Thu, Jul 08, 2004 - Page 2 News List

DPP passes on donated proceeds to storm victims

By Cody Yiu and Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Cabinet Spokesman Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) yesterday said each member of the Cabinet will donate one day's pay to help people affected by devastation brought by Tropical Storm Mindulle.

Chen was speaking following a Cabinet meeting presided over by Vice Premier Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) in the absence of Premier Yu Shyi-kun, who was in the south of the country inspecting storm damage.

Minister of the Interior Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) proposed during the meeting that all political appointees at the Executive Yuan donate one day's pay to help residents in affected areas with their reconstruction efforts.

Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) also called on ministerial staff to donate one day's pay to help people in affected areas during a meeting on Tuesday. Tu also called for the education sector to help in the relief work.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday started to dole out funds to flood-affected residents from a NT$15 million private donation fund.

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DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) yesterday said the party had so far received a NT$10 million donation from Compal Electronics president Hsu Sheng-hsiung (許勝雄) and NT$5 million from Taiwan Life Insurance president Chu Ping-yu (朱炳昱).

In addition to government relief measures, therefore, the families of those killed will receive NT$150,000 in compensation from the DPP, while those who have been seriously injured will receive NT$10,000. An NT$50,000 fund will also subsidize baby food expenses.

Meanwhile, the DPP has mobilized hundreds of party members and volunteer workers to deliver relief packages and help victims clean and rebuild their houses.

Su yesterday also expressed gratitude to corporate donors and expressed the hope that a new land planning bill will pass the legislature soon.

Since the storm, two corporations have made financial and material donations to the interior ministry's relief program.

Those corporations include Tatung, which has donated electric appliances worth NT$10 million, and Tung Ho Steel, which has donated NT$10 million.

"Helping victims to rebuild their homes is the most important task facing the ministry. The Department of Social Affairs has checked with local governments to ascertain the kind of assistance they need and has adjusted assistance measures accordingly," Su said yesterday.

As of yesterday, the central government has received approximately NT$22 million in donations from the public, the ministry said.

Since June 30, the ministry's airborne rescue task force has also delivered 13,273kg of supplies to the disaster zone and rescued 166 injured people.

Su also said that the government was aware of the extent of the damage wrought by mudslides and would initiate legislation addressing the problem.

"The ministry has drafted a National Land Planning Law, which has been sent to the Legislative Yuan. In the draft, land is divided into three categories. The law aims to prevent mudslides from occurring," Su said.

The three land categories are conservation-use, agricultural and urban. Once the law has been passed, the government is authorized to buy privately held land if it is designated for conservation but not being used for that purpose.

The ministry's Construction and Planning Agency yesterday said that several versions of the draft law have been floated but that the latest one had been sent to the Legislative Yuan on June 10.

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