New community inaugurated
A new residential community for some of the families affected by Typhoon Morakot was inaugurated yesterday in Pingtung County after eight months of construction. The new community, located in Sinpi Township (新埤) on land owned by the state-run Taiwan Sugar Corp, provides permanent housing for residents who originally lived in the county’s Laiyi (來義), Yilin (義林), Dahou (大後) and Danlin (丹林) villages, but were made homeless by the typhoon in 2009. The inauguration included an Aboriginal harvest festival, as Laiyi used to be an area inhabited by people from the Paiwan tribe. Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) attended the inauguration and congratulated the families on their new community, which includes a produce center featuring locally grown taro root. The community of 232 housing units was funded by the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China.
CAA denies media reports
The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) yesterday rebutted media reports that a private jet landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport late the previous day and taxied toward a runway where a China Airlines (CAL) flight was preparing for takeoff. According to the media reports, the planes were only 700m apart and could have collided in seven seconds if the control tower had not handled the incident properly. The CAA said its air traffic control staff had the situation under control as soon as they noticed that the private jet, registered in South Africa, was not following the tower’s taxi instructions. CAA officials said the control tower ordered the CAL plane to abort takeoff immediately and directed the smaller jet to the correct taxiway. The officials said that the planes were never on the same runway, contrary to the reports, and that they were never closer than 1,300m.
Birthrate edges up
Most cities and counties have recorded an increase in their birthrates this year, thanks to local government incentives to encourage people to have children, with Taipei reporting the largest increase, according to official statistics released yesterday. The statistics, compiled by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, showed that the number of babies born reached 107,545 in the first seven months of the year, for a year-on-year rise of 12.8 percent. In Taipei alone, 13,773 babies were born during the period, marking growth of 34 percent from the same period last year and representing the biggest rate increase in the country, the tallies showed. However, in terms of actual newborns, New Taipei City (新北市) took the lead, with 18,440 babies born during the January-to-July period.
Men dominate civil service
New government figures on the gender makeup of the civil service show that the number of women grew very slightly from last year, indicating that there is still a long way to go to achieve gender balance. According to the Examination Yuan, the percentage of women went up by 0.15 percentage points in the first six months of this year. However, men, at 61.08 percent of the civil service, still vastly outnumber women. When counting high-ranking officials, the ratio gets worse. Only 26.37 percent of those promoted to high-ranking posts were women. The figures include government employees at various levels, workers at public-run hospitals and public school staff members.