TATONG Bara is the Mayor of Kotamobagu City, North Sulawesi province (Indonesia). She was elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2018. Mayor Tatong Bara envisions making Kotamobagu a service model city in Bolaang Mongondow Raya area, referring to a city that provides professional services. She encouraged developments primarily in education, health, industry, and trade services. The Mayor has implemented programmes that have increased the development and economy of Kotamobagu city.
The best known is the Bantuan Asuh Anak (a funding aid for child care) provided by the city government for elementary, middle, high school, and college students. Mayor Tatong Bara hopes that it can boost students’ enthusiasm to study, even amid the pandemic. In 2020, Kotamobagu distributed financial aid to 1,508 elementary students, 943 junior high school students, 856 high school students, and 315 college students.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, her administration has also managed to secure an allocation of cash funds (of approximately IDR2.1 billion) from the national government to help local people severely impacted by the pandemic (i.e., unemployment). Under the framework of KOTAKU (a national acceleration programme to tackle slum areas in the city), the government engages local people to maintain and support the work in the KOTAKU programme and procures the cash for work done to people. The Cash For Work programme was launched in June 2021 and Mayor Tatong Bara said this programme will be able to provide additional income for local people.
With all her efforts and experiences leading the city for two periods, Mayor Tatong Bara has won several achievements from regional to national levels. The series of achievements accomplished by Kotamobagu under her leadership are the 2018 Kota Layak Anak (Child-Friendly City) Award, the City Cares for Human Rights Award, the Adipura Award, the Swasti Saba Wiwerda Healthy City Award, the second-best sanitation city award in North Sulawesi, the 2020 Anugerah Sensanitational Award (appreciation for cities’ efforts in facing sanitation challenge), and The Best City category in North Sulawesi among many others.