Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), accompanied by First Lady Iriana, embarked on a working visit to East Java Province to hand out three thousand land certificates to the local people in Gresik, East Java province among other things.

Presidential aircraft Indonesia-1, with the presidential entourage on board, departed from the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base on Thursday at 7:45 a.m. local time for the Juanda International Airport in Sidoarjo District, East Java.

Before their visit to Gresik, the president and first lady attended a wedding ceremony of the daughter of K.H. Miftachul Akhyar Abdul Ghoni, rais am (chairman of the advisory board) of Indonesia's largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), and the son of KH Ali Ridho in Surabaya, Bey Machmudin, a spokesman of the Presidential Secretariat, noted a statement.

Jokowi and his entourage were scheduled to return to Jakarta on Thursday afternoon.

Members of the entourage comprised Minister/State Secretary Pratikno, Agrarian Minister/Chairman of the National Agrarian Agency (BPN) Sofyan Djalil, and Commander of the Presidential Security Guards (Paspampres) Major General Maruli Simanjuntak.

In the meantime, President Jokowi had earlier reported on the government expediting the distribution of land certificates since he had received constant complaints over land disputes and agrarian matters from the public during his work visits to the regions. Jokowi pointed out that land disputes arose since the government had earlier issued just 500 thousand certificates per year.

As a result, he affirmed that out of the 126 million parcels of land in Indonesia, only 46 million had been certified as of 2015, while certificates had yet to be issued for the remaining 80 million.

“Hence, we have been accelerating the certificate issuance process since 2017. The distribution of land certificates has increased, from 500 thousand to five million in 2017, seven million certificates in 2018, and nine million certificates this year,” the president stated.

Jokowi highlighted the need for land certification for the people as a form of legal certainty and also as a means of resolving and reducing land disputes.

Translator: Bayu Prasetyo, Fardah
Editor: Bambang Purwanto
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