"Allocation of village funds has continued to increase from Rp20.7 trillion in 2015 for 74,800 villages across the country from Sabang to Merauke and from Miangas to Pulau Rote to Rp47 trillion in 2016, Rp60 trillion in 2017 and Rp60 trillion in 2018 to totally reach Rp187 trillion so far," he said during a meeting with Babinsa members from the Sriwijaya Military Command II, the Iskandar Muda Military Command and the Bukit Barisan Military Command I here on Sunday.
"What it means?. It means there has been a gap between cities and villages. Money circulation in Jakarta and its vicinities reaches around 60 percent. With the village funds we hope money circulation in villages and sub-districts will increase. Therefore I appeal to village heads to conduct purchases in their respective villages," he said.
The village funds, he said, could be used for building bridges, irrigation network, rural roads and other projects.
"So buy materials in the villages. If they do not find the materials needed in their village they may turn to neighboring villages or sub-districts but never go outside them or back to Jakarta," he said.
He said the village funds had been proven improving the welfare of the village people as seen by the decreasing poverty rate in the village fron 13.47 percent to 13.2 percent.
"Once again, never let the funds go out of the village but assure they circulate in the village to be used to build irrigation network, buy sand or gravels or cement. A village head once said to me that the price of cement in his village is Rp5,000 higher. I said it is alright so long as the funds are used to buy items in their village," he said.
Jokowi said development of at least 158,000 village roads so far, in addition to 39,000 irrigation units, 18,000. health service centers, 46,000 early childhood education (PAUD) program and 6,900 rural marketplaces, have been funded using village funds.
"Our orientation has now been shifted to village development due to the existing gap between cities and villages. In view of that the Trans-Papua road development project would continue to be carried out," he said.
He said Indonesia must carry out development because it is the prerequisite due a developing country to become an advanced country.
Reporting by Desca Lidya Natalia
Editing by Yoseph Hariyadi