Sorong, Southwest Papua (ANTARA) - Acting Governor of Southwest Papua Muhammad Musa'ad encouraged officials of six districts and cities in the province to pay attention to indigenous communities of Papua through preferential programs.

"I ask the district heads and mayors to pay attention to indigenous peoples through the favoritism programs," Musa'ad said, during a meeting with customary leaders in Sorong on Wednesday.

According to Musa'ad, the provincial and district/city governments have their respective responsibilities in paying attention to indigenous peoples in Southwest Papua.

He admitted that the empowerment and preferential programs for indigenous peoples in the province have not been running optimally.

He said favoring indigenous people in Papua is mandated in the Special Autonomy Law.

"I know the formulation of protection for indigenous people in the Special Autonomy Law, but honestly, until now it has not worked well," Musa'ad said.

Musa'ad said there are several important aspects of the Special Autonomy Law, including the protection of the rights of indigenous Papuans, affirmative and favoritism programs, and empowerment programs.

He wants Southwest Papua to become a role model for other regions in Papua, in terms of providing affirmative programs for indigenous peoples.

"I want us in Southwest Papua to be a model on how to protect indigenous peoples," he said.

He also said he expects that there will be priority programs that can reach indigenous communities.

Moreover, he mentioned that 10 percent of the Revenue Sharing Fund (DBH) program is allocated for the empowerment of indigenous peoples.

"For example, the DBH is Rp56 billion, then around Rp5.6 billion of it is allocated for the empowerment of indigenous peoples," he added.

However, the budget is not distributed directly to the people, but is used to hold productive activities to support the empowerment of indigenous people in the province.

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Translator: Yuvensius B, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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