Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian has issued the Instruction of Home Affairs Minister No. 2 of 2023 regarding the handling of air pollution in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek).¹

The ministry's director general of regional administration, Safrizal ZA, informed here Wednesday that the instruction is a follow-up to the directives issued by President Joko Widodo during a limited meeting on air pollution in Jakarta on August 14, 2023.

He described the instruction as a set of directives that will need to be implemented by all regional leaders in the Jabodetabek area, including the governors of Jakarta, Banten, and West Java.

"Regional leaders are urged to make adjustments to the working system in offices, including by equally adopting both work-from-home and work-from-office schemes for civil servants as well as employees of state-owned and region-owned enterprises," he added.

However, he said that employees whose jobs are directly related to essential public services will be excluded from the scheme.

Through the instruction, Minister Karnavian also appealed to regional governments in Jabodetabek to encourage private sector employees and business actors to participate in the working system adjustment efforts, he added.

Safrizal further elaborated that the implementation of hybrid work is expected to reduce public mobility, which has been held responsible for worsening air quality, considering that most people tend to rely on private vehicles for routine activities.

He also asked regions to promote the use of mass transportation and electric vehicles among residents while noting that the transportation sector has contributed to the deteriorating air quality in Jabodetabek.

"The minister instructed regional leaders to improve public transportation services' quality by reviewing the capacity and number of mass transports, adding more routes and pick-up points, handling disruptions occurring on dedicated bus lanes, and subsidizing tickets to encourage people to switch to mass transport," he elaborated.

Furthermore, the minister called for making even greater efforts to supervise motorized vehicle emission test compliance and disseminating information on the various conveniences offered by the government to those using low-emission or electric vehicles, he said.

To control emissions and apply green solutions, the minister instructed regions to ban open dump burning activities, control pollution generated from construction activities, water streets to reduce dust, plant more trees in public spaces, and take weather engineering measures, he informed.

"It is necessary for regional governments to improve industrial waste management by tightening supervision, encouraging the use of scrubber valves, rejuvenating equipment, promoting the use of renewable energy in industries, and obliging all vehicle owners to carry out emission tests," he added.

He then highlighted the importance of strengthening coordination among all related parties and optimizing the functions of the Public Order Security Agency (Satpol PP) for enforcing regional regulations concerning air pollution control.

"The collaboration and solidity among regional leaders are of the essence to implement this instruction," he added.

With regard to financing, regions that have not allocated a budget for controlling pollution can propose an adjustment in their regional budgets by requesting funding for unexpected expenditures, he added.

"We should take concrete actions to implement the instruction while taking into account the importance of ensuring that the actions do not disrupt the regions' economic revival momentum in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era," he said.

The minister's instruction came into effect on Tuesday (August 22).

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Translator: Narda M, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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