The Indonesian language Bali Post reports that a number of national tourism organizations including the Indonesian Hotel & Restaurant Association (PHRI), the Association of Indonesian Tour Agents (ASITA) and the Association of Indonesian Readers (ASPARINDO) are all questioning the whereabouts of an estimated annual Rp. 4-5 billion (approximately US$435,000 – 543,000) reportedly parked at the Department of Culture and Tourism that is collected collected from every expatriate employed in Indonesia's tourism industry.
Every expatriate worker in Indonesia is levied a fee of US$100 each month paid into a special fund for manpower training for Indonesian nationals.
"We have repeatedly asked where these funds are (the training contributions) to the Department of Culture and Tourism, but have never received a definite answer," explained Iqbal Alan Abdullah, the Chairman of the Indonesian Association of Congress and Conference Organizers (INCCA).
The subject funds, an estimate of the annual amount that is collected from foreign workers in the tourism sector, is being claimed and querried by various tourism organizations as their rightful entitlement as those best able to undertake manpower training programs.
The Chair of the PHRI, Yanti Sukamdani, also expressed her concern at the failure of the subject training funds to materialize, pledging she would renew efforts to obtain an explanation from the Department of Culture and Tourism.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, told the Bali Post when asked about the location of the training funds, "I will check with my staff . . . we have to make clear where these funds are located."
The head of the Development Board for the Department of Culture and Tourism, I Gusti Putu Guna Laksana, admitted he did not know if there were any funds for training collected from expatriates working in tourism.
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