Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, May 19, 2017 - Page 4

SOCIETY

Police escort giraffe south

The Taipei Zoo on Wednesday thanked police for escorting Hsiaochang (宵璋) to Hsinchu County for mating. The two-year-old giraffe was coaxed into its travel crate in the early hours and loaded onto a vehicle headed for Leofoo Village Theme Park, which is more than 60km away. To maintain the genetic diversity of its animals, the zoo sent one giraffe to Wanpi World Safari Zoo in Tainan for mating in 2008 and again in 2013. Preparations for transporting the 3m-tall, 315kg-heavy Hsiaochang to Leofoo Village began six months ago. His keeper said giraffes are naturally suspicious and highly sensitive, so to make Hsiaochang willingly move into the travel crate, starting in December last year, he was fed vitamins and other nutrients to boost his immune system, and last month, the crate was placed in his enclosure with his favorite leaves hanging inside to induce him to enter.

TOURISM

Park celebrates six years

A series of promotional activities are being held in Kinmen to mark Houpu 16 Creative Park’s sixth anniversary. During the celebrations, which started on Tuesday and run through Sunday in the Houpu Township (后浦) park, shoppers who check in on Facebook in one of the park’s 11 stores will be given brownie cookies, the park’s management committee said. The park, which was built around 16 traditional townhouses, was renovated in 2003 following its official designation as a national heritage site. Prior to renovation, the buildings had narrowly escaped demolition by land developers who wanted to build five-star hotels on the site. The park is known for products such as blown glassware, stone carvings and wooden charms and amulets, and is home to tea houses, beer gardens and restaurants.

HEALTHCARE

Bill to extend coverage

Children born to foreign nationals who reside in Taiwan legally are to be automatically covered by the National Health Insurance program, according to a draft bill that passed an initial review by a legislative committee yesterday. Under the National Health Insurance Act (全民健康保險法), children born to foreign nationals in Taiwan are not eligible for health insurance until they are six months old. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) proposed the revision. The Ministry of Health and Welfare, in a report submitted to the legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee, said that babies born to Taiwanese are automatically covered by the system and that newborns of foreign nationals should be treated the same way.

TRANSPORTATION

Additional trains planned

The nation’s two rail operators yesterday said they would provide additional services from Friday next week to May 31 to meet high expected demand for holiday travel during the Dragon Boat Festival. Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp said that 162 trains would be added to its regular routes — 68 northbound and 94 southbound — bringing the total to 973. Booking for the holiday period is to begin today at midnight, it said. The Taiwan Railways Administration said it would provide six additional trains on its Hualien and Taitung counties’ routes during the period, with online booking to start today at 6am. The administration’s online ticketing system requires passengers’ names and national identification numbers, as it aims to give priority to residents of Hualien and Taitung during the holiday period, particularly for travel on six Tzuchiang-class express trains. The Dragon Boat Festival falls on May 30 this year, with the holiday extending from May 27 to May 30.

EMPLOYMENT

Ministry to launch job card

In order to combat youth unemployment, the government plans to launch a job card that provides access to career counseling, vocational training and job introduction, the Ministry of Labor announced yesterday. Government statistics showed that the unemployment rate in March was 3.78 percent, but it was 12.37 percent for those aged 20 to 25 and 6.64 percent for those aged 25 to 29. To help young people find jobs, the ministry is to adopt a system similar to Japan’s “Job card system,” it said, adding that the program would initially target young people who have been unemployed for a long time. More details are to be unveiled by the end of this year, the ministry said, adding that the card would incorporate career counseling and vocational training, as well as bring businesses and job seekers together.

SOCIETY

Special prizes unclaimed

Seven January-February uniform invoice receipts — each bearing the number 82885130, entitling them to a NT$10 million (US$330,852) cash prize — have yet to be claimed, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. The ministry reminded the holders of the winning receipts to come forward for the prize before the deadline of July 5, because the money would remain in state coffers if unclaimed. A total of 17 sales invoices issued in January and February carry the special prize number of the nation’s uniform invoice lottery for the two-month period, the ministry said. Apart from the unclaimed NT$10 million special prize, there are also three grand prize winners from the period who have not claimed the prize of NT$2 million each, it added. The winning number for the grand prize is 59729884.