Wed, 09 Jul 2003

`Why not use the money to help the poor?'

The government's reregistration program for civil servants nationwide has its pros and cons. Many have questioned the Rp 11 billion budget allocated for the program, while others have called on the government to use the money to improve the civil servants' welfare. The Jakarta Post interviewed a few civil servants on the issue.

Tri Winarno, 40, is a teacher at a state-run junior high school in Tangerang. He lives in Serpong, Tangerang, with his wife and daughter:

I have heard about the civil servants reregistration program, but I haven't received any clear information about it, nor the reregistration form. I underwent a similar screening in the past and it was crystal clear that there was an underlying political motive.

I wonder why the reregistration has now come up all of a sudden. I guess it could also have political reasons behind it. If it is intended to collect data on the civil servants, the government should have done it during the recruitment process.

I think the program is ineffective -- and a waste of money.

The budget for the program could have been used to help low- income people; or it could be used to raise the civil servants' salary.

Iqbal, not his real name, 45, is a civil servant working at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. He lives in Depok, West Java, with his wife and three children:

I have filled out the distributed reregistration form -- it only asks about our working experience, achievements, courses we have taken and the like.

There is nothing new at all in the reregistration process. It's just simpler, since the form is only two pages.

What confuses me is its budget allocation -- it's too much.

If the government does not have complete data on all civil servants, then it only needs to gather the missing ones, not on all of us.

It would be better to allocate some of the funds to improve civil servants' welfare which, in the end, will improve our performance.

Meriem, 46, is a human resources manager at a state-owned hotel on Jl. M.H. Thamrin, Central Jakarta. She lives in Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta, with her husband:

I haven't seen the reregistration forms at my office. Worse, I haven't received any information on it.

The reregistration program is not a big deal, since it is meant to update the data on civil servants. I'll comply and fill out the needed information, as I believe there's no political motive behind it.

However, the budget for the program is too much. It's a waste of money.

With the ongoing military operation in Aceh, the money could be used to improve education for Acehnese children. It could also be used to provide education for street children.

The empowerment of human resources by providing better education is far more vital and important than spending a lot of money for an ineffective reregistration program.

-- Leo Wahyudi S.