Papua focuses on rural development programs

Papua focuses on rural development programs

The Jakarta Post
The Archipelago
Markus Makur

Regencies in Papua should focus on community-based development, Governor Barnabas Suebu said Thursday.

In his keynote address read by vice governor Alex Hesegem during a working meeting with regents in Mimika, Suebu said regents in Mimika, Mappi, Asmat, Puncak and Paniai should work together to promote the ongoing Rural Development Strategic Program (Respek), and Rural Community Development Movement (GMPK) program.

Suebu also said regencies should synchronize financial organization at state, provincial, regency and municipal levels to support the rural budget and promote good governance.

On the whole, Papua's provincial and regency development programs had been successful, but faced underlying problems such as a lack of financial accountability, Suebu said.

He added they still lacked financial accountability in relation to the special autonomy funds and special allocation funds (DAK), designated for regional development.

This lack of accountability, he said, created a deficit of trust between the administration and state auditors.

Civil service and professionalism remained limited, and internal supervision and control mechanisms were ineffective, as evidenced by recurring issues, Seubu said.

Bureaucratic procedures lacked the coordination and commitment needed for effective policy implementation, he said.

Seubu said that these underlying issues warranted discussion and required the mutual agreement of regencies.

He named border control and corruption as two issues that required attention in the lead up to the upcoming presidential election.

He also urged regencies to look toward providing free access to education and health care for native Papuans, in addition to boosting community-based economic development programs.

This could be achieved, he said, by promoting the production and distribution of commodities made by local communities.

Suebu said regencies should also accelerate their basic infrastructure development in the form of transportation, cheap and eco-friendly energy sources, clean water, telecommunications and coordinated inter-regency development.

These programs should target less privileged and low income earners in the isolated and mountainous regions of Papua, he said.

"I call on regents to actively work for the benefit of all Papuans as well as newcomers," he said.

At the meeting, Papua Police deputy chief Brig. Gen. Ahmad Riadi Koni also briefed the meeting on security developments in Papua.

He acknowledged that the security situation prior to the legislative elections on April 9 was unpredictable due to "irresponsible violence" occuring across the province.

He said electoral violations had been filed at the courts in the areas where violence had occurred, but the security situation in Papua after the election was stable.

Currently, the condition of regencies in Papua and West Papua, according to the police chief's report, is favorable.

"Papua is ready for the presidential election in July," said Riadi.