Environmental groups yesterday urged the government to more strictly regulate unregistered factories built on farmland, saying their number continues to grow, despite measures stipulated in the Factory Management Act (工廠管理輔導法).
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺) on Friday last week asked the Cabinet to give a 10-year grace period to more than 50,000 factories built on farmland after the deadline for guiding their transformation expires on June 20, 2020.
Instead of just putting off the deadline, the government should help the factories become legal, Premier William Lai (賴清德) said, drawing criticism from environmental groups.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Lawmakers on the Legislative Yuan’s Economics Committee yesterday met to review draft amendments to the act’s Article 33 and Article 34 related to temporary registrations of illegal factories.
Environmental groups accused the lawmakers of trying to curry favor with factory owners by proposing irresponsible amendments.
However, the committee later in the meeting stopped reviewing the proposals and asked the Cabinet to submit its version of draft amendments by the end of this legislative session.
Separate draft amendments proposed by Lin and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) and Wang Hui-mei (王惠美) propose that the definition of unregistered factories qualified for temporary registration should be expanded to cover those built before March 31 or May 20, 2016, instead of those built before March 14, 2008.
After the act was amended in 2010 to allow unregistered factories to apply for temporary registrations, the number of new unregistered factories has risen from 4,043 that year to 5,734 last year, New Power Party Legislator Kawlo Iyun Pacidal said, citing data compiled by the Taiwan Environmental Information Association.
Instead of curbing unregistered factories, the act allows them to grow in number and occupy farmland that is already fragmented, Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan researcher Wu Chi-jung (吳其融) said.
While the nation has nearly 600,000 people working at unregistered factories and 800,000 in the agriculture sector, the former’s growth should not be predicate on the latter’s sacrifice, Wu added.
The government in October last year announced that it would demolish 17 illegal factories built after May 20, 2016, but two of them remain intact, Homemakers United Foundation researcher Tang Lin-hsiang (湯琳翔) said, adding that the government has also failed in its promise to announce a second demolition list by the end of last year.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,