President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday urged the Legislative Yuan to pass the six financial laws in its provisional session next week and to make agricultural finance reform its top priority. \nIn a meeting at the Presidential Office with officials from farmers' associations, Chen called on lawmakers to make an agricultural reform law a priority for the special session and restated the government's determination to carry out the reform of the nation's financial system. \nChen said the legislature had originally planned to cut the credit units of farmers' and fishermen's associations and have state-run banks take over their business, but the government was obliged to adjust its reform direction based on the "tradition, history and mission of the 100-year-old credit units of the farmers' and fishermen's associations." \nHe said the massive protest last year that resulted in the earlier reform effort failing does not mean the government will give up on reform. \n"The consolidation of agricultural finance is definitely good for the farmers' and fishermen's associations," he said. "Taiwan's financial environment will be opened increasingly in the future, and the credit units under the farmers' and fishermen's associations will be a part of the financial system." \nHe said the role of these credit units cannot be handled by ordinary financial institutions, adding the government wants to improve the health of the farmers' and fishermen's associations and their financial units. \nChen also pointed to Hong Kong's plans to implement Article 23 of the Basic Law, saying more than 500,000 of the territory's citizens protested against the law because it would lead Hong Kong back to authoritarianism. \n"To survive in the world and not to advance is to go back," Chen said. "This is also true for Taiwan. If we don't proceed with financial reform, foreign funds will not flow in Taiwan, The country's economy will not be competitive and we will be eliminated through competition in the international community." \nChen said the government must do three things: equally emphasize production and marketing, continue to improve the organization and function of farmers' and fishermen's associations, and resolve the problems facing agricultural finance as soon as possible. \n"The reform certainly will come at a price," he said. \nThe government wants to respond to the demands of the protesters last year, Chen said, calling on the DPP and opposition parties to pass the agricultural finance legislation in the provisional session. \nEach day the six financial laws are delayed is a day Taiwan falls behind other countries, he said.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday said that it has allocated NT$68 million (US$2.32 million) to build an Internet-of-things (IoT) platform that would facilitate proactive maintenance of the railway system and enhance service punctuality. The agency said that it decided to build the platform to promote horizontal communication among its departments after an investigation into the Puyuma Express derailment in October 2018 found that its four main departments — electrical engineering, rolling stock, construction and transportation — failed to share information with one another. The platform would use artificial intelligence to analyze maintenance data collected by its departments, including railway crossings,