Fri, Nov 07, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Taipei urges wider use of system to lure immigrants

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Taipei yesterday called on other counties, cities and municipalities to join a new system to provide government services across administrative lines, aiming to further increase the city’s attractiveness to immigrants.

Taipei’s Department of Information and Technology said the opportunities and resources concentrated in the city attract numerous immigrants.

However, applications and forms for taxes, ID cards, birth certificates, property registration and numerous other government services previously could only be submitted within the county or city of one’s household registration, creating issues for new immigrants and other temporary residents of Taipei, the department said.

For example, traveling to Taitung County can take a full day, while expensive airplane flights are required to return to the island counties of Penghu, Kinmen and Lienchiang, department commissioner Chan Der-tsun (詹德存) said.

Under the department’s new plan, all forms for government services can be directly submitted at Taipei government offices from where they will be uploaded to an online system and submitted to the city or county where the applicants’ households are registered for approval.

After applicants are checked and approved, certificates and other official paperwork can be picked up directly at the Taipei offices. Participating counties and cities would be required to provide similar services to residents whose household registration is in Taipei.

“Our system is ready, what’s left to do is consultation with other counties and cities,” Chan said.

The department’s chief secretary, Jessica Pan (潘瓊如), added that politics is now the primary obstacle to the system’s wider adoption.

The department said Taipei has already agreed with Taitung, Penghu, Kinmen and Lienchiang counties to mutually provide 97 different services across administrative boundaries beginning next month.

Negotiations are under way with Hsinchu City, Hualien and Pingtung, the department added.

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