Wamena, Jubi – Fuel shortages including gasoline, diesel and kerosene and high prices of basic commodities in Jayawijaya have sparked a public protest in Papua Highlands.
Motorcycle taxi drivers and supporters held rally in front of the local parliament office on Monday (2/11/2015), urging the local parliament and Jayawijaya Regional Government to stabilize the ‘choking’ prices that have lasted for few last days.
The Coordinator of Protest, Muli Wetipo, said the shortages of fuel and basic commodities often occur in Jayawijaya since 2002. He thought this increase was allegedly connected with the interest of the political elites and business providers.
“Since 2002 the shortages and price increases on fuel and basic commodities are always occurred, what is actually happening? Why does the government always not have any solution?” he said. Further he said it makes the people suffered. Just imagine, now gasoline is sold for Rp 50 to 80 thousand per litter. He also asked the government to abolish the coupon system for subsidized fuel because it is considered as mafia practice of fuel market.
“The government needs to review and reduce the price of non-subsidized fuel or fuel for industry use. It also must reduce the price off basic commodities and adjust quota for fuel. The government should give free access of permits to the airlines to be operated in Jayawijaya. He also urged the government and local parliament to provide free access to the non-subsidized or industry-use fuel suppliers,” he said.
In the protest, the airlines representatives and the Head of Jayawijaya Trade, Industry and Cooperation Office has given time to answer the people’s aspiration. But, a protester said there is confusion about the quota of subsidized fuel, which is the Head of Trade, Industry and Cooperation Office, said the quota of subsidized fuel for Jayawijaya is 680,000 litter per month. It’s different with the statement of his deputy and the Head of Trade Department. “Whose statements are true? Whether those are from different office?” said a protester.
They also urged the local parliament to facilitate a meeting with all parties to discuss about the shortages and high prices in Jayawijaya. The Head of Jayawijaya Regional Council, Taufik Petrus Latuihamallo explained the parliament is currently tracking this case. The parliament also ready to accommodate the meeting to discuss about the current situation. Within a or few days the parliament will invited the representatives of Trade, Industry and Cooperation Office and airlines for prices calculation.
“We are prepared, but give us times to get the price calculation that currently considered as burden by people,” he said. (Islami/rom)