"The purchase of this rubberized asphalt is part of the ministry's mitigation efforts to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono noted in a press statement that ANTARA received here Tuesday.
The farmers' rubber commodity will be purchased by the ministry's National Road Management Agency in several cities, including Medan, Palembang, Padang, Lampung, Banjarmasin, Pontianak, and Balikpapan, he remarked.
The National Road Management Agency in the cities will buy the rubber from members of the Processing and Marketing of Processed Rubber Material Group of Farmers, he stated.
The ministry has frequently used rubberized asphalt for paving roads in various areas, including certain road sections of Ciawi-Sukabumi, Ajibarang-Banyumas-Klampok-Banjarnegara, and Muara Beliti-Musi Rawas-Tebing Tinggi-Lahat.
Hadimuljono revealed that the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry had allocated a budget of Rp100 billion to purchase the 10 thousand tons of rubber for rubberized asphalt.
ANTARA noted that to maintain the purchasing power of members of the low-income community amid this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry will also intensify manpower-intensive infrastructure projects in different parts of Indonesia.
In implementing these labor-intensive infrastructure projects to maintain the purchasing power of people from the low-income group and to reduce unemployment, the social distancing measures will consistently be enacted to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
"The manpower-intensive infrastructure projects are also aimed at boosting economic growth and distributing funds to villages and rural areas," Hadimuljono noted in his recent press statement.
With budget totaling Rp10 trillion, the projects cover seven programs, including the Irrigation System Accelerated Program (P3-TGAI), Socio-Economic Regional Infrastructure Development Program (PISEW), and Reduced, Reused, and Recycled Waste Management Sites (TPS3R), he stated.
The coronavirus outbreak initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 and thereafter spread across the globe, including to countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Indonesian government officially announced the country's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020, and has declared the COVID-19 pandemic as Indonesia's national disaster.
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