Indonesian unions submit judicial review on water resources

On 27 August Indonesian unions submit a judicial review on Law Number 17 Year 2019 on Water Resources to guarantee access to good quality affordable water for all. The unions insist on the importance of encouraging the production of environmentally friendly and sustainable energy.

Media Release

The Workers Association of Indonesia Power (Persatuan Pegawai Indonesia Power-PPIP) and the Labour Union of Java and Bali Power Plant (Serikat Pekerja Pembangkit Jawa Bali -SP PJB) visited the Constitutional Court to submit the judicial review on Law Number 17 Year 2019 on Water Resources on Thursday, August 27, 2020. The submission of the review was accepted by the Court under the number of No 2017/PAN.MK/VIII/2020.

The General Secretary of PPIP Andy Wijaya, who led the submission of the case, stated that this judicial review is in line with res communes doctrine, where water belongs to the public or to the people. With that in mind, state control should be in the form of regulating, supervising, monitoring and managing water and water resources by prioritizing the people’s interest. It will result in electricity for people with reasonable tariffs.

“Water resources should be controlled by the state and used for the greater welfare of the people. Therefore, the state should guarantee people’s rights over water for the purpose of fulfilling daily basic minimum needs for a healthy and clean life with a sufficient amount, good quality, safe, sustainable and affordable water” stated Andy.

Electricity energy can be considered a basic need for people. As one form of electricity supply for the public interest, just like what’s being provided by the state-owned company in the electricity sector, PT PLN Persero, along with PT. Indonesia Power dan PT. Pembangkitan Jawa Bali. For the production of electricity energy, water can be utilized as a resource for a Hydro-electric Power Plant (PLTA). Up until now, only 6,4% (six point four percent) of its potential is being used. At full potential, up to 75 GW could be generated in the country.

The National Energy Policy has objectives in achieving mix energy by 2025. The national target for new and renewable energy by this date is at least 23% (twenty three percent) if it reaches its economic value. By 2050, the role of new and renewable energy should reach at least 31%, as long as it achieves its economic value, petroleum less than 20% (twenty percent), coal at least 25 % (twenty five percent) and gas a minimum of 24% (twenty four percent).

Andy explained further that renewable energy is the energy resulting from the production of sustainable energy resources that should be well managed. The examples are geothermal, wind, bioenergy, sunlight, water stream and waterfall, also the movement and the difference in temperature of the ocean surface, (please refer to Article 1 Paragraph 6 Law Number 30 year 2007 on Energy)

“But the most possible thing to be pursued in the near future is the development of the energy resources from water” he emphasized.

A hydro-electric power plant is often referred to being a cheap and environmentally friendly new and renewable energy. But the production efficiency of the hydro-electric power plant will be useless since the Law Number 7 Year 2019 on Water Resources reactivate the clause on the Water Resources Management Fee (Biaya jasa Pengelolaan sumber Daya Air: BJPSDA) that based on the Law Number 7 Year 2004 on Water Resources has been declared unconstitutional to be implemented based on the Constitutional Court decision on case number 85/PUU-XII/2013 on February 18, 2015.

"The BJPSDA that is charged to the existing hydropower plant will increase the expenditure burden of the hydropower plant itself so that the cost of production (BPP) increases and can exceed the BPP of other electrical energy sources, among them the electric steam power plant averagely based on the PLN report in 2018 is IDR 831.46 per kwh” said Andy.

Presently, the phase of water resources has been self-managed by the state owned company on Electricity (PT. PLN (Persero) along with PT. Indonesia Power and PT. Pembangkitan Jawa Bali, that consist of: (a) Water Resources Planning Management; (b) The Implementation of Water Resources Infrastructures Construction; (c) the Implementation of Water Resources Operational and Maintenance; and (d) Monitoring and Evaluation of Water Resources Management.

However, the implementation of the BPJSDA fee to the PLTA will also open up the possibility of abuse of the state authority by other legal entity as not 100% of BJPSDA will be paid to the state.

Based on the above mentioned reasons, Andy said, the unions filed the Judicial Review case on articles in Law Number 17 year 2019 against the State Constitution, UUD 1945, as follows: Article 19 Paragraph (2) Law Number 17 year 2019 is in the contrary of what is stated in the Constitution as long as it isn’t interpreted as “The Water Resources Management can also be implemented by the state owned company in the electricity provision business as the part of the effort to fulfill electrical energy for public interest; article 58 paragraph (1) letter a Law Number 17 Year 2019 is in contrary with the state constitution as long as it isn’t interpreted as “the fulfilment of daily basic needs including among other are the fulfilment of electricity need by the state owned company in the electricity provision business; and stated that the explanation of Article 59 letter c Law Number 17 Year 2019 is in contrary with the State Constitution of 1945.

“The aforementioned articles, especially on the BJPSDA, will impact the increase of the electricity price from the PLTA as part of the production cost that will be burdensome for the people, since it will be calculated in the electricity selling price. This will be impacted in the expensive price of the electricity and the people can’t afford it” he closed his statement.

Published by:

  1. PS Kuncoro, Ketua Umum PP Indonesia Power (HP: 08128879715)

  2. Andy Wijaya, Sekretaris Jenderal PP Indonesia Power (HP:081250024105)

  3. Agus Wibawa, Ketua Umum SP PJB (HP: 089687500690)

  4. Dewanto Wicaksono, Sekretaris Jenderal SP PJB (HP: 082244557966)