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Jakarta Post

Jokowi sets salaries for preemployment card’s directors amid criticism of program

  • Ghina Ghaliya and Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, July 27, 2020   /   07:20 pm
Jokowi sets salaries for preemployment card’s directors amid criticism of program People search for information on the preemployment card program in Jakarta on April 20. (Antara/Aditya Pradana Putra)

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has issued a presidential regulation (Perpres) on remuneration for the directors of the preemployment card program amid ongoing evaluations of several irregularities surrounding the program's training courses.

Presidential Regulation No. 81/2020 sets the salary levels for the program’s management – comprising an executive director and a maximum of five directors – at Rp 47 million (US$3,224) to Rp 77.5 million per month.

According to Article 2 of the regulation, a copy of which was obtained by The Jakarta Post, the program’s president director is entitled to a monthly salary of Rp 77.5 million.

The operational director is entitled to Rp 62 million per month, the technology director Rp 58 million and the partnership, communication and ecosystem development director Rp 54.2 million, while the monitoring and evaluation director and the legal, general and financial director will receive Rp 47 million each.

In addition to their salary, they will also get travel allowances and social security insurance.

However, some House of Representatives members have questioned the regulation as they highlighted that the program -- which entails a mix of social assistance and up-skilling for laid-off workers affected by the pandemic – had been temporarily suspended.

Saleh Daulay, a lawmaker in House Commission IX overseeing health affairs, said the government should have addressed the irregularities in the preemployment card program before setting the remuneration for its management.

Read also: Govt to give social aid to preemployment card beneficiaries while training courses are evaluated

“By issuing the Perpres, it means the government will restart the program," the National Mandate Party (PAN) politician said, adding that the regulation alone would not help Jokowi's administration to solve the problems surrounding the program.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) recently revealed its findings surrounding irregularities in the program, from participant eligibility to the appointment of the eight digital platforms for the program that might not have gone through the proper procedures for goods and services procurement among other issues.

The antigraft body also raised the issue of potential conflicts of interest with 250 courses offered under the program, as they were run by firms linked to partnering platforms. The preemployment card committee finally suspended the sale of course bundles offered by partnered learning platforms after discovering lapses in accountability.

Separately, Kurniasih Mufidayati of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) said the government should evaluate the program, citing the need for more financial assistance for workers and members of the public affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The government should focus on and prioritize the card’s beneficiaries. They have been affected by the pandemic. The economic situation is very difficult,” she said.

The government planned to start in-person training courses in August under the preemployment card program despite the surges in confirmed COVID-19 case numbers since it began to gradually ease restrictions last month.

However, Denni Puspa Purbasari, the president director of the program's management said an exact date had yet to be set.