The National Women’s League last month said it would donate NT$16 billion (US$515.53 million) to government agencies in charge of providing long-term care, but the Ministry of Health and Welfare is inclined to refuse the donation, a source said.
The donation was discussed in a recent cross-ministerial meeting, the source said, adding that because the league is still being investigated by the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee over its affiliation with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), its financial sources remain unclear.
Although the league has declared its finances to the Ministry of the Interior, it has not explained more than NT$9 billion of so-called “surcharge for the military” collected in the past.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
The league has denied more than once that it is affiliated with the KMT and expressed a desire to donate to long-term care services.
The ministry asked the Cabinet for guidance over the issue.
The Cabinet said it would be appropriate to wait for the assets committee to finalize its investigations into ill-gotten party assets, because the league would be banned from disposing of its assets if it is declared an affiliate of the KMT, sources said.
“We cannot accept this donation,” a high-ranked Cabinet official was quoted as saying in the meeting.
Meanwhile, the assets committee’s preliminary investigation suggests that the league’s financial sources in its early years not only included the surcharge for the military, but also a surcharge imposed for the purpose of national defense, when the Republic of China government had just relocated to Taiwan.
In February 1950, the then-Taiwan Provincial Government followed instructions from the former Southeast Military and Political Executive Office to impose a coastal defense surcharge (台灣省防衛捐徵收辦法) to support the military. The surcharge included eight different types of taxes, electricity bills and import taxes at various rates for 10 years.
An assets committee member said the league’s assets included funds from both the military and the coastal defense taxes, and if the league were not affiliated to the KMT it is unlikely that it would have had the right to collect the surcharges, adding that the league’s establishment was a product of the party-state era.
The assets committee plans to hold a hearing late next month to clarify whether the league is a KMT affiliate.
In related news, the assets committee on Friday won an appeal to keep KMT assets frozen following a previous verdict by the High Administrative Court in Taipei that ruled in the KMT’s favor, lifting a freeze on NT$740 million on the basis of irrecoverable damage to party operations.
Friday’s ruling came after the committee filed an appeal with the Supreme Administrative Court, which determined that no irrecoverable damage to KMT operations had occurred and that the committee’s lifting of a freeze on about NT$150 million in January was sufficient for the party’s needs.
The committee intended a portion of the frozen cash released to the KMT to be used to pay severance and retirement packages to laid off employees, committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang (施錦芳) said.
She expressed her appreciation to the Supreme Administrative Court for “its understanding of the facts and for knowing that the KMT has not been irreparably damaged.”
Additional reporting by Yang Kuo-wen and Chen Yu-fu
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung