OPINION – The Ministry of Home Affairs disbursed Rp168 billion in funds to local governments in the context of giving prizes that won the new normal innovation video competition.
This competition was held to create a joint national movement to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian said that the figure was given in the form of regional incentive funds (DID) to 84 winning regional governments.
The participating local governments were asked to send a 2-minute video. The video contains a simulation of a health protocol created by involving health experts and working with local stakeholders.
The assessment team, in addition to the Ministry of Home Affairs, are from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Industries, the Ministry of Trade, the National Disaster Management Agency and the Task Force for the Acceleration of Handling COVID-19.
The first winner gets a prize of IDR 3 billion, the second winner is IDR 2 billion, and the third winner is IDR 1 billion. With four clusters for the seven fields contested, a total prize of Rp. 168 billion was obtained.
The video contest is divided into seven sectors in four clusters (provinces, cities, districts, and underdeveloped districts). Among these are the traditional market sector, modern markets, restaurants, hotels, one-stop integrated services, tourist attractions, and public transportation. The winner was announced last Monday, June 22, 2020.
Not yet there, the Ministry of Home Affairs will hold another competition, how to flatten the Covid-19 curve for local governments.
In this competition, the central government will measure which regions have reduced the curve the fastest in the last one or two months.
The winner of the competition will receive a prize in the form of regional incentive funds from the Ministry of Finance. Regarding the technical aspects of the competition, Tito admitted that it was still being formulated together with the Task Force for the Acceleration of Co-19 Handling, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance.
Seeing from the first competition about new normal innovation videos, of course, the prize amount was huge.
This video competition actually led to criticism from a number of parties.
The problem is, how is the budget that should be used for things that need more urgency.
Actually, this innovation video competition is good to be a motivation for each region to be more creative and show their struggle in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
The hope is how people can better understand what is new normal and how to stay healthy and safe in the midst of a pandemic.
However, this could be inappropriate because if we see the prizes given to winners who were judged to be more creative in making videos, while other regions that are “less creative” and did not win and really needed an injection of funds for handling Covid-19 were not getting helped.
The prize budget of Rp. 168 billion, it would be better if it could be directly allocated to sectors that really needed it, such as health, economy, public facilities, and education in a number of areas that did need it.
Besides, previously Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani had projected that funds to handle the spread of the coronavirus and national economic recovery (PEN) had jumped to Rp905.1 trillion. The amount increased significantly from the previous set of Rp677 trillion.
The increase in funds handling the spread of the coronavirus and the recovery of the national economy will make the State Budget (APBN) deficit 2020 increasingly swell.
Awarding of the New Normal Order Regional Innovation Competition