Wed, Apr 12, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Women’s league could donate funds to health ministry

HEALTHCARE:Donating part of the league’s assets to the ministry would be a legal way of returning ill-gotten assets to the state, a committee said

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The National Women’s League would be allowed to donate NT$16 billion (US$522 million) of its assets to the Ministry of Health and Welfare to go toward long-term healthcare if the group is found to be affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and have funding from ill-gotten assets, the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee said yesterday.

The committee has decided that such a donation could be seen as a legal means of returning ill-gotten party assets to the state and facilitating a fair competitive environment for political parties, which is in line with the spirit of the Act Governing the Handling of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations (政黨及其附隨組織不當取得財產處理條例), committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang (施錦芳) said.

The league last month notified the ministry that it wanted to donate money to fund the national long-term care system, but the ministry was concerned with the legality of the move because the money might be recognized as ill-gotten KMT assets.

“Although the committee has not yet determined that the league is an [KMT] affiliated organization, it unanimously agreed that the donation would be legal if the league was recognized as such,” Shih said, adding that the ministry could accept the donation without legal worries.

Asked if the committee was overstepping its authority by reviewing the legality of a proposed donation before the league’s status has been determined, Shih said the committee does not have the right to approve or disapprove the donation now, but it would approve the donation if the league was ruled to be a KMT affiliate.

The league on Feb. 17 said that it had NT$38.1 billion in assets and it would donate NT$16 billion to government agencies to be used for long-term healthcare, NT$6 billion to social welfare organizations and NT$6 billion to Cheng Hsin General Hospital to build a long-term care center.

The proposed donation to the hospital has been widely criticized because the league’s executive secretary, Cecilia Koo Yen (辜嚴倬雲), is president of the hospital.

For organizations whose properties are recognized as ill-gotten party assets, making donations to government agencies and legally required payments, such as salaries and taxes, are the only two spending activities allowed under the act, Shih said.

“Donations made to non-governmental organizations are not allowed by the act, and organizations have to understand that there are legal consequences to accepting such donations,” she said.

The committee has scheduled a hearing on April 27 to review the league’s status.

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