It won’t be easy to remove inspectors

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionReferring to the Dec. 13 editorial encouraging the state to pass a law that would revoke the certification of any building inspector who is found to be guilty of misconduct, don’t think it will be a simple matter.  The certificates they are issued indicates that the candidate has attended mandatory training and that he or she has passed a test. That certification can help a local government decide if a candidate has achieved a basic level of competence. But it doesn’t end there.Don’t forget the civil service system. Who is going to fight to fire this unscrupulous worker who is entitled to due process? I guess that would have to be the local government. Lots of luck there.There are approximately 1,500 local governments in the state. Add in 60 counties and numerous state agencies that also have code enforcement responsibilities. The state is already required to train all if them. What kind of program could the financially strapped state possibly come up with to monitor, investigate and possibly litigate all of the allegations that could arise from such a program. How does one define misconduct?Was the Jay Street fire a result of misconduct or just plain stupidity? Was the inspector incompetent or was he unscrupulously guilty of misconduct. Was the inspector asked to do more than he was capable of? All of these questions will be put to a jury. How could the state rule that he was guilty of misconduct and take away his certification if the court can’t even do it.I don’t think the state would want to be in the middle of that argument.It sounds good on paper. But unless the state comes up with the money to develop and implement any kind of meaningful program, it will be doomed from the start.Don’t get your hopes up.  Roy ScottSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%last_img read more

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Insignia pilfers four from JLW

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Paternoster Square redevelopment under way

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Halladale pays 12% dividend after profit rise

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High hopes fall flat in Crawley

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On the move

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Property software + new media: surf’s up for commercial sales

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East Java’s first Posyandu for people with disabilities opens in Malang

first_imgKen said the Posyandu was established because of the difficulty that people with disabilities in the area faced in accessing health services at community health centers (Puskesmas) and hospitals.He said disabled children and adults paid an average of Rp 200,000 (US$14.63) per medical examination, not including transportation costs, which could be very burdensome for low-income families.These hurdles led the village administration to take the initiative to work together with a number of related institutions – including disability advocacy group Lingkar Sosial (Linksos) Indonesia, the Lawang district Puskesmas, and the Radjiman Wediodiningrat psychiatric hospital – to establish the Posyandu.The Puskesmas helped provide the general practitioners, midwives and Posyandu volunteers; the psychiatric hospital contributed psychiatrists; while Lingksos provided business and marketing training. The village administration, meanwhile, lent its hall to be used as a venue for the Posyandu and also provided ambulances to offer shuttle services. Village officials, healthcare providers and disability advocates have teamed up to create East Java’s first integrated health services post (Posyandu), to help people with disabilities in Bedali village, Lawang district, Malang.The Posyandu – whose services include health examinations and medication, physiotherapy, counseling, parenting, arts and crafts training, as well as shuttle services – has been available at the Bedali village hall every first Thursday of the month since December, 2019, operating from 8 a.m. to noon.“These [services] are all free,” Posyandu head Ken Karta said at the post’s opening day last week, adding that the facility had 20 staff of different backgrounds, including psychiatrists, general practitioners, midwives and volunteers. Mustajab, a 39-year-old Bedali resident, who has a daughter with a disability, said that he felt lucky that the Posyandu was there and was located only 500 meters from his house. He said he previously had to go to the Lawang psychiatric hospital to get health services for his daughter. “It’s 9 kilometers from home. I spend about Rp 150,000 per visit,” he said.Siti Kotimah, 44, who also has a daughter with a disability, echoed Mustajab’s sentiments. She said the Posyandu was even better than the hospital because she could meet with friends there to share knowledge. It also offered training and shuttle facilities.“That’s what makes it different from Lawang psychiatric hospital,” she said.To access the services at the Posyandu, residents only need to fill in the waiting list form, have their weight and waist measured, and their blood pressure checked. A staff member will then ask about their health conditions over the past month, then a physician will examine them and provide medical advice, as well prescribe medications before they are finally examined by a psychiatrist. The health services are preceded by group exercise and play sessions and the Posyandu also provides training for people with disabilities to make floor mats.Ken said that since the Posyandu opened last December, the number of disabled people registered in the village’s social welfare information system next generation (SIKS-NG) had increased tenfold to 90 from nine.“Many were not registered in the SIKS-NG previously because their families were ashamed,” he said. “Some had even been excluded from their family cards [KK] for the same reason, making them ineligible for health services and insurance provided by the government.”“That’s why we proactively come to them. At the Posyandu everyone can get the same services regardless of their residence status,” he said, adding that Posyandu volunteers would help them get registered in the SIKS-NG and obtain ID cards.Ken said that Posyandu for people with disabilities could easily be established in other villages and subdistricts, as long as the respective local officials had the will to do so. Topics :last_img read more

