Sun, Nov 06, 2016 - Page 3 News List

DPP caucus agrees to cut WLFD, APLFD budgets

By Peng Wan-hsin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A unanimous decision to slash all World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD) and Asian Pacific League for Freedom and Democracy (APLFD) budgets proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was reached during a meeting of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus for foreign and national defense.

The APLFD was formed as the Asian People’s Anti-Communist League in June 15, 1954, with members including the Republic of China (ROC), South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, then-South Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau and Japan’s Ryuku Islands.

In 1967, members of the APLFD founded the World Anti-Communist League, whose name was changed into the World League for Freedom and Democracy in 1990. The organization, in 1993, was recognized by the UN as an official non-governmental organization.

The DPP has since 2000 said that the WFLD was primarily a pan-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) organization that catered to KMT “fat cats,” and the DPP has tried unsuccessfully for years to cut the organizations’ budgets.

The DPP said neither organization contributed much to Taiwan’s international standing and both had a higher personnel expenses ratio than the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.

The WLFD cost the nation NT$28 million (US$889,651) annually.

Some legislators said that the salary for WLFD president Yao Eng-chi (饒穎奇) exceeded that of a ministerial-level official, adding that the organization existed as a retirement house for elderly KMT members and should be abolished.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would make an official statement when the DPP legislative caucus entered the issue on the Legislative Yuan roster.

However, the ministry said slashing the WLFD budget might affect Taiwan’s number of official non-governmental organizations on the international scale, especially considering that the WLFD was an official member of the UN’s non-governmental organization branch.

Sources said that ministry officials, speaking under anonymity, tried to persuade the DPP legislature caucus to retain the personnel expenses budget.

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