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Portion of housing complex to be reserved for indigenous: Chu

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) said yesterday that a percentage of the housing units in his city's social residential complexes will be reserved for economically disadvantaged demographics such as the indigenous peoples.

An interpellation session was yesterday held at the New Taipei City Council, during which New Taipei Councilor Yang Chun-Mei (楊春妹), of the Kuomintang, expressed concern over the city government's social residential project, saying that not only should New Taipei take care of the indigenous peoples living on riverside areas, it should also take care of the majority of indigenous peoples who live in other parts of the city.

Several indigenous peoples' organizations and tribal leaders yesterday listened in on the interpellation session, while Indigenous Peoples Department chief Lin Chien-chi (林倩綺) stood by the mayor's side, helping explain the city government's policies concerning indigenous peoples.

Yang said that the city government should regularly commend tribal leaders on Indigenous Peoples Day, which falls on Aug. 1 in Taiwan, and that New Taipei should attach greater importance to the age-based social stratification of indigenous tribes.

“It would be a joke (in poor taste) indeed if the mayor doesn't understand the age-based social stratification (among indigenous tribes),” the councilor said.

Yang further raised concern over how New Taipei's Indigenous Peoples Department allocates procurement budgets, urging the local government to look into the matter.

New Taipei's social residential complexes will provide 6,336 housing units, and the economically disadvantaged will be prioritized, with a percentage being reserved for indigenous peoples, Chu explained.

  The Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics will look into the procurement issue and report its findings to the council, the mayor added.

  Commending tribal leaders is not limited to Indigenous Peoples Day, Chu said, adding that this can be done during events such as Harvest Festival.

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