Jakarta (ANTARA) - The renewed Papua special autonomy law is helping local governments in Papua to fulfill the basic rights of customary law communities in the province, Jayapura city government's secretary, Frans Pekey, has said.

"The rights of the customary law communities must absolutely be fulfilled through a variety of development programs, as stipulated in the renewed Papua special autonomy law," he told ANTARA in a telephonic interview from Jakarta on Thursday.

The Jayapura city administration and other local governments in Papua could use the law as a legal foundation for meeting the rights of native Papuans as members of customary law communities, he said.

As mandated by the law, Papua's indigenous communities have the right to receive administrative, education, and health services, economy, housing and settlement facilities, and social assistance, Pekey said.

The native Papuans' customary land ownership right is also recognized, he said, adding that the special autonomy funds would be used for developing the socio-economic, customary, and cultural potential of all regions.

In Jayapura city, there are 10 "ondoafi", or leaders of tribal communities from 14 villages, he noted. They are not only recognized by members of customary law communities, but also by the city's administration and residents, he said.

The customary law communities are regarded as one of the most important pillars and partners for the Jayapura city administration to carry out its regional development agenda, he said.

Therefore, the Jayapura city government is engaging and maintaining good communication with the tribal leaders, he added.

Related news: Papua, West Papua welcome revised special autonomy law

After several months of deliberations, the House of Representatives (DPR) ratified the bill amending the Papua Special Autonomy Law No.21 of 2001 during a plenary session on July 15, 2021.

The bill accommodates 18 revised chapters and two new chapters, according to the head of the House's Special Committee for Amending the Papua Special Autonomy Law, Komarudin Watubun.

The enacted bill has accommodated the need to regulate the privileges of indigenous Papuans in the political, education, health, labor, and economic sectors, as well as to support customary communities, he said.

It offers more room to native Papuans to get involved in politics and in such organizations as the Papuan People's Assembly (MRP) and Papua legislative councils (DPRK) in districts/cities.

At least 250 seats will now be reserved for native Papuans in district- and city-level Papua legislative councils (DPRK), Watubun disclosed. At the same time, 30 percent of the DPRK seats will be reserved for native Papuan women, he added.

Related news: Hope new autonomy law accommodates Papuan people's interests: DPRP
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Translator: Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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