Hey Indo! – Indonesia must implement policies for anticipating and mitigating the new variant of the coronavirus called Omicron, or B.1.1.529, as early as possible, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said.

The mitigation must be taken seriously to support the structural reform program and national economic recovery, he added.

“The Omicron variant has emerged and we must increase our vigilance. Anticipation and mitigation need to be prepared as early as possible,” Widodo remarked during the submission of the Budget Allocation List (DIPA) and the 2022 Book of Allocations for Fund Transfers to Regions and Villages in a meeting at the State Palace on Monday.

He asked the ranks of the central and regional governments to remain vigilant, saying the COVID-19 pandemic has not ended yet. The spread of the coronavirus still remains a threat to the world, including Indonesia, he added.

The 2022 State Budget (APBN) has been prepared as a fiscal instrument that is responsive, anticipatory, and flexible to help the nation face the uncertainty of the pandemic, he emphasized. The 2022 APBN also accommodates several innovations and anticipates various changes that can occur, with good financial and administrative governance, he added.

In addition, the President said that the 2022 APBN also seeks to revive the national economy and continue the structural reform agenda.

“The 2022 state budget has a central role,” he added.

The 2022 State Budget contains six main policies, he noted. First, continuing the COVID-19 handling policy while still prioritizing the health sector, he said. Second, maintaining the sustainability of social protection programs for the poor and vulnerable, he added.

Third, building superior human resources, the President said. Fourth, continuing with infrastructure development and technology adaptability, he informed. Fifth, strengthening fiscal decentralization to increase and distribute welfare among regions, he added.

“The last one: continue budgeting reform by implementing zero-based budgeting to make budget spending more efficient,” Widodo explained.

Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker Bambang Soesatyo, head of the State Audit Board (BPK) Agung Firman Sampurna, National Police chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander General Andika Perkasa, and several ministers from Indonesia Maju cabinet joined the meeting with the President.