Special Autonomy as a Long Way of Prosperity in Papua

The implementation of Special Autonomy (Otsus) for Papua is a meeting point for the middle ground to strengthen Papuan integration as well as a bridge to pursue peace and build Papuan prosperity. Otsus itself is still ongoing according to Law Number 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for Papua.

So far, Otsus has been going on for 20 years, while the amount of Otsus funds has reached Rp. 126.9 trillion, which is focused on 30% for the education sector and 15% for the health and nutrition sector.

The size of these funds proves the strong commitment of the Central Government to develop the welfare of Papua.

Not only in providing budget, Indigenous Papuans (OAP) is also a requirement to become regional heads, as stipulated in article 12 of Law 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for Papua Province, the Governor and Deputy Governor are required to be Indigenous Papuans (OAP).

In its journey, it cannot be denied that there are strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of Otsus. However, in broad outline, what the Papua and West Papua governments need to do is improve and increase the accountability and transparency of Otsus in order to provide an understanding of the government’s real efforts to fight for the welfare of the Papuan people through the application of Otsus.

According to the Chairperson of the MaybratRegency DPRD, Ferdinando Solossa, the presence of Otsus Papua since 2001 was originally a demand for the Papuan people who felt left behind from various aspects. The presence of Otsus during the last 20 years has provided broad and large benefits for the people of Papua.

From the budget side, the Central Government continues to increase the amount of special autonomy funds to carry out development in various sectors of life, especially in the four priority programs, namely education, health, infrastructure, to empowering the community’s economy.

“The Special Autonomy budget disbursed by the Central Government from 2000 to 2020 continues to increase”

With such great attention from the Government to Papua, it is appropriate for the regional government to be given as much space as possible in terms of authority to provide more optimal benefits for the community. With the implementation of Otsus which is well accommodated, such a large budget can be realized for its allocation. That way, the Papuan people can feel the benefits in terms of more.

Furthermore, according to the Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Cendrawasih Hendrik Krisifu, he reminded the Papuan people not to misinterpret Otsus. According to him, the Otsus will not end in 2021. Hendrik explained that the Special Autonomy Law consists of 78 articles, not a single article states that it will end in 2021. What is clear is that in Article 34 paragraph 6, it is stated that 2021 is a special autonomy fund. So, said Hendrik, there must be an understanding in the community that it is not Otsus that will end. However, its special autonomy funds will end. Papua will still be privileged.

DPR RI itself has included the discussion of the Papua Special Autonomy Bill in this year’s priority national legislation (prolegnas) program, so it can be ascertained that Otsus will continue. Even the Central Government also plans to increase the Special Autonomy Fund volume II as a clear proof of the Government’s attention and commitment to the welfare of Papua.

Lukas Devara

Papuan Observer

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