Mon, Jul 09, 2018 - Page 3 News List

DPP lawmaker demands free access to Frog Rock

By Chen Yu-fu  /  Staff reporter

Lawmakers are demanding that the Kenting National Park Headquarters stop the China Youth Corps from monopolizing public access to popular tourist attractions in Pingtung County’s Kenting (墾丁), including the Frog Rock landmark.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) yesterday said that he and his wife recently took a trip to Kenting, only to realize that tourists must pay the corps’ Kenting Youth Activity Center to see the landmark.

The landmark is not owned by the center, despite the rock being on the center’s grounds, Lai said, adding that those who wish to see the landmark must pay an entrance fee of NT$40 if they are not staying at the center.

The activity center is one of 12 similar establishments across Taiwan that are operated by the corps without a hotel registration permit. Government agencies and state-run institutions have leased the properties to the corps for well-below market value, presumably due its close ties with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

The corps, founded by the then-KMT government in 1952 for anti-communist purposes, is under investigation by the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee to determine whether it is a KMT affiliate.

“This is utterly preposterous,” Lai said, adding that Frog Rock is a public resource that should not be exploited for profit by the corps, which has already enjoyed many privileges due to its past association with the KMT.

Lai said the 120,599m2 of public land on which the center stands is leased to the corps by the Ministry of Finance’s National Property Administration for NT$6.6 million (US$216,393) per year, or only about NT$17.9 per ping (3.3m2) per month.

The agency has been instructed not to renew the lease when it expires in December, Lai said.

The Ministry of Education provided the corps with a total subsidy of NT$200 million from 1980 for four consecutive years to construct five youth activity centers, including the one in Kenting, which is registered under the corps’ name, the committee found.

Launched in August 1983, the center was used for free by the corps until December 1991, when it finally signed a formal lease agreement with the government, although it has continued to monopolize public access to Frog Rock and Lovers’ Beach.

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