The Presidential Office yesterday declined calls from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) politicians for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to declare a state of emergency over the COVID-19 situation, saying that any contingencies can be addressed by existing legislation.
KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) told a KMT Central Standing Committee meeting that the government should consider issuing emergency presidential orders to provide a legal basis for local governments to arrange or call for disease prevention items and also resolve any questions regarding restrictions imposed on the public.
New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) of the KMT said that the government should bar Taiwanese from traveling to countries listed in a Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) level 3 “warning” travel advisory, bar visitors from those nations from entering Taiwan within 30 days of their nations being listed and halt the importation of foreign workers during the pandemic.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
TPP Legislator Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that restrictions under Act 7 of the Special Act on COVID-19 Prevention, Relief and Restoration (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例) are questionable and could be infringing on constitutionally guaranteed rights.
However, such restrictions are well within the parameters of a state of emergency decree, so instead of applying for a constitutional interpretation or filing for an amendment to clarify whether such restrictions are legal, Tsai should just issue an emergency decree and remove all legal doubts, Jang said.
The Presidential Office said emergency decrees should only be issued in cases of national emergencies or during a financial tumult that would otherwise lack a legal basis.
Under the Constitution, any emergency decree issued by the president must be ratified by the Legislative Yuan, the office said.
The post-SARS amendment to the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法) and the special act have provided legal bases for nearly all disease prevention efforts, office spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said, adding that an emergency decree was not issued during the SARS outbreak.
Since martial law was lifted in 1987, a state of emergency has only be declared once, after the 921 Earthquake in 1999, Chang said.
A domestically developed “suicide drone,” also known as a loitering munition, would be tested and evaluated in July, and could enter mass production next year, Taiwan’s weapons developer said on Wednesday. The yet-to-be-named drone was among nine drone models unveiled by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) on Tuesday. The drone has been dubbed the “Taiwanese switchblade” by Chinese-language media, due to its similarity to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300, which has been used by Ukraine in counterattacks during Russia’s invasion. It has a range of more than 10km, a flight time of more than 15 minutes, and an electro-optical
OFFLINE: People who do not wish to register can get the money from select ATMs using their bank card, ID number and National Health Insurance card number Online registration for NT$6,000 (US$196.32) cash payments drawn from last year’s tax surplus is to open today for eligible people whose national ID or permanent residency number ends in either a zero or a one, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. Officials from the ministry revealed which days Taiwanese and eligible foreigners would be able to register for the cash payments at a joint news conference with the Ministry of Digital Affairs. Online registration is to open tomorrow for those whose number ends in a two or three; on Friday for those that end in a four or five: on Saturday
Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) officials are investigating why a Starlux Airlines flight to Penang, Malaysia, returned to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport nearly two hours after takeoff yesterday morning. The airline said in a statement that Flight JX721 to Penang took off from Taoyuan airport at 9:20am. “After the dashboard showed a signal of an abnormality in the hydraulic system, the captain followed standard operating procedures and returned the flight to Taoyuan airport for safety precautions,” the airline said, adding that the flight landed safely at the airport at 11:04am. The airline arranged for the passengers to have lunch after the flight landed and
WORKING UP AN APPETITE: Sales at the Rueifong Night Market surged 20 to 30 percent, while seats at Liouhe Night Market were packed until 1am, market officials said South Korean pop band Blackpink’s concerts over the weekend in Kaohsiung helped draw large crowds to local night markets, the Kaohsiung City Government said yesterday. The two concerts on Saturday and Sunday at Kaohsiung National Stadium drew more than 90,000 people. The city government offered NT$50 vouchers to spend locally to concertgoers who showed their ticket stubs. Liouhe Night Market (六合夜市) management committee head Chuang Chi-chang (莊其章) said that crowds over the weekend surged at about 10pm and the market remained packed until 1:30am. “Almost all the seats were filled,” Chuang said. Night market stall owners had stocked up in expectation of an increased number