Miaoli County Police Department Director-General Chin Hao-ming (金浩明), who assumed office in August, has implemented a “childbirth bonus” to encourage police officers to have more children.
The department said employees with three children are awarded a commendation, those with four children two commendations and those with five a minor merit.
More than 60 police officers received the “bonus” on Friday last week, with 54 receiving a commendation, five receiving two commendations and one receiving a minor merit, the department said.
The police officer who received the minor merit said he was “very happy” and had not thought that he would receive such a reward just for having children, adding that he would like to have more children because he likes his house to be “lively,” but that five children was quite enough as “raising children is also a great expense.”
While some have benefited from Chin’s policy, other police officers are less enthusiastic.
“A commendation is not that hard to get; all you have to do is detain an individual driving under the influence of alcohol,” said one officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Another said that receiving a commendation that is equivalent to several million New Taiwan dollars in expenses is not worth it.
According to regulations, police officers are awarded a commendation if they detain an individual driving under the influence of alcohol or crack a case of theft or burglary; two commendations for solving a fraud or drugs case; and a merit for solving larger cases such as manslaughter, kidnapping or large-scale drug trafficking.
Chin said he came up with the idea for the policy because his own children, a son and a daughter in their 30s, show no signs of intending to get married.
He said to encourage a higher birth rate everybody has to work together to create more incentives.
Chin said he hoped the policy would help make a difference, adding that he had introduced similar policies when serving at Taipei’s Sindian Precinct, New Taipei City’s Banciao Precinct and the Keelung Harbor Police Bureau.
The Miaoli County Police Department Human Resources Division said the bonuses do not affect a police officer’s annual performance ranking, adding that the policy is in line with the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics estimate that each couple needs at have least 2.1 children to maintain population growth.
Due to financial difficulties, the Miaoli County Government’s childbirth subsidies have been cut from a peak of NT$34,000 in 2010 to NT$6,600 in July.
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