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Indonesia to start trial use of 40 percent biodiesel (B40) fuel in March: Association

first_imgThe Indonesian Biodiesel Producers Association (APROBI) has said it will start the trial use of 40 percent biodiesel (B40) fuel in March, as a follow-up to the successful implementation of 30 percent biodiesel (B30) fuel.APROBI chairman MP Tumanggor said the trial, starting in March, was in line with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s plan to implement B40 fuel fully in January 2021, as reported by kompas.com on Monday.“I just received a letter from the oil and gas research agency for us to send the raw material for the trial,” Tumanggor said. He said there would be two models to be tested for the B40 fuel, which is produced by distilling crude palm oil (CPO) and infusing fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) to the mix to reach the expected level.The government is eager to increase the mix of palm oil in diesel fuel to reduce oil imports, which contribute heavily to the country’s trade deficit.Regarding the implementation of B30 fuel, Tumanggor said the program had gone well since its commercial debut in January.The B30 fuel is set to consume 9.6 million kiloliters of palm oil this year.“As of now, [the use of B30 fuel] is still going according to plan with regard to the automotive industry, the supply chain from Pertamina and producers,” he said, adding that the B30 fuel is expected to use a total of 800,000 kiloliters of vegetable oil. (mpr)Topics :last_img read more

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In COVID-19 response, can Jokowi avoid military ‘star wars’?

first_imgThey already include Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investments Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Rozi and Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko — all Army veterans.Doni, also a former Kopassus leader, must also contend with officials deemed his junior, particularly TNI chief Hadi and Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto, a military doctor.Appointing security actors over public health experts to address a national-scale public health crisis has convinced observers that Jokowi had few other choices than to rely on a security approach to back his economic priorities, largely because of the government’s late response to the pandemic.However, some analysts pointed to the potentially direr consequences that come from nudging the military back into the limelight.“I could see that the problem has been ‘securitized’ from the very beginning, as Health Minister Terawan, who is from the military, was not being transparent. Even the President later admitted that the government had intentionally withheld information to prevent panic,” said security researcher Evan Laksamana from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.The appointment of a figure like Doni, who is seen to have the competencies, leadership skills and network within the military to lead the COVID-19 task force, indicates that the government needs a fast responder to address an already dire security situation, Evan said.However, the expanded team would only be able to work more effectively under two conditions.First, the government must involve more public health experts and epidemiologists instead of security actors. Secondly, Jokowi must show strong leadership and take full control, which would enable Doni to lead and uphold transparency as he works with the other military figures.“Rivalry among military figures in the team will pose a challenge in efforts to uphold transparency as they will likely compete against each other to secure information,” Evan said.Evan suggested that military figures who prioritized the security angle would have a tendency to regard information that should be made public as intelligence information and would therefore race to secure such information. This would then be reported to the President through a self-serving filter designed to advance their own interests or to serve security interests, rather than prioritizing public health.Having clung to power or revolved around it for most of the nation’s history, former military figures are able to tap into the ample resources of a well-established network of influence.In the case of the COVID-19 task force, Doni must contend with retired Army generals who still have vital access to resources, including information.But this is seen by experts as a risk worth taking; to have these military figures play off one another in what some have called a “star wars” as they rush to contain the virus effectively.If it is not well managed, however, critics believe this approach could wipe out all the progress that a democratically elected civilian government has achieved after overcoming a long spell of military-backed authoritarianism.“For me, all of the retired generals involved are just using their official positions to secure a [way to leverage their bargaining power],” said Haris Azhar, the executive director of the Lokataru Legal and Human Rights Foundation, in a separate interview on Wednesday.“I am worried that they will ask for something in return later on.”Haris has held suspicions about the emergency status declared by the BNPB in January, a document for which was “leaked” instead of communicated to the public.“Why did Prabowo join just very recently? What did all of those retired generals do before BNPB’s announcement?” he said.Haris said he was sure that state intelligence has been gathering information on the COVID-19 outbreak and assessing the risk of widespread transmission since it first emerged in China. But the government would not have responded so late if the information had been managed effectively.“It’s impossible that the military intelligence body, BAIS, or state intelligence agency BIN did not obtain any information about something like the COVID-19 phenomenon. This leads me to consider another possibility: that end-users have ignored the intelligence reports,” he said.“For me, this indicates that there is competition among end-users, including retired military officials involved in the team.”BNPB declared a “particular state of disaster emergency” for a month beginning Jan. 28, but the decree itself was leaked to the public earlier this month amid calls from the public and from the World Health Organization for transparency in the reporting of infections and fatalities.As of Wednesday afternoon, Indonesia has recorded 790 positive cases, 58 deaths and 31 recoveries. Topics : President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s reliance on influential military figures in handling the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming more and more apparent as he risks sparking a competition by asking more of them to join the government’s fast-response team.Jokowi quietly recruited Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto last week to speed up efforts to contain the novel coronavirus, asking him to procure medical and personal safety equipment from China by using the Indonesian Military (TNI) to fast-track the delivery.The President had previously excluded Prabowo from the COVID-19 task force led by National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Doni Monardo, an active Army general, but later included him in the lineup in a presidential decree he signed on March 20, after meeting with the former Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) commander privately four days prior.center_img After Prabowo joined up, he instructed TNI Commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto to fast-track the delivery of medical kits. The provisions arrived on Monday, with more coming soon.In a letter to the TNI chief dated March 18, Prabowo said the provisions would be “used by the Defense Ministry and the TNI’s medical teams to contain the spread of [COVID-19]”.He also cited meetings with the deputy defense minister and the presidential chief of staff, as well as information from China-owned PT Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park.Prabowo’s addition to Jokowi’s fast-response team has extended the list of senior military figures Doni has to work with to ensure efforts to combat the outbreak were well coordinated.last_img read more

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