Jumat, 10 Mei 2019

GOVERNMENT TO STOP PRIVATIZATION OF WATER SUPPLY

Jumat, 10 Mei 2019 21:04
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 10/5 (Antara) - After entrusting private companies with supplying clean water to Jakarta residents for two decades, the Jakarta administration has decided to give the task to its own clean water supply company, PT PAM Jaya.

The plan to restore water management concessions in Jakarta continues to run smoothly. PT. Aetra Air Jakarta signed a head of agreement (HoA) with PAM Jaya on April 12, 2019, in Jakarta, PT PAM Jaya recently said in a statement.

Managing Director of PT. PAM Jaya Priyatno Bambang Hernowo, who signed the HoA, outlined four points of the initial agreement.

The points include PAM Jaya and Aetra agreeing to return water management concessions in Jakarta to PAM Jaya, and arranging a transition in the management of the Drinking Water Supply System in the capital city after ending the privatization of water.

Since 1998, the management of drinking water in Jakarta was managed by two private companies, namely Aetra for the eastern region of Jakarta, and PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja) for the western region of Jakarta, while PAM Jaya acted as a supervisor.

A study conducted by an evaluation team set up by Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan concluded that it is unlikely for private partners to reach targets set at the beginning of the agreement under the current cooperation scheme.

Hence, the governor has asked PAM Jaya to take over piped water management. This is part of a larger global trend toward remunicipalization, under which local authorities can retake control of previously privatized water and sanitation services.

The remunicipalization plan is part of the city's efforts to achieve at least 82 percent tap water coverage by 2023, which is also in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), targeting 100 percent coverage by 2030.

During the 1998-2018 period, the coverage of clean water supply service only increased by 14.9 percent. In 1998, the coverage was 44.5 percent, and in 2017, it went up to 59.4 percent, far from the coverage target of 82 percent by 2023.

The two-decade privatization of Jakartas clean water supply has failed to meet the target of 100 percent coverage of tap water supply.

Governor Anies Baswedan was pleased that the private operators responded positively. Water services should be perceived as a basic need, not as a mere business, he remarked.

Tommy Albert Tobing, a member of the Coalition of Jakarta Residents Opposing Water Privatization (KMMSAJ), said direct remunicipalization would ensure the profits from the lucrative tap water business would be used for the good of the citys residents, rather than for the benefit of a handful of people.

The profits from PAM Jaya will be for the residents, Tobing said.

He said the plan would also return Rp 1.77 trillion in assets to the city administration that was currently in the hands of PAM Jayas private partners.

Fahira Idris, Jakartas senator, also lauded the governor's decision to take over clean water supply management and service. The move was in accordance with Baswedans pledge during the Jakarta gubernatorial race campaign called "The City Advances, The Inhabitants are Happy", she said.

The decision is good news for the residents of Jakarta after two decades of having depended on private companies to get clean water, the senator remarked.

"It is the right decision because it has been taken following a comprehensive study and the takeover was done through a civil process with talks held with Palyja and Aetra," she noted.

It is a bold decision, as the governor does not have to wait for the termination of the contract in 2023, according to the member of the Jakarta Representative Council, or DPD.

"The decision to stop the privatization of water supply has demonstrated that Governor Anies has chosen to stand with the people," she emphasized.

Idris believes that until the time clean water is an expensive and exclusive commodity, a city will never advance, as clean water is a basic necessity for human beings. When clean water becomes expensive and exclusive, the productivity and economy of its residents will be affected, as they have to allocate a large sum of money to avail of clean water, she pointed out.

"Hence, over a decade ago, major cities in the world had kicked out the privatization of water, and they preferred to independently manage the supply of clean water for their residents," she remarked.

In line with the Constitution, the state must meet the public need for clean water, she said, adding that no significant progress has been achieved since private companies took over the management of clean water supply.

"The Jakarta provincial administration has taken a strong stance to take over the management and service of clean water supply for its residents to ensure that every person has access to clean water supply," she stated.

Senin, 06 Mei 2019

INDONESIA AIMS AT BECOMING GLOBAL MUSLIM FASHION CAPITAL

Senin, 6 Mei 2019 21:45
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah Assegaf
Jakarta, 6/5 (Antara) - With the largest Muslim population with moderate views in the world, Indonesia has a growing ambition to emerge as a global Muslim fashion capital.
At least 85 percent of the over 260 million Indonesians are Muslims and a majority of them wear dresses in line with moderate Islamic teachings. Moreover, an increasing number of Indonesian Muslim women, including young girls, are opting to wear Islamic clothing as it is fashionable, decent, practical, comfortable, and alluring. Besides, Indonesia's hijabs are unique, colorful, and varied, compared with those of other countries.

