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Hsinchu, Penghu, Hualien rank highest in local gov't satisfaction

A recent survey conducted by Economic Daily indicates that residents of Hsinchu City, Penghu County, Hsinchu County and Hualien County are the most satisfied with the local governments' policies. Among all the 20 cities and counties in Taiwan surveyed, Hsinchu City was recognized as the city with the most satisfied population with a score of 70.5 points in the “Happiness Index,” whereas Taipei was ranked at number eight.

Yesterday in a press conference, Hsinchu City Deputy Mayor Yu Chien-hua (游建華), Hsinchu County Mayor Chiu Ching-chun (邱鏡淳) and Hualien County Mayor Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) stated that protecting traditional industries is important. However, they also stressed that the central government should provide more assistance in order to help local governments solve issues.

Fu stated that because Hualien has advantages such as beautiful scenery and natural resources, more than 400 enterprises began operations there last year, helping the city boost its tourism industry and raise revenue. However, Fu also called on the central government to speed up assessment of amendments for the nation's Public Debt Act, so that local government can raise funds more easily and accelerate development plans.

Guo Fei-yu (郭翡玉), from the Council for Economic Planning and Development, stated that though the ongoing “National Construction Project” has allocated NT$10 to NT$20 billion for local governments to rediscover local feature industries. Local governments ought to utilize all the resources in order to help create business opportunities in suburban areas, said Guo.

Economic Daily publisher Yang Jen-feng (楊仁烽) stated that the happiness index survey of more than 22,000 sampled residents adopted evaluation criteria applied for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) “Your Better Life Index.”

As opposed to standard methods applied in calculation of gross domestic product (GDP), the happiness index is conducted to evaluate citizens' quality of life, especially in areas of health, education, employment, leisure, environment, satisfaction and safety.

Editor-in-Chief Yu Chih-chin (余趾琴) of Economic Daily explained that the primary purpose of conducting the happiness index is to evaluate citizens' quality of life. She added that local governments may use the index as a reference when making policies in the future.

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