IO – Appreciation is deserved be given to the governments of Joko Widodo and Ma’ruf Amin who are considered to be quick to provide Direct Cash Assistance (BLT) sourced from Village Funds. The proof is that the Ministry of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration (Ministry of the PDTT) made changes to the Regulation of the Minister of Village PDTT Number 11 of 2019 concerning Priority in the Use of Village Funds in 2020. The regulation was changed to Regulation of the Minister of Villages of PDTT Number 6 of 2020 on April 14th. In the regulation, there are at least three important points related to Village Funds that may be used to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. First, Village Funds can be used for prevention and handling of Covid-19, Second, Village Labor Intensive Cash Assistance (PKTD), Third, Direct Cash Assistance (BLT).
PDTT Minister Abdul Halim Iskandar said the funds were obtained from the allocation of 31 percent or IDR 22.4 trillion from the total of IDR 72 trillion of 2020 village funds. The funds will be distributed to 12.3 million families affected by Covid-19 submitted by village heads and village officials, both for data improvement to its distribution. From the latest data, BLT village funds that have entered 34,856 Village Cash Accounts amount to IDR 10.04 trillion. This could immediately be submitted to 5.59 million poor families in 8,157 villages in 76 districts throughout Indonesia.
According to him there are a number of guidelines for disbursing the allocation of village funds for BLT. First, villages whose village budget allocation is below IDR 800 million / year are asked to allocate a maximum of 25 percent of the total budget for BLT. Second, villages with village budget allocations of IDR 800 million to IDR 1.2 billion were asked to allocate village funds of 30 percent, whereas villages whose village funds are above IDR 1.2 billion are asked to channel 35 percent of their village funds to BLT,” he explained.
While the BLT that will be given over a period of three months (April- June 2020) allows each family to get IDR 600 thousand / month or a total of IDR 1.8 million, Mendes said that the difference in conditions in each region means not all villages will make Village Fund BLT disbursements to recipients through bank transfers.
According to him, the State Bank Association (Himbara) would facilitate the process of making accounts for Village Fund BLT recipients, without having to be subjected to account opening rates and banking non-interest rates. “The State Bank Association, for example BRI, is ready to declare that they will help to accelerate account opening without any fees and no interest. That is the convenience provided by Himbara when they want to enable cashless disbursement,” he said.
The condition is quite easy, namely by providing a photocopy of identity cards of potential recipients through the village head. Later, the village head will report to the banks for the process of making an account book. “For example, the prospective recipient does not have an account; all that remains is to hand over the ID Card (KTP) that has been decided by the Village Head to the bank. Banks make the accounts, cash flowing directly in the accounts, and the process is complete. They’ll be receiving assistance in the form of an account. This is guaranteed in terms of security; health protocols are also safe,” he said.
But if it requires cash distribution, he appealed to the village head to ask for supervision from the local police who will be assigned door to door, assigned to the beneficiary’s house while still observing the health protocol. “Non-cash donations are expected to improve the security of distribution of funds. In situations like this, holding any amount of money, especially in the village, whether it’s only IDR 100,000, or IDR 200,000 is very valuable. That’s why we suggest the assistance come in cashless form,” he said.
The Government of Cangkuang Village, Leles Subdistrict, Garut Regency, West Java, is one example of villages that have been distributing village funds since Saturday (04/24/2020) of IDR 460 million, all of which distributed to 259 poor families valued at IDR 600,000 per family in the first month. Asep Nandang, the village head, went directly to the homes of poor families to share them with village officials accompanied by Babinsa.
Once again, Mendes asserted that the BLT was not given in the form of nine basic necessities (Sembako), but instead all were given in cash. However, if there are village communities who find it difficult to obtain basic needs, they can use the BLT to shop at BUMDes (Village Operated Business Ventures).
The Minister of Villages, who is often called ‘Gus Mentri’ said, in order to have no overlap, the reference used will be the Social Welfare Integrated Data (DTKS). The data collection of prospective recipients was carried out by 3 village volunteers versus covid 19, based on RT and RW which were then taken to the Village Deliberation Forum (Musdes). After it was decided in the Musdes, the data of the prospective BLT recipient was signed by the village head, and was then endorsed by the district / mayor government.
More specifically, those who have the opportunity to receive BLT are families who have lost their livelihoods, those who have not been recorded (exclusion error), and families who have family members who are vulnerable to chronic or chronic illness. “This budget is given to families whose economy is affected due to covid-19 in the village, those who have not received other government assistance programs such as the Family Hope Program (PKH), Non- Cash Food Assistance (BPNT), Pre- Work Card Program, and others,” he explained.
He asked the regional heads not to complicate the distribution of BLT village funds. Even residents who do not have NIK can still receive the Village Fund Direct Cash Assistance (BLT). This is one of the facilities provided by the government to residents in villages who are not able to because they are affected by the corona virus pandemic (Covid-19). “When you don’t have a NIK, you don’t have to be forced to have a NIK to get the Village Fund BLT. But it’s still recorded and the address is completely written as a form of accountability,” he said.
The Minister of Village also appealed to regents / mayors to help and facilitate the village head in the process of implementing the Village Funds BLT. According to him, the implementation of the Village Funds BLT is a humanitarian concern that must always be in the top priority list. “I also want to thank the regents / mayors who have provided facilities to the village head and to the villagers who really need to distribute Village Funds BLT,” he concluded. (Dan)