Due to the central government’s One Fuel Price Policy, people in West Papua finally can purchase fuel with similar price in the other regions in Indonesia. As we know, the price of fuels in Papua can be very expensive. It is not a strange sight to see fuels sold up to 100,000 Rupiah in Papua while the real price is not even touch 10,000 Rupiah.
Expensive fuel price is actually not only the problem of West Papua. The other frontier, outermost and least developed regions (3T) in Indonesia also face the same issue even though the price of the fuels in those areas never reaches the level of West Papua. To solve this problem, as a part of One Price Policy, the government has set 29 official fuel supplier points in the 3T regions whose responsibility is to supply sufficient fuels in those areas so that the price can be controlled. Among the 29 points, thirteen are located in Papua and West Papua.
Why Fuel Price in West Papua is Higher
The high fuel price in West Papua, and also the other frontier, outermost and least developed regions, is not an easy problem to solve. There are so many issues that complicate this problem. The main reason why the fuel price in 3T area is extremely expensive is due to high distribution cost.
Distribution issue becomes more complicated in West Papua not only because the location is very far, but also because of the province’s geographical condition. West Papua is dominated by mountains, and despite of the acceleration of physical infrastructure development, it is still extremely hard to reach the remote locations.
Pertamina needs to use plane to reach the most secluded areas. Plane is neither the cheapest nor the ideal modes of transportations to distribute fuel. But due to the lack of infrastructure and also the terrain of the area, plane is the best choice. Furthermore, the buyers also have to bear the burden of high distribution cost hence the expensive price.
One Price Fuel Policy to Benefit the People in West Papua
One Price Fuel Policy is created solely to benefit the people in West Papua. Actually, Pertamina suffers a tremendous amount of loss as the result of this policy. According to Dwi Soetjipto, the director of Pertamina, Pertamina suffers approximately 800 billion Rupiah of loss to support this policy. This is because the company needs to bear the high cost of fuel distribution to West Papua. However, this policy is carried on because the extremely high fuel difference between Papua and the other regions in Indonesia is an injustice for the people, and the government doesn’t want the people in Papua to face such injustice.
To bring the policy into realization, the government opens SPBU (gas station) Kompak that sells fuels with the same price with the fuel price in Java. The newest SPBU Kompak was recently opened in Suasapor subdistrict, Tambrauw. The new gas station was very welcomed by Tambrauw residents. This is mainly because the fuel price in this remote area used to reach 20,000 Rupiah per liter.
To supply fuels to Tambrauw, Pertamina needs to send the fuels from the nearest terminal that is in Sorong. This is not an easy journey because of the condition of the roads that lead to Tambrauw. Since the roads are pretty narrow, Pertamina cannot use big fuel trucks. As a result, smaller trucks with a capacity of 2.5 kiloliter are used, which actually is not the most efficient because it needs several trips.
One Fuel Price Policy was launched in 2016 and since then, nine remote areas in West Papua have enjoyed low price fuels. The policy is planned to be implemented in 148 locations all over Indonesia and 33 of them are located in Papua and West Papua, which is the most compared to other provinces.
Besides Tambrauw, there are two other locations in West Papua that recently feel the benefit of One Fuel Price Policy. The first one is Anggi sub district, Arfak Mountains and the second one is Moswaren sub district, South Sorong. The initial prices of fuels in those areas are around 12,000 to 30,000 Rupiah so the lower price is certainly very helpful for them.
Fuels are an inseparable part of people’s daily activity in this modern era. High fuel price really put so many burdens to the residents of West Papua. But now that the price of the fuel is the same with the price in Java, it is hoped that the economy in West Papua can be improved, especially from fishery sector. Most fishermen in West Papua still use traditional boat because they cannot afford gas and solar to fuel their speed boat. Since the price of fuel has become much cheaper now, fishery and also other potential sectors in West Papua can take advantage of modern technology which can help increasing their productivity.