Sat, Dec 30, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Society
Marathon boosts charities

This year's ING Taipei International Marathon raised NT$1.8 million for charity, with the funds divided among five charities, according to a spokesman for ING Antai, which organized the event. The marathon has been held since 2004 and this year's event attracted a record 110,000 runners. Of the funds, NT$440,000 was donated to the Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders, NT$350,000 to the Chinese Taipei Road Running Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired and NT$370,000 each to the Preparatory Committee for the 2009 Taipei Deaflympics Games and the Chinese Taipei Sports Association of the Deaf. ING also donated NT$270,000 to World Vision International on behalf of participants in the Kid's Mini Marathon category to help disadvantaged children around the world.

■ Society

`Three links' to be expanded

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday announced that more people will be allowed to take advantage of the "small three links" between Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu and China's Fujian Province. MAC Vice Chairman Johnnason Liu (劉德勳) said the council made the decision after examining the effect of the policy which was implemented in 2001. However, no timetable has been announced as to when the new measures would take effect. The "small three links" refer to shipping, postal and trade links between the islands and Fujian. So far, only residents of the three islands are allowed to travel directly to China via the links. Liu said that under the new measures, veterans not from Fujian will be able to go there via the small three links and associations of industry and commerce could hold exhibitions or meetings via the three small links.

■ Immigration

Immigration office switch

The Immigration Office under the National Police Agency (NPA), Ministry of the Interior (MOI), will become the Immigration Administration directly under the MOI on Tuesday. The new administration will handle all visa and Alien Resident Certificate (ARC)-related matters for foreigners. In Taipei, such duties were previously handled by the Foreign Affairs Division of the Taipei City Police Department until yesterday. Taipei-based foreign visitors and residents in need of visa or ARC-related services should visit the administration's office at 15 Guangzhou Street in Zhongzheng District, Taipei (北市中正區廣州街十五號) beginning on Tuesday. Offices will also be opening in the 24 other county and municipal jurisdictions nationwide, according to the ministry.

■ Environment

Ministry unveils `Land Plan'

The Ministry of the Interior announced yesterday that it would submit two bills to the Cabinet to improve land and coastal management nationwide. Saying that the country's "impressive economic development" had come at the cost of the environment in many cases, Deputy Interior Minister Lin Mei-chu (林美珠) said the time had come to standardize land management policy. The ministry's "Land Plan" calls for "environmental impact" fees to be paid by land developers and for stricter management of protected areas and national parks, according to a ministry press release. The coastal management bill, meanwhile, seeks to preserve fishery and other ocean resources, ministry officials said. Under the bill, coastal ecosystems would be better protected by facilitating coordination between the Coast Guard, local-level government and other relevant authorities.

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