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May 27, 2017

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Cabinet fully supports Kaohsiung reconstruction

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday reiterated that the Executive Yuan will fully support the Kaohsiung City Government during reconstruction efforts in wake of the recent gas explosions, after opposition lawmakers accused the Cabinet of being "cold-blooded."

On Monday, Kaohsiung City Secretary-General Lee Rui-tsang (李瑞倉) said that according to preliminary estimates, the city needs at least NT$1.9 billion to rebuild its damaged parts.

Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) yesterday said that according to the Disaster Prevention and Protection Act, local governments should dip into their own emergency funds, annual budgets and public donations, first. If after doing this Kaohsiung still finds itself short of funds, then the central government will "definitely" give financial aid to the city.

The premier yesterday stressed that the Executive Yuan stands with the citizens of Kaohsiung.

Cabinet's Response on Reports

Several local news outlets yesterday reported that the Cabinet has decided not to set up a law governing all underground pipelines in the nation, not to allocate a separate budget for reconstruction efforts in Kaohsiung, and not to establish a special commission to manage the reconstruction efforts.

Sun responded to the reports, saying that as underground petrochemical pipeline management involves too many governmental agencies and each agency has its own set of regulations to govern the issue, the Executive Yuan will not make another set of laws regulating it.

The spokesman said a cross-ministry meeting held on Monday did not discuss the possibility of establishing a special commission under the Cabinet to manage the reconstruction matter in Kaohsiung.

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