAPUA'S NEW ICONIC TOURIST ATTRACTION YOUTEFA BRIDGE OPENS TO PUBLIC

Rabu, 30 Okt 2019 17:12
By Fardah
Jakarta, 30/10 (Antara) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), during his 13th visit to Papua on Oct 28, 2019, inaugurated Youtefa Bridge connecting the provincial capital Jayapura with Muara Tami District and Skouw sharing border with neighboring Papua New Guinea.
The bridge is far from ordinary since it spans stunning Youtefa Bay that has scenic beauty and serene environment as well as is surrounded by the Pie and Saweri Capes.

From the bridge, visitors can also spot Tobati Strait measuring only some 300 meters wide and providing access to Yos Sudarso Bay and also to the seas.

The Youtefa Bay area is indeed a destination for those looking to unwind and escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The scenic beauty also presents a plethora of options for photography.

Tourists will also come across a sago forest and a majestic green mangrove forest there, two striking rivers called Entrop and Acai, and beautiful isles located in the middle of the bay.

Another unique natural attraction found in the Youtefa Bay area is a natural field called Arising and Sinking field since the spot is only visible during low tide and vanishes from sight during high tide.

As most land areas in Youtefa are still forested, several species of flora and fauna are also found, such as various types of insects, reptiles, mammals, Lorius Lori exotic bird, and long-tailed monkeys.

Selasa, 29 Oktober 2019

INDONESIA SET TO VENTURE INTO NOVEL ERA OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES

  by Fardah
Selasa, 29 Okt 2019 13:57

Jakarta, 29/10 (Antara) - Indonesia is buoyant about emerging as a major producer of electric vehicles (EV) owing to quite abundant raw materials to produce lithium batteries, the main component of EV manufacturing.
Besides this, the country believes that electric-based vehicles can lower air pollution, especially in Jakarta, categorized as one of the polluted cities in the world and infamous for its massive traffic jams due to carbon emissions from motor vehicles, among other things.

To expedite the materialization of the EV industry and attract investors, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had signed Presidential Regulation No. 55 of 2019 on the acceleration of battery-operated vehicles for road transportation in early August 2019.

Development of the domestic electric vehicle industry will be accelerated in accordance with the regulation effective as of August 12, 2019. Furthermore, it encourages optimization of local content to increase competitiveness, incentives, charging station infrastructure development, and special electricity tariffs for battery charging, as well as environmental preservation.

The regulation also pushes for energy efficiency, security, and conservation in the transportation sector, clean energy usage, air quality improvement, and the realization of Indonesias commitment to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

"We know that 60 percent of the key to electric cars is the batteries, and we have the components to make them (such as) cobalt and manganese in our country," Jokowi noted in a statement posted on setkab.go.id.

Most electric cars available in the market today were some 40 percent more expensive than fossil-fueled cars, he pointed out.

Hence, he was optimistic that Indonesia's ubiquitous resources of materials required for making batteries would help push down prices, thereby creating greater demand for EVs.

Jokowi believed that Indonesia is a strategic place for EV businesses to start, and the country is capable of designing an affordable and competitive electric car industry.

Sharing the president's optimism, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan was also confident about Indonesia becoming part of the global supply chain in the electric car industry in the subsequent five years.

"I am optimistic that Indonesia would become part of the global supply chain in the next five years. As much as 70 percent of the raw materials required for the production of lithium batteries are produced in Indonesia. It also has abundant reserves of rubber and tin," Pandjaitan noted in a statement recently.

As the biggest producer in the mining sector, he believes Indonesia should have the power to determine the price of the commodity.

According to Pandjaitan, South Korea's LG Chemical is contemplating on building a facility to produce lithium batteries in Indonesia as a precautionary measure against the country's plan to ban nickel ore exports from January 2020.

He believed that LG Chemical's intent to build the facility in Indonesia will support the government's plan to develop electric cars.

