November 20, 2016, 12:15 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan — The government will heed the messages conveyed by public opinion polls showing record-high disapproval for the Tsai administration, but remains confident of the policies it is proposing, a Cabinet spokesman said Saturday.
Spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung made the remarks in Kaohsiung while accompanying Premier Lin Chuan to meet with residents of Dalinpu concerning the relocation of their village.
President Tsai Ing-wen marks her first six months in office Sunday, but the latest public opinion polls have shown that the popularity of both herself and Lin have continued to decline.
“Policies and their implementation may generate controversies, but the government is confident,” Hsu said.
“We thank the public for their opinions; the government will heed them.”
Hsu noted that when Taiwan was planning the National Health Insurance (NHI) program, many people were skeptical. Because they misunderstood the policy, the government’s approval ratings in public opinion polls dropped, he said.
But after the NHI was implemented, the government’s popularity rose, he said, with the program described as a “pride” of the country.
Hsu said the government was confident that the long-term elderly care program the government was introducing would become another “pride” of Taiwan.
The program would help families ensure quality care for their elderly members, Hsu said.
He also said proposed labor law changes that would result in workers losing some public holidays would ultimately benefit both employees and employers.
The planned changes have triggered massive protests, while the Tsai administration’s bid to legalize same-sex marriage has been met with opposition from religious groups, who staged a large-scale demonstration near the Presidential Office last week.
In addition, the public agrees that a long-term care program is needed for the aging country, but many questions have been asked about the source of funding.
The government’s plan to lift a ban of food imports from areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan has also met with strong opposition, some from local governments controlled by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.
Hsu said that the government would organize three new public hearings regarding food imports from Japan in early December. The hearings would be held in Taipei and Kaohsiung and broadcast live on TV and online, he said.
Paris, Nov. 19 (CNA) Taiwan had achieved realistic participation in the just-concluded United Nations climate conference, holding talks with over 35 countries on global climate issues even though it is not a U.N. member, an Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) official said Saturday.
Exchanges with other countries during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, had been smooth and free from Bejing’s intervention, Chien Huei-chen (簡慧貞), executive director of EPA’s Office of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Management, told CNA.
Chien said 12 of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies also spoke out for the country during the conference, in which Taiwan joined many activities on the sidelines.
“We participated in the event through a ‘technical approach,'” said Chien, adding that the results were more fruitful than previously thought.
As to the talks with some 35 countries, they had generated concrete and sustainable measures, Chien said.
They included a joint-calculation mechanism for carbon dioxide emissions that could be verified by third parties, she said.
In addition, the island’s state-run Taiwan Power Co., oil refiner CPC Corp., and China Steel Corp. had participated in more activities at this conference than in previous years, which Chien thinks could improve their ability to adapt to climate change.
(By Emmanuel Tseng and Lee Hsin-Yin)
Tags: carbon, Chien Huei-chen, China Steel Corp, climate conference, Democratic Progressive Party, environmental, EPA, Fukushima, global warming, health care, healthcare, imports from areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan, Kaohsiung, Lin Chuan, National Health Insurance, NHI, pride of Taiwan, quality care for the elderly, Taipei, Taiwan Power Co, Tsai administration, Tsai Ing-wen, United Nations