With the support of the Industry Ministry, the Fourth Muslim Fashion Festival (Muffest) was organized at the Assembly Hall of the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) from May 1 to 4, 2019.


Organized annually by the Indonesian Fashion Chamber (IFC), the 2018 Muffest recorded transactions worth Rp38.9 billion, and saw 51,389 visitors, an increase from Rp28.3 billion in business transactions and 47,100 visitors in 2017, Ali Charisma, the National Chairman of the Indonesian Fashion Chamber, said in his opening report of the 2019 Muffest.

The fourth Muffest, which hopes to achieve total business transactions worth Rp45 billion and record over 55 thousand visitors, was enlivened with fashion shows, fashion presentations, retail exhibitions, business-to-business meetings, talk shows, seminars and fashion design competitions, including the Modest Young Designer Competition, which is a talent search event for young designers in Indonesia.

Sabtu, 04 Mei 2019

Indonesian workers continue fighting for decent wage, better benefits by Fardah

Jakarta, May 4, 2019 (ANTARA) - International Labor Day or May Day is celebrated annually on May 1 by workers across countries to highlight certain causes—better wages, better benefits and improved working conditions.

In more than 80 countries, including Indonesia, May Day is a national holiday. This year’s theme of International Labor Day 2019 is “Sustainable Pension for all: The Role of Social Partners”.

Many workers in Indonesia, however, do not have pension benefits and, in fact, are still struggling for basic rights such as decent wages.

Thousands of Indonesian workers across the country commemorated Labor Day on May 1. In Jakarta, at least 40 thousands workers, including journalists, expressed concern as many of them are underpaid, and lack social benefits and protection.

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) demanded that media companies abide by the Law on Manpower and be consistent in implementing the regulation.
 

President of the Confederation of All Indonesia Labor Union (KSPI) Said Iqbal said May Day was a reminder to labor activists to continue fighting for their cause.

“The welfare of workers, including contract workers, must be improved. Social insurance for health and manpower must be improved and electricity tariff must be reduced,” Iqbal said, adding that the outsourcing system must also be abolished.

KSPI invited presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto to speak before workers during the May Day gathering held at the Indoor Tennis court in Senayan, Jakarta, on May 1.

"Workers are the backbone of the national economy. Laborers, together with farmers and fishermen, produce products for the nation and the people," Subianto said.

'Happy labors day. May the workers' struggle for the certainty of the future of the workers and their families materialize,” the retired general said.

May Day rallies across Indonesia, and particularly in Jakarta, were relatively peaceful and orderly, except for Bandung (West Java), where unknown intruders triggered chaos.

"The security situation in Indonesia while commemorating May Day could be termed as highly conducive," Head of the National Police Information Bureau Brigadier General Dedi remarked.

A total of 80 thousand joint personnel of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), Indonesian National Police, and municipal police units were stationed to ensure that the security situation was under control.

"May this atmosphere be maintained during every commemoration of May Day," Manpower Minister M. Hanif Dhakiri said, lauding the conducive conditions during May Day.

Human resources development is high on the list of the government's priorities in 2019, the minister said.

"Right now, we need quality human resources in adequate numbers, which are evenly distributed across Indonesia," he said.

According to him, the real problem currently facing Indonesia in the manpower sector is inadequate expertise.

The problem is not merely the responsibility of the government, but of labor unions and employers as well, he said.

To deal with the disparities in expertise, the Jokowi Administration is continuing to improve the classification of vocational training, he said.

"Vocational training is aimed at providing the labor force with soft and hard skills to enable them to find jobs and open businesses," he said.

The Jokowi government has also taken various steps to improve the welfare of workers, including raising their wages every year, launching a worker housing program and expanding social security for workers, according to the minister.

Meanwhile, the Jokowi Administration has pledged to materialize three agreements reached during a meeting between President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and several leaders of labor unions in Bogor, West Java, on April 26, 2019, Chief of the Presidential Staff Moeldoko said.

"The meeting yielded three agreements and all of them will most likely be materialized," Moeldoko said at the Jakarta Police Headquarters on May Day, following the inauguration of a help desk for workers at the police office.