Besides this, PT Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMIN) has expressed readiness to start battery electric vehicle (BEV) production at its factory in Karawang, West Java.

"It is a global trend. If we do not join it, we will not be able to export," TMMIN president director Warih Andang Tjahjono stated in Tokyo on Oct 28, 2019.

TMMIN is committed to supporting the government's target for the share of electric vehicle output to reach 20 percent of Indonesia's total car production by 2025.

The Ministry of Industry had earlier targeted investment in the battery industry for electric vehicles in the country.

One of the important aspects in accelerating the production of the electric vehicle industry is the preparation of supporting industries, such as power control units (PCU), electric motors, and batteries, then Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto stated.

Based on data, increasing investment in Indonesia for the industrial sector that will produce electric vehicle batteries only needs one additional stage, such as investment in the battery cell industry.

Other investments in mine concentrations, refinery, and electrochemical production are already a part of the Morowali Industrial Zone (IMIP) in Central Sulawesi.

In the meantime, the National Energy Council (DEN) has urged offices to set up charging stations for electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles can lower air pollution, fossil fuel consumption, and oil imports, DEN Secretary General Djoko Siswanto noted in a statement on Sept 30, 2019.

"The rationale behind using electric vehicles is to realize a cleaner environment, curb air pollution, curtail fossil oil consumption, and lessen imports. DEN urges all electric car producers to begin production of the vehicles now," he remarked.

To support the initiative to use electric vehicles, every office should provide electric sockets or public electric vehicle charging stations (SPKLUs) at parking lots for charging batteries.

"Every office is advised to build electric sockets at motorcycle parking lots. For motorbikes, charging a vehicle battery at home or office is sufficient. Each takes around four hours to charge and can suffice for five day trips from home to office and vice versa," he explained.

State-owned electricity company PT PLN had earlier affirmed its support to the development of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (SPKLU) following the issuance of Presidential Decree No. 5 of 2019.

"We will facilitate all parties keen on developing electric vehicles," PLN Acting President Director Sripeni Inten Cahyani stated, adding that the company will offer two business schemes: Company Owned Company Operated, or COCO, and Partner Owned Partner Operated, or POPO.

Furthermore, PT PLN will offer a 75-percent discount for electric motorcycle owners and free charge for electric car users to augment power capacity, so they will have sufficient electricity to charge their vehicles at home.

The Agency for Technology Assessment and Application (BPPT) had earlier echoed that electric vehicles would pick up steam in Indonesia, with more charging stations being set up nationwide.

The agency held the Indonesia Electric Motor Show (IEMS) 2019 on Sept 4-7 in Jakarta to promote the use of electric vehicles in the country.

METAMORPHOSING INDONESIA'S ECONOMY TOWARD COMPETITIVE MANUFACTURING

Selasa, 29 Okt 2019 15:22
By Fardah
Jakarta, 29/10 (Antara) - Joko Widodo (Jokowi), during his presidential inaugural address, demarcated five priorities for his second five-year term (2019-2024), one of them being transforming the country's industry, from reliance on natural resources to manufacturing competitiveness.

"We must transform, from depending on natural resources to manufacturing competitiveness and modern services that have high added values for prosperity of the nation and for social justice for all Indonesian people," Jokowi had stated on Oct 20, 2019.

The four other priorities are human resources development, infrastructure development, regulation simplification, and bureaucracy simplification.

Four days later while chairing the first plenary meeting of his new cabinet, the president reiterated the necessity to ease requirements for industries that can boost Indonesia's exports.

"I have repeatedly conveyed this statement. If there are export-oriented industries or those intending to produce substitute goods for importing, please do not take too long to sign (the documents of approval)," he told cabinet members at the meeting.

Incentives must be awarded to industries oriented towards export increase and those producing goods to substitute imports.

President Jokowi also remarked that the central and regional governments must fix targets for the creation of more job opportunities. To this end, those industries able to provide jobs should be served well.