Jakarta

City to embrace newcomers
as legal residents

The Jakarta administration is expecting population to spike as the city gets ready to register migrants as legal residents, following an instruction by the Home Ministry.

City Population and Civil Registration Agency chief Purba Hutapea said on Wednesday that the ministry had issued an instruction to register Indonesians who have lived in Jakarta for more than a year as city residents, although they might have not processed migration documents from their hometowns.

“The migrating documents are not needed, but they need to bring reference letters from the chiefs of RT and RW [neighborhood and community units] respective to their current address,” Purba told reporters at City Hall.

However, Purba said, the city was worried that by registering migrants, the administration would balloon its population burden.

“We are talking about a sudden addition of hundreds of thousands of people, even millions,” he said.

The population spike would result in more required funding for public services like education, health and infrastructure.

“It will definitely affect the budget,” Purba said.

The Home Ministry’s instruction was issued on Dec. 30 and was intended for all regions in the country.

Before the issuance of the instruction, in order to register as newcomers to the city, migrant residents should have enclosed reference letters from their respective neighborhood units and housing providers, migration documents from his hometown district, and an employment letter, or birth certificate or marriage certificate.

Separately on Wednesday, Home Ministry spokesman Reydonnyzar Moenek confirmed the instruction issuance but declined to speak further on the issue.

According to the agency, Jakarta had a population of 10.1 million people as of Nov. 1, up from 9.6 million based on data from the 2010 nationwide census and civil registration data recorded throughout 2011.

The agency will register the migrants under the ongoing electronic identity (e-ID) data collection and card distribution.

“The deadline to include the migrants into the program is the end of October this year, but we are going to focus on Jakarta residents in the e-ID programs,” said Sulistyo Prabowo, the agency’s head of its technology and information division.

The city administration has only less than three weeks before the deadline for the completion of the e-ID data collection stage.

The administration had been able to collect identification data from around 5.5 million people from a target of around 7.4 million.

The Home Ministry had allowed the city administration to push back its deadline for the registration period for the electronic ID cards for Jakarta residents from December 2011 to April 2012.

Sulistyo said that the administration had barely made any progress in data collection in recent weeks.

“Unlike during the early months of the program, now there are less and less people coming to their local subdistrict office to register,” he said.

There is no punishment or sanction slapped on residents for failing to register for e-ID cards. “I think this is why the people are not motivated to register themselves,” Sulistyo said.

As part of the data collection process, residents were to visit their local subdistrict offices to provide basic information and have their biometric data recorded. The information would then be sent to the ministry database to be validated.

The e-ID program was scheduled for all 267 subdistrict offices in Jakarta and 197 regencies and municipalities across the country, in the middle of last year.

The central government has targeted to establish a single identity number for every citizen and distribute e-ID cards to more than 105 million citizens by the end of 2012.

The electronic card will have a chip that contains information on marital status, blood type, parent names, employment, disabilities, birth and divorce certificate, and date of birth among others.

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