Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – The preemployment card program's management team is putting on hold a plan to conduct in-person training to ensure the safety of recipients and instructors, says an official.
Denni Purbasari, the executive director of the program, announced the decision on Tuesday following a meeting with national COVID-19 task force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito.
The government previously ordered Denni's office to hold a pilot program for in-person training in so-called green zones, which were claimed to fare better than red zone areas in terms of COVID-19 infection numbers.
But the number of green zones is decreasing, according to Denni, as a result of a surge in confirmed cases. The national tally for COVID-19 cases is 225,030 as of Tuesday afternoon.
"Therefore, we were advised to delay offline training for the sake of not only the economy but also the health of the preemployment card recipients," Denni said in a virtual presser.
He added that the gap between big cities and some regions' capacity in implementing the health protocols also hindered the plan. Moreover, holding in-person training with a limited number of recipients would be "economically challenging" as the budget for courses is still Rp 1 million (US$67.47) per recipient, he said.
The decision came a day after the Jakarta administration reintroduced large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) to slow down the growing rate of transmission and prevent the capital's healthcare system from collapsing.
Since its launch in April, the preemployment card, which is a mix of work training and financial support, has admitted 3.8 million recipients. Around 31 percent of them have received the Rp 600,000 monthly cash assistance, which they can get after completing one course on one of the eight partnering digital platforms.
Denni added that the management team would also postpone a plan to accept offline applications aimed at helping applicants who did not have adequate internet access.