Government urged to review decision to open transportation

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Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat – “MPR”) of RI, Bambang Soesatyo: “Don’t just think about economic issues!” (Photo: IO/Rayi Gigih)

IO – The impact of the pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19) which has effectively stalled the economy impelled the government to reopen the mode of transportation starting last Wednesday, May 7. Previously all modes were banned from carrying passengers from April 27-28, 2020, together with the prohibition on homecoming (mudik). However, based on Minister of Transportation Regulations No. 25 of 2020 concerning Transportation Control during the Homecoming Period At Eid-Al Fitr Holiday Year 1441 Hijri and also based on Circular Letter from the Coordinating Minister for the Economy regarding technical references in the administration of transportation, the Minister of Transportation, Budi Karya Sumadi, hopes that the national economy will continue to survive during the pandemic. “The point is elaboration, not relaxation. This means that it is possible for all modes of transportation, whether it’s air, train, sea, bus, to return into operational state on a single note: they must comply with health protocols,” Budi said in a virtual work meeting with Commission V, Tuesday (05/06/2020). 

Responding to this policy, Chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), Bambang Soesatyo, asked the government to review the reopening of public transportation during the Corona pandemic. Bamsoet, as he was familiarly called, considered the move to be in conflict with the prevailing regulations and the handling of COVID-19 which is currently being implemented, so that it has the potential to actually prolong the duration of the Corona pandemic. “Let’s not just think about economic problems,” he said in a written statement, Friday (05/08/2020). 

The politician from Golkar Party asked the Ministry of Transportation to be consistent in implementing a policy, especially one focused on controlling COVID-19. “Encouraging the central and regional governments to commit to supervising transportation movements, so that every movement remains on the watch and in accordance with the COVID-19 protocol, and banning homecoming, as stated by the head of the Task Force for Accelerating the Handling of COVID-19,” he said. 

In line with Bamsoet, transportation observer Djoko Setijowarno said the government’s move to re-allow the mode of transportation to serve passengers with specific destinations was a blunder. According to him, it is feared that residents will use it for Eid Al-Fitr homecoming, especially at this time as there are communities in Greater Jakarta that are running out of money. Therefore, he suggested forming a Deputy Transportation of the Task Force for Accelerating the Handling of COVID-19. According to him, this role is not only taking care of the problems of whether homecoming is permitted or not in the current situation, but also in handling the increasing transportation problems and providing the needs for comprehensive handling across ministries and agencies. (dan)