Mon, Aug 27, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT to ask Lai to report on damage caused by flooding

By Lin Liang-sheng  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus secretary-general Tseng Ming-tsung speaks to the media in Beijing on Friday.

Photo: CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday questioned the government’s spending on flood-control systems and said that Premier William Lai (賴清德) should present a report about the flood damage in central and southern Taiwan in next month’s legislative session.

Heavy rains brought by a tropical depression have since Thursday devastated parts of the nation’s central and southern regions, caused seven deaths, 116 injuries and the evacuation of 6,898 people, Ministry of the Interior data showed yesterday.

With fewer typhoons having struck the nation so far this year, the Democratic Progressive Party administration has become complacent and failed to warn people about natural disasters, caucus secretary-general Tseng Ming-tsung (曾銘宗) said, adding that recent weather forecasts have been imprecise.

When the new legislative session begins next month, the caucus will require Lai to deliver a report on the government’s plans to improve flood prevention measures, and on its planned measures against extreme weather and on disease prevention, as well as on the allocation of compensation to disaster victims and the reconstruction of property damaged by natural disasters, Tseng said.

The DPP government last year insisted on allocating NT$880 billion (US$28.6 billion) to the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, despite opposition parties saying that the government might lack additional funding to tackle emergencies, he said.

While the government has devoted a lot of money to the construction of flood prevention facilities in central and southern regions in the past few years, their effects seem to be limited, Tseng said.

He said he would ask the National Audit Office to launch an investigation into the projects to see if those funds were spent improperly, and urged prosecutors to take action if any wrongdoing is discovered.

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) performance during her visit to Chiayi County’s flooded areas on Saturday sparked criticism after she sat on an infantry fighting vehicle instead of walking through the floodwaters, which exposed her lack of empathy, caucus deputy secretary-general Ko Chih-en (柯志恩) said.

Over the past decade, the government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on flood-control facilities, with Kaohsiung receiving more than NT$30 billion and Tainan more than NT$20 billion, but the floods showed that the work was insufficient, Ko said.

Additional reporting by Wu Jen-chieh

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