Yerica Lai, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has appointed Lt. Gen. Ganip Warsito, the chief of general staff of the Indonesian Military (Kasum TNI), as the successor to National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Doni Monardo, who is to retire from the position on June 1.
Ganip was inaugurated as the BNPB head on Tuesday, in a ceremony at the presidential palace attended by Vice President Ma'ruf Amin, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud M.D. and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung.
"In carrying out my duties, I will uphold the ethics of my position, work to the best of my abilities and fulfill my task with full responsibility," Ganip said during Tuesday's swearing-in ceremony, which was also aired live on YouTube.
The incoming BNPB head is expected to lead the nation's emergency and disaster response, including the national COVID-19 task force that reports directly to the President.
The 58-year-old Army lieutenant general is the fourth head of the BNPB after Doni, Willem Rampangilei and inaugural BNPB head Syamsul Maarif, all appointed from the TNI.
"The President will keep with the tradition of selecting active high-ranking [military] officers to fill the spot [to ensure] a quick disaster response," State Secretary Pratikno said on Tuesday as quoted by Kompas.com.
Ganip is a 1986 graduate from the National Military Academy in his hometown of Magelang, Central Java, according to a Kompas.com profile.
He has previously served as commander of the Joint Regional Defense Command (Kogabwilhan) III and received the Bintang Dharma military award for distinguished service from the President in November 2020. Ganip's latest appointment comes only months after TNI commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto named him the TNI chief of general staff on Feb. 1, 2021.
As the latest active military officer to be entrusted with the nation's coronavirus response, his BNPB appointment supports expert views highlighting Jokowi's reliance on influential military figures in overcoming the public health emergency.
Experts have said the President has no other choice than to rely on a security approach to back his economic priorities, which had resulted in the country's bungled early response to the pandemic, aided by his appointing national defense actors to address a public health crisis.