Sorong, Southwest Papua (ANTARA) - The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) has praised Southwest Papua's elderly protection program called Paitua.

"Bappenas appreciates this strategic step because the government is making efforts to prioritize the elderly community," said Adhi Rachman, Director of Poverty Reduction and Community Empowerment at Bappenas, on Friday.

He explained that the Paitua Program is a strategic measure to reduce the poverty rate in the region.

He emphasized that the program is in line with Presidential Regulation No. 88 of 2021 on the National Strategy for Senior Citizens.

"Indonesia is preparing to enter an aging society, where the number of elderly people will increase, and this could lead to an increase in poverty," Rachman stated.

The Paitua Program is expected to assist the elderly in maintaining independence and prosperity, thus helping to reduce the poverty rate in the region.

On a separate occasion, Acting Governor of Southwest Papua, Muhammad Musa'ad, explained that the provincial government will provide assistance to 22,448 elderly individuals aged 65 and above through the Paitua Program.

"Each elderly person will receive a monthly cash allowance of Rp150 thousand (around US$10), which will be sourced from the provincial budget," explained Musa'ad.

The program will prioritize indigenous Papuans as part of the implementation of the Special Autonomy Law.

According to Musa'ad, the regional government needs to facilitate several senior citizens in Southwest Papua.

"This program will begin in August 2023," he stated.

The Southwest Papua Provincial Government is currently preparing various steps for the program, including the conceptualization, business process, regulations, and institutional aspects.

"In the near future, we will coordinate with district and city governments for data collection," he remarked.

Comprehensive data collection and verification should be conducted to ensure accurate recording of program beneficiaries.

"We will work together to prepare all aspects in order to optimize the program's implementation," affirmed Musa'ad.

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Translator: Yuvensius B, Kenzu
Editor: Anton Santoso
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