DPP riled up over flood recovery budget
By Katherine Wei ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) demanded that the central government allot a larger budget for recovery efforts related to potential damage caused by severe flooding, yesterday.
August 31, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
After two tropical storms crashed into Taiwan in August, Southern Taiwan has suffered from serious flooding; raising complaints from both civilians and government officials. Residents in Southern Taiwan have slammed the local government for belated cancellation of classes, work and flood-management procedures.
According to the DPP caucus, the government's flood recovery budget of NT$1,474,800,000 for 2014 — organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs' (MOEA) Water Resources Agency (WRA) — is not enough to permanently prevent serious flooding.
The “80 Billion for Eight Years” project, the DPP's own flood-recovery plan launched in 2006 with a NT$80 billion budget, is coming to its end next year, and the DPP caucus called for another eight-year tranche of funds to support the flood-recovery budget, said DPP caucus whip Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡).
The annual budget will be reviewed and voted on by the Legislature after the Legislative Yuan's second session begins in September, a procedure that will be slowed down if the ruling party refuses to raise the original budget, threatened DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬). Gao said the DPP wants a flood-recovery budget that can be passed in the Legislature's first reading. “(But) if the MOEA (is not willing to) alter the amount, we will never pass the budget.”
The DPP had also proposed a law amendment on flood-recovery regulations, which has allegedly been rejected by the Kuomintang caucus. Former MOEA Minister Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) had proposed a management plan for flood-prone regions with a NT$61.5 billion budget to last six years, but was barred by the Council for Economic Planning and Development, said Wu.
“There should be at least NT$10 billion for flood recovery each year,” Wu stressed.