Landslides in Nantou County
Several landslides occurred yesterday in Nantou County on a provincial highway and the road around the Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) tourist area, but no casualties were reported. The landslides were caused by heavy rains that started early in the morning, officials from the -Directorate-General of Highways said. As of noon, the accumulated rainfall in Renai Township (仁愛), Auwanda (奧萬大) and Yuchih Township (魚池) had reached more than 120mm, exceeding the standard definition of torrential rain, the Central Weather Bureau said. The landslides occurred at the 67km mark on Taiwan Provincial Highway No. 14 and at the 1.5km, 11km and 17km markers on the Sun Moon Lake circle road, partly blocking traffic, officials said.
Agency denies banquet ban
The Agency Against Corruption yesterday denied local media reports that it had banned public school teachers from attending graduation banquets. Agency spokesman Chang Hung-mo (張宏謀) told a press conference that graduation banquets for teachers were part of a long tradition in schools during the graduation season and the agency had not sought to ban the practice. Chang said the agency had only warned teachers not to attend banquets at inappropriate times or at expensive restaurants. Local media reported yesterday that in a guidance notebook distributed to 210,000 public school teachers, the agency instructed them not to attend graduation banquets because of the possibility of conflicts of interest.
Offical attends APEC meet
Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) left yesterday for Kazan, Russia, where he will attend the second APEC ministerial meeting on food security, the council said. During the two-day meeting which will be held tomorrow and Thursday, Chen will deliver an address on whatTaipei has done to promote food safety, while sharing Taiwan’s experiences in boosting agricultural output, attracting investment in agriculture, securing food supplies for disadvantaged groups and fighting against illegal fishing, the statement said. Chen, who is heading a delegation composed of officials from the council, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Department of Health, will also discuss ways to maintain food security in the region, the statement added. Chen will also hold bilateral talks with officials from the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Philippines, exchanging views on issues of mutual concern.
BNHI proposes hospital plan
The Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI) proposed a NT$670 million (US$22.6 million) plan yesterday that it hopes will improve medical services in remote areas. The bureau intends to allocate the money to areas that are interested in improving their emergency services and departments of internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics. Division chief Tsai Shu-ling (蔡淑鈴) said that with more complete services, the hospitals would save residents the time and money they spend traveling to urban areas for treatment at better-equipped hospitals. Hospitals that successfully apply for funding will be able to provide round-the-clock emergency services, improve outpatient care in each of the four major medical departments, strengthen inpatient care and send people to local communities to offer preventive health care services. Tsai said 78 hospitals have currently qualified for funding.