The Government’s Special Autonomy Policy to Improve the Welfare of West Papua

The Government's Special Autonomy Policy to Improve the Welfare of West Papua

Special autonomy has a significant impact on the success of a region. For this reason, West Papua was allowed to exercise special autonomy. The policy is expected to produce optimal results as a developing province. However, how is the particular autonomy policy implemented for the welfare of the people? Find the answers here.

Reasons Why Use Special Autonomy in Papua

The Papua Province autonomy policy aims to improve the community’s welfare optimally. Indonesian leaders tried to integrate Papua into the territory of the Republic of Indonesia starting from the Round Table Conference (KMB) in The Hague, Netherlands, 1949. Based on a memorandum in the past, the territory of West Irian was handed over.

However, the memorandum was rejected by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and resulted in a reaction from the Indonesian Government in 1963. As a result, the territory of West Irian was integrated into the Republic of Indonesia in May 1963. Subsequently, through a Law dated November 9, 1969, West Irian legally joined Indonesia according to international law.

The process of rejoining Papua into Indonesia is long and complicated. It causes the development process to improve the welfare of the people in West Papua Province to be more dynamic. The changing security conditions in Papua add to the complexity of the problem. That is why it requires special attention in solving it.

One way to overcome the solution stands through development policies in the Papua region. This method shows the broad implications of its development of political, economic, and social aspects. Papua Province was granted Special Autonomy status through Law Number 21 of 2001, which helps solve various kinds of complex problems.

The President at that time issued Presidential Decree (Keppres) No. 1 of 2003, which divided Papua Province into two: Papua and West Irian Jaya. The applicable laws and regulations ensure that the implementation of Otsus runs appropriately. All elements of the Government, Provincial Government, City Government, and institutions must provide the best public service.

Special Autonomy in Papua

The government seeks to develop Papua through the Special Autonomy policy following the applicable laws and regulations. Also, the Unit for the Acceleration of Development of the Provinces of Papua and West Papua (UP4B) facilitates development programs to the fullest. UP4B improves the quality of problem-solving with access to the highest ranks of State Leaders.

UP4B seeks to promote administration and development planning, but problems persist. Since 2001, the implementation of the Special Autonomy policy for Papua has encountered obstacles. Fortunately, after the Papua Province implemented the Special Autonomy policy, the welfare condition of the Papuan improved. The percentage of the poverty rate decreased gradually in the first five years.

Characteristics of Papua Special Autonomy Institutions and Financial Arrangements

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The Special Autonomy Institution in Papua Province has characteristics specific to special regulations and implementation because it is separate from the intervention of the Central Government. Then, the MRP and DPRP became legislative functions and the Provincial Government for executive functions.

Papua’s government authority is formed based on a political compromise between Papuans and the central government. Authority manages fiscal matters and all aspects of welfare – for example, education, health, economy, and infrastructure. This autonomy authority is delegated from the Central Government for special regulations for West Papua.

Special autonomy in Papua opens up opportunities for local communities to participate in government. Papua has the freedom to regulate and manage Papuans related to personnel matters and much more. It provides significant benefits for better community participation in Papua.

In addition, the Papua Province Autonomy financial arrangement has assistance from the Central Government in 2 percent of the total General Allocation Fund. Education gets 30 percent share, health 15 percent, economy 25 percent, and infrastructure 20 percent. In addition, the regulation becomes a fund to help the local economy of the people.

Special Autonomy Governance

The criteria for good governance in the Special Autonomy for Papua Province will be based on institutions, authorities, and financial arrangements. With the existence of independent regulations, the welfare of the people of Papua Province will increase. However, the establishment of institutions has not been effective following the authorities with the statutory regulations.

Even so, it has had an impact that is good compared to the previous condition. In addition, to maximize the community’s welfare, there is a need for the division of Papua Province into several new provinces based on cultural or ecosystem closeness. It is essential to provide optimal benefits for advancing Papua.

In addition, t with institutional effectiveness in a smaller area is expected to provide convenience in financial policy. The Special Autonomy Scenario for Papua Province of 2 percent could be an excellent step to improve additional infrastructure. However, it is necessary to improve the financial regulation model in the Special Autonomy of West Papua.

In conclusion, granting self-regulation to Papua Province has provided real success – especially since there were laws and presidential regulations at that time. With the existence of special autonomy rights for Papua, the welfare of the people in Papua has increased. Even though the numbers increase by a little, it has a gradual positive impact.