VAC offers subsidies to boost military recruitment
By Joseph Yeh ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Cabinet-level Veterans Affairs Commission (VAC, 退輔會) yesterday proposed allowing discharged volunteer service soldiers to enjoy government subsidies after completing only four years of service, in a move looking to attract young people into the military.
October 8, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
“The subsidies focus on helping retired soldiers enter the workplace or return to school,” said VAC Minister Tung Hsiang-lung (董翔龍) when attending a session of the Legislative Yuan's National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday.
. The draft proposal plans to give subsidies to those who have served in the military for more than four years but less than 10 years before choosing to file for retirement.
The subsidies are granted proportionally according to the discharged soldiers' service years and rank, he said.
The current subsidies only give grants to veterans who have served 10 years in the military.
The latest VAC proposal is seen as a move to boost voluntary service recruitment, which has been sluggish over recent years.
The military originally expected to abolish the existing conscription system and replace it with a full voluntary one by Jan. 1, 2015, according to a timetable previously announced by the Ministry of National Defense (MND).
The military, however, has faced difficulties in convincing Taiwanese youths to join the armed forces.
It was originally scheduled to recruit around 28,000 voluntary soldiers by the end of this year. But only 4,200 have reported to their military units in the first seven months in 2013, according to an MND report released in August.
Facing sluggish volunteer recruitment, the MND announced last month that it would postpone the abolishment of the conscription system by two years, moving it to 2017.