Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated that the government can increase social assistance if there are surplus funds in the state budget (APBN).

"If the state budget has surplus, it (the social assistance) will be increased," Jokowi remarked while handing over social assistance to beneficiaries at the Jailolo Post Office, West Halmahera, North Maluku, on Wednesday.

The head of state handed over assistance worth Rp1.2 million, direct cash assistance of Rp300 thousand for purchasing fuel oil each for September and October, and essential goods assistance.

Jokowi advised all recipients to use social assistance productively.

"I give this to be used for productive things, (such as for) for school and for children's nutrition, (but) do not buy a mobile phone, balance, or new clothes," he emphasized.

Based on data from the Social Affairs Ministry, some 11,466 beneficiary families in West Halmahera District are eligible for fuel cash assistance, and as of September 26, 2022, its realization has reached 76.83 percent, or 8,847 families.

During the assistance handover activity, the president was accompanied by Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah, Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Governor of North Maluku Abdul Ghani Kasuba, and West Halmahera District Deputy Head Djufri Muhammad.

Earlier, the head of state arrived in West Halmahera District aboard the Air Force's Super Puma Helicopter from Ternate, North Maluku.

West Halmahera District Head James Uang and West Halmahera Legislative Council (DPRD) Chairperson Charles Richard Gustam greeted the president upon his arrival at the Sasadulamo Field.

The president approached the public first before getting into a vehicle to head to the working visit site.

Earlier, on Tuesday (September 27), Jokowi stated that the distribution of cash assistance for purchasing fuel (BLT BBM) had reached 95.9 percent.

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Translator: Indra P, Kenzu T
Editor: Sri Haryati
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