With the government having spent more than NT$42 billion (US$1.4 billion) in the past 14 years on post-disaster reconstruction, Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) on Wednesday urged the government to purchase insurance to help ease the financial burden of disaster relief.
“Since 1999, the government has spent NT$42 billion in special budgets to deal with reconstruction after the country gets hit by earthquakes and typhoons. However, many Western countries — as well as Japan and South Korea — are purchasing catastrophy insurance, so that insurance companies can partially or completely cover the costs for disaster relief,” Lee told a press conference after returning from Europe last week. “I think buying catastrophy insurance is a good idea, especially for a country like ours that is often hit by earthquakes or typhoons.”
“In the past 30 years, 53 percent of natural disasters worldwide have occurred in Asia, and 12.5 percent occurred in North America,” Lee said. “However, 66 percent of catastrophy insurance payouts have been made to North American countries, while only 9 percent have been paid to Asian countries — which are actually only Japan and South Korea.”
South Korea has purchased insurance to cover damage to its transportation infrastructure, under which the insurance company would help to cover damages caused by natural disasters under NT$50 billion, while the government would pay for disaster relief costs over that amount, he said.
“The government could save a lot of money if we also have such insurance,” Lee said.
He said he has spoken with the Ministry of Financial Affairs and Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國), who support the idea.
“This would be a Cabinet decision, and I will try to convince other ministries, especially the Ministry of Transportation and Communications,” Lee said.
Athletes scheduled to compete in the Tokyo Olympics are to continue to receive government resources and training, even though the Games have been postponed until next year, the Sports Administration said yesterday. The government supports the decision to delay the Games, Sports Administration Director-General Kao Chun-hsung (高俊雄) said, adding that it must have been a difficult decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo Organizing committee. The Sports Administration has created a contingency plan in response to the postponement, Kao said. First, it would work with the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee to adjust the timetable for selecting the
FOSSIL CLUES: The bushfires resulted from a positive Indian Ocean dipole event, when the region east of the ocean becomes drier, professor Shen Chuan-chou said The bushfires that swept through Australia last year were connected to a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), which is expected to become more frequent due to climate change, a geologist studying coral fossils said yesterday. National Taiwan University Department of Geosciences professor Shen Chuan-chou (沈川洲) since 2001 has been working with Australian and US researchers to study climate systems in the Indian Ocean. Led by Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences professor Nerilie Abram, the team published a paper on IOD in the journal Nature on March 9. The bushfires resulted from a positive IOD event, when the
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.