First, the President agreed to revise the Government Regulation (PP) No 78 year 2015 on salaries, as soon as possible.

"The Government needs to review and even revise the PP No 78 Year 2015. We want to look for a new formula, which will mutually benefit both workers and businessmen. The role of the Government to find a new balance is not easy," he said.

Second, the President is considering establishing childcare rooms in every company and in the industrial zone so children are not neglected because their parents are working.

Third, the Government has decided to set up help desks for workers in every police office across Indonesia to sort out complaints from workers. Sixteen help desks for laborers have been established in several provinces.

Kamis, 02 Mei 2019

GOVT CONSIDERING MOVING CAPITAL CITY OUTSIDE JAVA ISLAND

Kamis, 2 Mei 2019 08:14
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 2/5 (Antara) - The Indonesian Government is considering developing a new capital city located outside Java Island, to replace Jakarta which will celebrate its 492th anniversary this year.
Jakarta is seen as no longer fit to maintain its status as the country's capital city. The metropolitan city is very crowded with roads only constituting 6.2 percent of its total area, while it should ideally be 15 percent at least.

Losses as a result of Jakarta's traffic jams are estimated to reach some Rp100 trillion in 2019. Besides, 50 percent of Jakarta is prone to flooding.

Up to 90 percent of water in Jakarta's rivers are polluted; hence, it poses a danger due to bad sanitation. Jakarta is also sinking with a subsidence rate at seven centimeters a year. During the 1989-2007 period, the soil level in Jakarta subsided by 60 centimeters.


The government favors the plan on moving the capital city outside Java Island, which is the worlds most crowded island, based on various grounds.
With regard to the environment, traffic, and water, Java Island, with a population of some 149 million people, comprising 57 percent of the country's total population, is unlikely to support the development of a new capital city.

The government organized the first cabinet meeting on April 29, 2019, for holding discussions on the plan to shift the capital city.

Selasa, 30 April 2019

INDONESIA SEES WASTE-TO-ENERGY PLANT AS SOLUTION TO GARBAGE PROBLEM by Fardah

Jakarta, 30/4/2019 (Antara) - With a population of some 260 million people, Indonesia is one of the worlds largest producers of garbage, which includes plastic waste.
In fact, a study conducted by the office of the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, in cooperation with the World Bank, showed that 80 percent of plastic waste thrown into Indonesias oceans came from 87 cities mostly on Java island.

While the Government has made various efforts to reduce this waste, the issue needs to be dealt with more seriously as it could damage the environment and spell doom for future generations.

The Governments recent strategy has been to handle garbage in the form of waste-to-energy (WTE) power plants, which have been confirmed by the enactment of Presidential Regulation No. 35 of 2018 or the Acceleration of Eco-friendly Waste-to-Energy Power Plant Development.

The Bantargebang Landfill waste-to-energy plant, which is a pilot project of thermal process waste management, was dedicated by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, on March 25, 2019.

Jakarta generates about 7,000 kg of waste per day, which includes more than enough municipal waste input for WTE.

Senin, 29 April 2019

MANY CALL TO CONDUCT COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT OF INDONESIA'S COMPLEX ELECTIONS

Senin, 29 Apr 2019 16:50
By Fardah
Jakarta, 29/4 (Antara) - Indonesias simultaneous legislative and presidential elections were not only the largest single-day democratic exercise but also resulted in unexpected martyrs -- 253 polling officers, 55 election supervisors, and 18 police officers -- dying of exhaustion.

The elections, held on Apr 17, added complexity and increased the burden on over 192 eligible voters, who had to decide on their president, vice president, members of the House of Representatives (DPR), senators of the Regional Representative Council (DPD), members of Provincial Legislative Council (DPR I), and members of the District/Municipality Legislative Council (DPRD II).

Indonesia's foremost simultaneous legislative and presidential elections were chiefly held to save time, reduce energy, and curtail costs, but in reality, the contrary took place, with the execution being frenzied, costly, and siphoning off the lives of 326 executors.

Different parties have vehemently called for conducting a complete and comprehensive assessment of the elections organized in over 810 thousand polling stations across Indonesia and overseas.

"We should hold a total evaluation. We will ready a format to prioritize electoral efficiency, albeit involving multi-stage execution," Chairman of Gerindra Party's Executive Board Ahmad Riza Patria noted in a recent statement.

Patria confirmed that his side had called to conduct an absolute assessment of the elections, with a reported voter turnout of some 80 percent.