Health workers take a blood sample from a motorcyclist during a coronavirus rapid testing at Pajajaran Stadium in Bogor, West Java, on April 4. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Ombudsman Launches Covid-19 Online Complaint Center

BY :TARA MARCHELIN

APRIL 29, 2020

Jakarta. The Indonesian Ombudsman has launched an online complaint center for people to file reports about unsatisfactory public services during the coronavirus crisis.

The online center will process complaints about the social safety net program, health services, financial services, transportation system and security.

"People should be able to complain about those services during this pandemic. The online center also allows us to collect data about sectors affected by Covid-19," Ombudsman Chairman Amzulian Rifai said in an online press conference on Wednesday. 

He said complaints could be submitted through the Ombudsman's website, WhatsApp number or email.

The Ombudsman also has a contact person and email in every province.

According to Amzulian, the online complaint center can be used to prepare for a second wave of the pandemic that might be even worse than the first.

Significant budget cuts in ministries and government agencies may also reduce the quality of public service.

"The pandemic is close to its second phase when more people will be affected. Some government policies might also have badly affected public services, such as budget cuts in ministries and government agencies," he said.

The chairman said public service is the people's rights and must be continued even during a pandemic. The government is obliged to fulfill people's rights and must never neglect them.

However, Amzulian said the Ombudsman appreciated the government's efforts so far to continue to provide public services while having their hands full dealing with the pandemic.

"The government is providing more than Rp 405 trillion ($25 billion) for the health service, social safety net program, economic stimulus, tax incentives and economic recovery program. It's a huge budget. We hope it gets to the right people," he said.

During the Covid-19 emergency, the Ombudsman has received 42 complaints including ones on credit relief, people under surveillance for coronavirus infection (ODP) not being able to get medical treatment, people getting laid off from work and public gatherings in violation of social distancing order. 

"You can submit complaints on social aid distribution, lack of medical treatment for patients under observation, slow response on credit restructure request, road shutdown or violations of large-scale social restriction," Amzulian said.

A verification team will analyze every complaint, and if it's within the Ombudsman's power to investigate it, they will do so immediately.  

People can also file complaints on incidents that happened before the online center was established, he said.

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