The Executive Yuan will stand by Greater Kaohsiung residents as they recover from the disaster caused by last week’s gas explosions, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said yesterday in a bid to appease anger following reports that he has a “three noes” policy on the post-disaster reconstruction work.
Several media outlets reported that Jiang chaired a meeting on Monday that agreed on three principles — that there is no need to enact a special law, allocate a budget or establish an ad hoc institution to handle the reconstruction work.
What the reports termed a “three noes” policy prompted lawmakers from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the opposition parties to request meetings with Jiang, which took place at noon and in the afternoon yesterday.
After meeting with the KMT lawmakers, Jiang said the Executive Yuan would assist the Greater Kaohsiung Government “with its full strength.”
“The Executive Yuan will roll up its sleeves to assist Greater Kaohsiung with reconstruction,” Jiang said.
However, Jiang remained steadfast in his position on the three principles.
Executive Yuan spokesperson Sun Lih-chuyn (孫立群) said Jiang was still of the opinion that the Executive Yuan can fully cooperate with the Greater Kaohsiung Government within the current legal framework.
All the problems facing the local government in relation to post-disaster reconstruction can be resolved through cooperation between the Executive Yuan and the local government “without revising any rules and regulations,” Sun said.
Sun said Jiang told opposition lawmakers that the local government would cover the expenses needed for post-disaster reconstruction, but that the Executive Yuan would appropriate funding when the local government faces a shortage.
Jiang did not consider it necessary to enact special legislation that would require the Executive Yuan to earmark a special budget and establish an ad hoc agency to handle the reconstruction, Sun said.
The Greater Kaohsiung Government is not in the situation several local governments were in during 2009, when the Typhoon Morakot-affected counties and cities needed special legislation to deal with post-typhoon reconstruction, Sun said.
According to Sun, in response to the DPP’s request that the Executive Yuan should use public funds to compensate the victims on behalf of LCY Chemical Corp (李長榮化工), owner of the pipeline suspected to have been the source of the gas leak, and that the Executive Yuan should then recover the money from LCY Chemical, Jiang said it was the Greater Kaohsiung Government, not the Executive Yuan, that should take the responsibility for subrogation, as stipulated by the Crime Victim Protection Act (犯罪被害人保護法) and State Compensation Act (國家賠償法).
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