The Jakarta Post
Social Affairs Minister Idrus Marham said his ministry had almost completed the first stage of the distribution of the government-funded social assistance Family Hope Program (PKH) for this year.
“In the beginning of February, the Social Affairs Ministry, together with the House of Representatives' Commission VIII [which oversees social affairs], visited several regions, and it can be confirmed that the distribution of the social aid has gone smoothly,” Idrus said in a press conference on Monday.
Families who are part of the PKH each receive Rp 1.89 million (US$137.40) worth in assistance annually, which is distributed in four phases: Rp 500,000 each in February, May and August, and Rp 390,000 in November.
The aid is transferred to the families’ bank accounts by members of the Association of State-Owned Banks (Himbara), which includes Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Mandiri, Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN).
“For the first phase of the PKH, we have distributed the aid to 98.25 percent out of 9.5 million aid-receiving households,” state lender BNI’s managing director of institutional relations and transactional banking, Adi Sulistyowati said.
“The remaining 2 percent consists of households that have not yet disbursed the aid, have moved to other areas or have passed away,” she said.
Adi further said as of March 11, about 80.26 percent of the households who received the aid had withdrawn it from their accounts.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Thursday that he wanted to increase the reach of the PKH to 15 million households in 2019, but Idrus said the program’s expansion was still under discussion.
“We will only discuss the draft budget [for 2019] in April or May; we will see then what the projection is,” he said. (kmt/ebf)