Ahok to Tap Jakarta Regional Budget to Assist the Elderly Poor

Jakarta Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat will sport a new look on the run-off election ballot paper: the ubiquitous 'peci' or 'kopiah.' (Antara Photo/Atika Fauziyyah)

By : Lenny Tristia Tambun & Eko Prasetyo | on 12:48 PM March 21, 2017
Category : News, Jakarta

Jakarta. Incumbent Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama said due to the increasing number of the elderly poor in the capital, his administration will no longer be able assist them from operational funds alone and that it would have to tap the regional budget to issue them with Jakarta Elderly Cards, or KJL.

"We have actually been implementing the [card] since last year. However, [the system] is implemented gradually, as we used operational funds," Ahok said on Monday (20/03).

The administration will not be able to use any corporate social responsibility funds from private companies, as the number of KJL recipients has exceeded calculations.

"If this has become a huge need; we would no longer obtain help from CSR and others. We must implement [the KJL] with the Jakarta regional budget," the governor added.

Ahok said Rp 600,000 ($45) per person is currently allocated to the KJL every month, based on a calculated average daily expense of Rp 20,000.

"I think that it would be fine to provide the elderly with Rp 20,000 per day. So, this amounts to Rp 600,000 per month, which is not bad," he said.

Those qualifying for the KJL are the elderly poor with Jakarta identification cards, who are living with their families.

The funds can be withdrawn, similar to the Jakarta Smart Card system.

"They would still have to swipe [their cards] if they want to purchase something. They are not allowed to withdraw cash. We are afraid that if they are given cash, their children or other parties would take the money. They should swipe their cards so we have a record of what they bought," Ahok said.

The Dasa Wisma Group is currently finalizing the data on how many elderly poor there are in the capital.

Dasa Wisma, which means "ten houses" in Indonesian, is a group of 10 neighboring households established to ease the administration related to the KJL program. Part of its duties is to collect data, questionnaires and perform administrative work, which will be reported to the Jakarta provincial government.

According to interim data, there are around 12,000 people over 70 years of age in the capital who survive on less than Rp 2 million per month, while more than 50,000 live on less than Rp 3 million per month.

"We have data, but it increases annually. There are also those who are ill," Ahok said.

Incumbent Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat said the KJL would be implemented in May this year, with funds provided to people 60 years and older, both male and female.

There were reportedly 284,080 people between the ages of 60 and 64 years, and 375,893 above 65 years living in Jakarta in 2016.

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