Lenny Tristia Tambun
The ever-shifting deadline to get residents of Jakarta switched over to electronic identity cards, or e-KTPs, was moved once again with millions of people still waiting for their IDs.
With the end of April looking unlikely for the completion of the program, the deadline is now October. This is the second time it has been extended.
Purba Hutapea, head of the Jakarta Population and Civil Registry Office, said the extension was mainly to accommodate people who had moved into the city and lived here for more than a year but had yet to register as residents.
Residents in this category must present a letter of attestation from the heads of their neighborhood and urban ward units before their registration paperwork can be processed.
“The new deadline is for the submission of those recommendation letters, so all the information can be recorded in time,” Purba said.
He said once all these new residents turned in their paperwork, the number of official residents in Jakarta could rise by hundreds of thousands. “But if we didn’t require these recommendation letters, the increase could be even higher, with Jakarta’s population reaching 30 million,” he said.
Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi had promised to resign if the April deadline was missed. He could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
When the e-KTP program was launched last year, the Home Affairs Ministry gave the city 100 days to register all residents. That didn’t appear likely to happen, so the deadline was extended until the end of April.
Purba said on Thursday that the Home Affairs Ministry had submitted 1,370,000 e-KTPs to Jakarta’s population office for distribution to residents.
However, he said, the city would have to hold onto the cards for the time being because it did not yet have smart-card readers. The readers are needed to activate the holograms that can be found on the e-KTPs.
“We can’t be careless about how we distribute the e-KTPs,” Purba said. “We need the smart-card readers.”
He said the distribution was similar to the application process. Residents will have to come and pick up the cards in person. Officials will then have to cross-check the information that is on file, along with fingerprints to ensure they are a match.
“And only after that will the e-KTP be activated and handed to the owner,” Purba said.
He said only 10 urban wards in East Jakarta, 10 in Central Jakarta, 12 in South Jakarta and 6 in Thousand Islands district had card readers.
Purba said about 5.5 million residents, or 73 percent of the 7.3 million residents who are eligible for the e-KTPs, had already registered for the cards.