Reducing Social Vulnerability During Large-Scale Social Restrictions

In line with the Jakarta Provincial government’s policy to curb the spread of Covid-19, ACT strives to assist the needy and the impoverished during the second Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) by continuing its humanitarian efforts in providing food, financial and medical assistance.

Reducing Social Vulnerability During Large-Scale Social Restrictions' photo
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Aksi Cepat Tanggap has endeavored to assist the poor and needy through the Free Meal Operation program in collaboration with restaurants. Apart from food, ACT also provides medical assistance, including PPE distribution and aid provision for healthcare workers and their families. (ACTNews / Reza Mardhani)

ACTNews, JAKARTA – Jakarta Provincial Government reinstates Large-Scale Social Restriction (PSBB) that will be in effect on Monday (9/14) and will last for two weeks and will presumably be lifted on September 28. The PSBB can be extended if the increase of the Covid-19 cases does not slow down.

The second PSBB has inevitably impacted economic, religious, and education sector. During the PSBB, public transport and travel is restricted. Public facilities are fully and partially closed, including schools and educational institutions, resorts and recreational facilities, city parks and RPTRA, public sports facilities, and wedding reception venues.

According to sociologist Syaifudin, the reinstatement of PSBB in DKI Jakarta has impacts on the social and economic conditions of underprivileged communities. “Many of these underprivileged people work in the informal sector. They sell goods and services that depend on people's purchases. With the reinstatement of PSBB, their income will certainly be reduced,” explained Syaifudin when contacted by ACTNews, Monday (9/14).

Syaifudin continued, in this condition, non-governmental organizations could play a role as partners to the government. He further mentioned, credible humanitarian agencies who manage public donations can help the government stimulate social assistance to reduce social vulnerability that can appear during the second PSBB.

Accountable social institutions with a social vision can also distribute social assistance to accelerate the distribution of aid and to help the government.

Syaifudin further mentioned, NGOs can also play an independent role. “[By] collecting funds from people who happen to have more wealth or whose income are not severely affected by the PSBB. These funds can be managed through philanthropic activities to be distributed to communities affected by the PSBB, "suggested the UNJ lecturer.

The reinstatement of the PSBB worries small-business owners. Tati Royati, a home-scale baker, admitted that, initially, her micro-business community planned to open a product marketing space. Due to the second PSBB, she has to postpone the plan and market her products from home again.

On the other hand, Tati wants to take advantage of this PSBB by promoting her products online and teaching in online baking classes. "Alhamdulillah, I immediately received an invitation to teach how to bake through an online app. I hope that, slowly but surely, my product will be known to the public,” Tati told ACTNews, Monday (9/14) afternoon.

ACT medical team distributing masks to passers-by in Fatmawati area, South Jakarta, Monday (8/31/2020). (ACTNews)

Health Protocol must be maintained

Contacted separately, in order for the second PSBB to succeed, Dr. Mohammad Riedha of ACT medical team advised the community to comply with the health protocol by wearing masks, maintaining cleanliness, and maintaining distance.

“Don't travel for things that are not urgent. We, Aksi Cepat Tanggap, have made efforts to provide support for the medical team on duty and to educate the public. We support the government's efforts in suppressing the transmission of Covid-19,” stated dr. Riedha.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, ACT has continued to carry out various humanitarian actions through the Free Food Operation, Free Rice Operation, distribution of PPE packages and other aid for healthcare workers, and the provision of business capital to ultra-micro businesses. []