Learning from the management of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Indonesian government needs to immediately revise Law No. 24 of 2007 on Disaster Mitigation (Disaster Mitigation Act) in order to strengthen the system of command and authority of the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB). The need for the revision is evident, at least from the implementation of the programs and policies, where there are issues concerning the beneficiary data collection and the distribution of social assistance, as well as how the COVID-19 testing laboratories were determined. Despite its role as the head of the implementing team of efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the BNPB does not have much authority to deal with the issues. The system of command and coordination in dealing with disaster should be strong and stable so that disaster mitigation management can be more adaptive.
We recommend that the Disaster Mitigation Act be revised, taking into account the following three improvement strategies to develop a more adaptive disaster mitigation system.
- First, define more clearly the division of authority between institutions (layers) in the government for the mitigation effort of a disaster according to its status.
- Second, strengthen the BNPB’s authority to use and manage the strategic resources.
- Third, strengthen the BNPB’s strategic authority to design an institutional system/structure for disaster mitigation, including its derivative command system at both the national and regional levels.