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Experts: Jakarta’s air quality issue requires holistic approach beyond WFH

Despite DKI Jakarta’s work-from-home (WFH) policy, experts from the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) assert that air quality improvements have been minimal. The policy fails to target root sources of pollution, demanding broader interventions for lasting change.




INDONESIA: The recent work-from-home (WFH) policy introduced by the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government appears to have fallen short in its efforts to significantly improve the air quality in the region.

According to analyst Katherine Hasan from the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), the policy fails to address the fundamental sources of air pollution, thus rendering it ineffective.

Katherine emphasizes that the authorities should prioritize tackling the primary contributors to air pollution in Jakarta.

“While the issue of air pollution in Jakarta cannot be attributed solely to one factor, like commuting, the policy of WFH has shown no notable reduction in pollution levels,” stated Katherine in a press release on Friday (25 Aug).

She asserts that Jakarta’s air quality woes stem from a multitude of sources, necessitating a cross-province approach to mitigation. This includes enforcing stringent emission standards for coal-fired power plants, industries, and transportation systems.

“Ultimately, a collaborative effort at the inter-provincial and national levels is indispensable to effectively address the core contributors to air pollution,” added Katherine.

In response to the recent decline in air quality within Jakarta and its environs, several governmental measures have been enacted.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has stipulated that government offices in Jakarta and surrounding regions must adopt a WFH arrangement for 50 per cent of their civil service workforce.

This directive is articulated in the Instruction of the Minister of Home Affairs (Inmendagri) Number 2 of 2023, outlining measures for controlling air pollution in the Jakarta and its surrounding area.

Director General of Regional Administration, Syafrizal ZA, remarked, “To curtail vehicular emissions, local authorities are advised to recalibrate work regulations, thereby advocating for a balanced implementation of WFH and work from office (WFO) modes, each accommodating 50 per cent of civil servants within regional administrative bodies, State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN), and Regional Owned Enterprises (BUMD).”

This statement was issued in a press release last Wednesday (23 Aug).

Since August 21 2023, the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government has enforced this policy for 50 percent of its civil service personnel.

Acting Governor of DKI Jakarta, Heru Budi Hartono, expressed optimism about private sector participation, urging businesses to join in alleviating congestion and pollution concerns.

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