A worker sews a face mask at a workshop in Kampung Anggur, Tangerang, Banten, on April 9. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

With More Than $350m in Its Budget, Pre-Employment Card Program Should Hire More Digital Platforms 

BY :TARA MARCHELIN

APRIL 24, 2020

Jakarta. The Business Competition Supervisory Commission, or KPPU, says the government should hire more digital platforms to provide online training for its pre-employment card unemployment benefits program considering its huge budget of Rp 5.6 trillion, or $358.4 million.

"The budget is huge. For a total of Rp 5.6 trillion, the government should get more digital platforms involved," KPPU commissioner Guntur Saragih said in an online press conference on Thursday.

The KPPU plans to investigate if business competition principles run the risk of being violated during the implementation of the pre-employment card program.

Abdul Hakim Pasaribu, the commission's advocacy director, said the KPPU had not received any information on how the current eight official partners of the program were selected despite a large number of other digital platforms in the market.

"The selection of the official partners should be done more transparently because it involves a relatively huge national budget. It should also provide more chances for the public to participate," he said.

Hakim said the commission had heard that the pre-employment card's operators will offer more chances for other digital platforms and training institutions to participate in the program.

However, he said, the information is unofficial and still has to be confirmed with the program operators. 

The KPPU is also worried that the current digital platforms are charging too much for their online training programs since many similar materials can be accessed for free on YouTube.

"We will check if the fees set by the digital platforms are excessive or not. But we know there's a lot of similar content available for free on YouTube," Hakim said.

Hakim said a limit on the fees might be necessary to avoid "cartelism" between the digital platforms.

The KPPU also wants to ensure agreements between the digital platforms and the training institutions are done according to the 2008 Law on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), and that the platforms are not abusing their position.

According to the law, large enterprises are prohibited from owning or dominating their MSME partners.

"The training institutions should be able to change from one digital platform to another. If not, that might indicate the digital platforms are abusing their dominant position," Hakim said.

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