Regional Governments seem more responsive to pandemic

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Indikator’s Executive Director Burhanuddin Muhtadi. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which first hit Indonesia in February this year, affects everyone. Survey agency Indikator released its latest survey on the opinion of the elite concerning how various parties deal with the pandemic. 36.8% conclude that the Central Government’s performance in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic is “very good” or “excellent”. However, the elite’s trust level towards the President and the Minister of Health in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic is not far off from public assessment. “For the elite, health is a much higher priority than economic issues. The majority of the elite, 54.6%, also believes that Large-Scaled Social Restrictions should be continued. However, a considerable number also want these Restrictions to be lifted in order to restart the economy,” said Indikator’s Executive Director Burhanuddin Muhtadi. 

The majority of respondents (59.2%) consider the Government’s ability to identify the groups most affected by the pandemic is either “bad” or “horrible”, with nearly half (39.8%) think it to be “good” or “excellent”. The majority (57.9%) also considers the speed of aid distribution towards plague victims to be “slow” or “very slow”, with a huge part (41.8%) think it to be “quite fast” or “very fast”. This pattern shows that the Government’s efforts to mitigate the pandemic among affected groups are still far from being satisfactory, but they haven’t failed either, as attested by 40% respondents who appreciate Government efforts (even though they are still far from being optimal). 

Other than evaluating how the Central Government is viewed in its efforts to reduce the suffering of the affected groups, the survey also asked for respondents’ opinion on the readiness of Provincial Governments in responding to and mitigating the pandemic. Jakarta, West Java, and West Sumatra are in the top three in turns, depending on what aspect is being viewed. “Jakarta mostly benefits from issues relating to logistical capabilities. So many groups are mobilized in the COVID-19 mitigation efforts in the region: Central Government, local Government, private hospitals, private businesses, State-Owned Enterprises, and social organizations. The ratio of funds to citizens is much bigger than that of other regions. In this perspective, West Java is also one of the successful provinces – especially since it is both the most densely populated area as well as the area physically closest to the initial epicenter, Jakarta. West Sumatra is also a region viewed to have good mitigation performance,” Burhanuddin said. 

The survey further reveals that the majority (62.8%) of respondents believe that Regional Governments have the right to issue policies relating to plague mitigation in their respective regions. However, most (55%) respondents also believe that the policies Regional Governments implemented are already in line with those of the Central Government. More than half (59.5%) consider that the Government’s rules or regulations concerning the pandemic are already “on target” or “very much on target”, and roughly the same number (57.2%) notes that these rules and regulations are “insufficiently integrated” or “absolutely not integrated” in their implementation across the sectors and the Government’s hierarchy. 61.2% of respondents think that the Government is inconsistent in implementing the regulations that it issued itself. 55% of respondents think that cross-sectoral coordination in the Government is bad, and 49% think that vertical coordination within the Government is less than optimal. 

“Regional Governments tend to be more positively viewed than the Central Government. They are considered to be more sensitive towards the crisis, to respond faster to the emergency, to be able to communicate better with the people, and to be able to coordinate better with law enforcers,” Burhanuddin said. “The survey further found that the performance of regional leaders in mitigating the pandemic. Ridwan Kamil, Anies Baswedan, and Ganjar Pranowo are leaders who are considered to have better leadership than the governors of other provinces. However, the three top leaders tend to be balanced in all reviews of various aspects of leadership when mitigating COVID-19. The differences between each review is even less than 3%. “Ridwan Kamil is best in communicating with the people and in coordinating with various Government sectors. Anies Baswedan is rated higher in his sense of crisis. Even though he is not the top figure in any item, Ganjar Pranowo’s rating is close to that of Anies Baswedan and Ridwan Kamil.” (dan)