Flood prevention programs should not be dictated by populism: minister
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Minister without Portfolio Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) said yesterday that he supports a six-year NT$60 billion flood prevention program, but that such policies shouldn't be dictated by populist motives.
September 3, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
Heavy rain brought to the island by two recent tropical storms has caused extensive damage to both the mountainous regions and plains of Southern Taiwan. In response, the heads of local governments have been calling on President Ma Ying-jeou's administration to create the new flood prevention fund as a continuation of the previous eight-year, NT$80 billion program.
Yang said that he was educated as a civil engineer and that he served nine years as magistrate of Kaohsiung County, now merged with Kaohsiung City.
Devastating Typhoon Morakot, which killed over 100 people nationwide, struck Taiwan during his tenure as magistrate.
The minister said that his only concern at the time was collaborating with the central government on disaster relief and rescue operations.
Yang urged the heads of local governments in Southern Taiwan not to shirk their responsibilities, and to review how their flood prevention funds are allocated, instead of just asking the central government for more subsidies.
The minister said that he is not opposed to allocating another NT$60 billion for flood prevention, but that all sectors of society need to be more attuned to disaster prevention concepts, since water-related disasters are challenges that all members of the global community must face.