Thu, Dec 15, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Legislature passes bills on its final day

BUSY DAY:The seventh legislature went out with a bang, passing amendments on everything from incentives for fuel-efficient vehicles, to DNA collection for crimes

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

Outgoing Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Liu Shen-liang, center, applauds yesterday as Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, right, brings down the gavel to signal the end of the eighth session of the seventh legislature.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

International entrepreneurs and senior businesspeople received an added convenience yesterday, as the legislature yesterday approved an amendment allowing foreign-registered private aircraft to fly between destinations within Taiwan for non-commercial purposes.

Under the amendment to the Civil Aviation Act (民用航空法), proposed in response to the demands of the increasing number of businesspeople who fly on their own planes, the non-commercial flights will be allowed, provided they have received prior permission from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

Current requirements for foreign-registered private aircraft entering or leaving stipulate that landings and takeoffs must take place at the same airport.

The amendment allows the Civil Aeronautics Administration to make on-board inspections, including of personnel, facilities and documents, and stipulates that the aircrafts’ captains may not refuse, evade or impede the inspections or they will face a jail term no longer than three years or a fine no greater than NT$1 million (US$30,300).

Meanwhile, lawmakers also approved amendments designed to encourage consumers to purchase environmentally friendly automobiles.

An amendment to the Commodity Tax (貨物稅條例) created a NT$25,000 tax credit for gasoline-liquefied petroleum gas vehicles purchased within five years of the amendment taking effect and created a license plate tax exemption for battery electric vehicles purchased within three years of the implementation of the provision.

Under an amendment to the Vehicle License Tax Act (使用牌照稅法), the single rate license tax was replaced with a 10-grade progressive rate based on an engine’s horsepower, ranging from NT$1,620 to NT$117,000.

Also passed was an amendment to the Teacher’s Act (教師法) allowing schools to terminate teachers contracts for irregularities in sexual harassment cases.

Under the amendment, educators who are convicted of crimes under the Sexual Assault Prevention Law (性侵害防治法), who fail to report sexual harassment in accordance with the Gender Equity Education Act (性別平等教育法) or who try to cover up an alleged case by counterfeiting, falsifying, destroying or concealing evidence, shall see their employment terminated and will not be allowed to accept education sector positions elsewhere. Education administrations and schools at all levels must be notified of such cases.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) said the revisions addressed the loopholes in the existing act, which exempts school principals and officials from culpability in cases where there is a cover up of a sex crime perpetrated by a teacher.

The legislature also approved an amendment to the DNA Sampling Regulations (去氧核醣核酸採樣條例) to facilitate judicial investigations into felony cases by expanding the scope of compulsory DNA collection to include murders, sexual assault, kidnapping for ransom and arson.

The amendment stipulates that suspects and defendants in connection with the crimes shall submit to DNA tests and that data shall be disposed of if the charges against the suspects or defendants are dropped or they are found innocent.

Lawmakers also approved an amendment to the Funeral Industry Management Regulations (殯葬管理條例) requiring that medical institutions phase out funeral-related services in five years or face a fine of between NT$300,000 and NT$1.5 million.

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