February 4, 2021, 05.23 PM
Social Affairs Minister Tri Rismaharini makes hand gestures symbolizing respect during a meeting with the House of Representatives in Jakarta on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. ANTARA FOTO/Rivan Awal LinggaSocial Affairs Minister Tri Rismaharini makes hand gestures symbolizing respect during a meeting with the House of Representatives in Jakarta on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - The Ministry of Social Affairs has allocated 45 trillion rupiahs ($3.2 billion) to provide staple foods for families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic this year. 

The initiative is part of the government-funded social assistance programs to accelerate national economic recovery. The other two programs comprise Family Hope Program (PKH) and Cash Social Assistance (BST). 

"The Ministry of Social Affairs has allocated 45 trillion rupiahs [$3.2 billion] for the staple food assistance program in collaboration with the Himbara (the Association of State-Owned Banks) and PT Pos Indonesia [state-owned postal service firm]," said Social Minister expert staff Sonny Manalu, on Wednesday, February 3.

Also read: Finance Ministry Disburses Cash Transfers to 700,000 Indonesian MSMEs

Sonny said besides the staple food assistance, the Ministry has also allocated 12 trillion rupiahs ($853.9 million) for the BST program and 20 trillion rupiahs ($1.4 billion) for the PKH assistance this year.

"The BST program will be distributed to recipients who are affected by the Covid-19, not the PKH program recipients nor the staple food recipients," he said, adding that the BST program will be distributed directly by PT Pos Indonesia from January to April. 

Face recognition technology

A new way has been chosen to disburse the Cash Social Assistance to the recipients. The Ministry is setting up a face recognition system for the BST recipients at PT Pos.

The face recognition system can easily detect the recipients whether they have received the fund assistance.

Head of the BST Task Force at PT Pos Indonesia, Haris Husein, said that the implementation of such a system will not require an identification card at the time of distribution as their details have been recorded in the system. 

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