In the past several weeks, the government has expanded several social assistance programs for low-income citizens across the country affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Thursday that the government had made it a top priority to ensure citizens’ basic needs were met. He also expressed confidence the government could maintain the purchasing power of low-income people during the crisis.From cash transfers for Jakarta residents to financial aid for bus drivers, these are the programs the government has launched to help low-income citizens during the outbreak: Indonesia’s poor and underprivileged are at risk of slipping into destitution as the government struggles to balance the economy and adressing the public health crisis.“We are providing social assistance, especially within Greater Jakarta, so residents will refrain from going home,” said Jokowi.The government issued regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) No. 1/2020 on state financial policy and financial system stability, which stipulates a reallocation of Rp 405.1 trillion in state funds to the health sector, social safety net programs and tax incentives.The President also asked businesspeople and employers to instruct their workers not to return to their respective hometowns and called on members of the community to support underprivileged citizens.Health experts have urged the government to prevent people from returning to their hometowns for the upcoming Idul Fitri holidays to help flatten the COVID-19 curve. However, the government has only advised people not to participate in mudik, stopping short of imposing a restriction.Many regions have reported that thousands of people have been arriving from Jakarta for the past few months.Around 20 million people from around the country travel to their hometowns annually to celebrate Idul Fitri.As of Friday, the Health Ministry had recorded 1,753 confirmed cases in the capital with 154 fatalities. Nationwide, 3,512 cases and 306 deaths have been recorded.Topics : The President said he hoped the social aid would help dissuade people from participating in the annual Idul Fitri mudik (exodus), which is feared will increase the spread of the disease.Other than being an annual tradition, Jokowi said people were seeking to return to their hometowns because their businesses had been struggling or because they had lost their jobs due to the crisis.Read also: COVID-19: Jakarta begins distributing door-to-door social aid
This is the era of spell-check where people think they don’t have to know how to spell since the computer does that. No help there since the right and wrong words are both valid. There should be an Error Jar in the newsroom where both the headline person and the editor have to put in a dollar.” Ron, I’d mention this to our copy desk chief, Smiling Jack, but the last time I brought up a petty mistake he casually pulled out an old-school chrome-plated .38 and laid it on his desk without saying a word. You understand, I was scarred to death. And this from Bettylou Brennan of El Segundo: “Tony Snow, the president’s press officer, is quitting because he can’t live on $148,000 per year. Sen. Barack Obama paid $380,000 to a private security firm for bodyguards, etc., for three months. L.A. city is paying $2 million for a sixth investigation of safety at LAX. What does this say about the haves and have-nots, or at least those of us who are not yet homeless?” It says that some people got it and most don’t. And nobody is saying anything. John Mellen of Rancho Palos Verdes had this to say about my end-of-summer column: “Your delightful reflections on summer were marred by your gratuitous reference to `old hard-headed union organizers who shed blood to secure for us ? etc., etc.’ Well, not for all of us. Not for immigrants and blacks. In an op-ed in the Sept. 1-2 Wall Street Journal, Paul Moreno, professor of history at Hillsdale College and author of Black Americans and Organized Labor: A New History, notes that early labor unions were job monopolies, and most often white, Native American (non-immigrant). He notes that California unions led the campaign against Chinese immigrant labor. On the East Coast, it was European immigrants they excluded. He quotes Eugene V. Debs, socialist leader and organizer of the American Railway Union, as saying, `The Dago works for small pay and lives far more like a savage or wild beast, than the Chinese.’ And of course they excluded blacks. ?” That’s funny because all my dago ancestors were hard-headed union men and women. Now write, my brothers and sisters. I want to hear your comments. Connect with me at [email protected], call 310 543-6681 or send a letter to John Bogert/Daily Breeze, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503-4077.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Thanks,” wrote Thom of San Pedro, “for reminding me what a treasure my boys are. I have two, 15 and 14, and sometimes I need a jolt from outside to count my blessings.” Gayle Hall of Torrance e-mailed, “I’m one of those readers who especially enjoy the columns about your kids. I guess it’s because you have a way of making them universal, so they’re not just about your kids, but rather about the shared experience of bringing into the world the next generation despite having no book of instructions. “My husband and I have been fortunate to raise three kids, the youngest now age 20 and, yes, we did survive the teen years! For us, gone are the days of fundraiser wrapping paper, Cub Scouts and overly enthusiastic parents at soccer games. So it was a bit of a trip down memory lane reading today’s column, one that I plan to pass along to a friend whose son just started seventh grade. Please tell your son that this reader appreciates his poem and I have no doubt that his dreams will one day be answered.” Then there was this from Ted Simmins: “I’d like to hate your stories on children. I read them wanting to hate them because I hate your picture and that smirk that reminds me of Bush. I don’t like your suit either. I started this one this morning the same way. By the end, I called my 35-year-old son in Texas to tell him that I love him. I think I shocked him. The thing that all of us have to know is that children aren’t forever. I’m glad that you appreciate your boy while he is with you. It’s better that way than calling him at work and scaring him.” On a different topic, Ron Leuschner of Manhattan Beach wrote, “I enjoyed your latest column on hypocrisy, but opposite it right on the front page there was something that made me unhappy. It was the article about two people who survived a sinking boat. They seemed to be in good condition, but the headline said they were `scarred.’ From the story, I’d say they were plenty `scared’ but not `scarred.’ Before I get into this week’s letters, there are a pair of news items that I just have to mention because they are too wonderfully idiotic. The first concerns Hyundai Chairman Chung Mong-koo being convicted of embezzling $110,000 and sentenced to three years in jail by a South Korean court only to have the sentence overturned by a higher tribunal because, the judge said, “incarceration would put the economy at risk.” Then comes the state Legislature, which last week voted in favor of a measure that would allow condom distribution in state prison. I have nothing to say about that. I just wanted to mention it. I also want to know if condom use in state prisons violates any religious birth-control precepts. My column on my 13-year-old son’s class poem brought a number of responses, all of them from people who have raised a son.