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September 22, 2017

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Taiwan to get six more days off in 2015: MOI

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) announced yesterday that it would increase the number of days off next year by six from the current 109 to 115 days, noting that apart from the six-day Chinese New Year holiday, there will be five more consecutive holidays in 2015.

The 2015 consecutive holidays include the six-day Chinese New Year, the three-day 228 Memorial weekend, the four-day Children's Day and Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, the three-day Dragon Boat Festival, the three-day Moon Festival and the three-day Double Tenth Day, the MOI said.

Under the current guidelines there would be fewer holidays next year due to the fact that most of the public holidays fall on weekends. Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), during a recent interpellation at the Legislative Yuan, said he was considering increasing the number of public holidays so people would enjoy "a little happiness in hand."

In light of this, Deputy Minister of the Interior Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇) yesterday morning invited representatives of local governments, relevant government agencies and local commercial organizations to discuss making up for the lack of days off.

Hsiao held a press conference, saying that the MOI and representatives from various parties reached a consensus on the issue and came up with a plan. Whenever a public holiday falls on weekends, he said, the day before or after the public holiday will be a day off.

Hsiao went on to explain that, for example, the 228 Memorial Holiday in 2015 falls on a Saturday, so Friday will be a day off, while Children's Day and Tomb Sweeping Day are on a Saturday and Sunday, so Friday and Monday will be additional days off for a four-day holiday.

Longer CNY Holiday Would Harm Revenues: Hsiao

On the question of whether or not to increase next year's Chinese New Year from a six-day holiday to a nine-day holiday, the deputy minister said the meeting came to a decision to not make any changes.

Hsiao explained that there will be 12 years of nine-day Chinese New Year holidays over the next 20 years, and additional days off in 2015 would increase the costs for small- and medium-sized enterprises by approximately NT$4 billion, in addition to decreasing revenues by as much as NT$31 billion on a daily basis. Because of this, most of the representatives participating in the meeting thought it is better to maintain the six-day Chinese New Year holiday for 2015.

Hsiao said the MOI will soon draft a bill to make the decided-upon method permanent.

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