Bappenas endorses budget planning to lower impacts of COVID-19

Jakarta The Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency (PPN/Bappenas) has encouraged local governments to strengthen the budgeting planning system, or “SEPAKAT,” to reduce the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The evidence-based planning system at the regional level should be strengthened,” Minister of PPN/Bappenas Suharso Monoarfa stated in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Monoarfa called for adopting a different approach through Sepakat, an evidence-based application, implemented at the provincial and village level to handle the social and economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

Monoarfa remarked that the SARS CoV-2 virus outbreak not only affected public health but also led to a rise in unemployment.

The pandemic has made it difficult for people to access basic services.

“Thus, eventually, new poor and vulnerable populations have emerged. The vulnerable population becomes poor, while the poor become poorer,” he remarked.

With this planning system, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be handled in a more precise and efficient manner so as to lower the socio-economic impacts.

Earlier, the minister had stated that the poverty rate could be reduced to a single-digit figure, with data for September 2019 showing that 24.79 million Indonesians lived in poverty, or equivalent to 9.22 percent of the population.

However, in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, poverty is expected to rise while the unemployment rate is projected to reach 8.1-9.2 percent.

The government’s intervention is expected to lower the impact so as to prevent the poverty rate from not jumping higher.

SEPAKAT, an Integrated System for Poverty Planning, Budgeting, Analysis and Evaluation, was released by Bappenas in 2018, and until now, only 129 districts and cities and seven provinces in the country have utilized it.

Monoarfa explained that SEPAKAT is the register of social compilation covering 100 percent of the population by digitizing village monographs whose integrated data collection and analysis of the budgeting planning, monitoring, and evaluation processes were conducted in an inclusive and pro-poor manner.

In the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2020-2024, the government targets that all provincial, district, and city governments will utilize the system.

“In the context of recovering from the socio-economic impacts of the COVID pandemic, SEPAKAT can support regions to formulate recovery strategies and policies through analysis of the socioeconomic indicators,” he added.


Source: Antara News