Fri, 11 Feb 2000

Governor rejects plan for PPD management handover

JAKARTA (JP): Governor Sutiyoso rejected on Thursday the House of Representatives (DPR) plan to transfer the management of the state-owned city bus company PPD to the city administration as the company is in poor financial condition.

"We will gladly accept the transfer as it's in line with 1999 Law No. 22 on Regional Autonomy, but not at current conditions when the company has a huge debt," he told reporters at City Hall.

The company reportedly has incurred some Rp 49.6 billion (US$6.79 million) debt to cover its operating costs.

"We want the debts to be settled first before it is transferred to the city administration.

"We intend to provide better management to PPD once the company is transferred to us. It's our priority to provide a representative public transportation to the residents," he said.

Data at the city administration shows PPD was once managed by the administration for almost 10 years from Sept. 1, 1961 to Dec. 31, 1980.

Members of House Commission IV on Infrastructure and Transportation Affairs suggested on Wednesday that the management of PPD should be transferred from the central government to the city administration.

They said it was unfair for the central government to manage the firm as it only serves city residents.

Legislator Ali Hardi Kiaidemak of the United Development Party (PPP) said it was unfair that PPD, which was funded by the State Budget (APBN), only served residents of Jakarta.

Another member, Muhammad Akil of the Golkar Party, said city transportation was never managed by the central government, and good public transportation was a good way to represent a successful governor or mayor to countries such as Japan and the United States.

City Council speaker Edy Waluyo shared Sutiyoso's stance, saying PPD's debt was the responsibility of the central government.

"The central government asked for the loan, so it should repay the debt before it transfers PPD to the city administration," he said.

Head of City Traffic and Land Transportation Agency Buyung Atang said more than half of PPD's buses were inactive because of the company's poor condition.

"PPD has more than 2,000 buses but there are only some 600 buses in operation nowadays," he said, adding that the company served 58 routes in the city.

The company's buses are known for their poor appearance, especially those in economy class service.

Buses of other classes, especially those equipped with air conditioners (AC), have slightly better appearance as they impose higher tariffs. Passengers only pay Rp 700 for non-AC restricted buses (PATAS) and Rp 2,300 for AC restricted (PATAS AC) buses. (05)