1. The groundbreaking ceremony for Academia Sinica - Southern Branch marks a new milestone for Southern Taiwan
(1) To collaborate with the central Government in promoting the “Five plus two” innovative industries plan and to achieve the visions of green energy promotion, industry development, and technological innovations, as structured under the Central Government’s green energy innovation plan, the Tainan City Government launched the Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City project in 2016. This project is one of the Central Government’s Ten Flagship Projects. It is also the largest project centered on economic development in Tainan City. Construction work for the Green Energy Technology Joint Research Center, Green Energy Lab, and the Self-Driving Vehicle Test Run Venue has begun in March. Last week, construction work for Academia Sinica - Southern Branch and the Greater Tainan Expo Center also started. I would like to thank President Tsai for traveling to Tainan and hosting the groundbreaking ceremony in person.
(2) Currently, the construction work for Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City amounts to more than NT $20 billion. The primary structures for all areas in Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City are set to be completed by the end of 2018. By then, Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City will be a newly furnished center that houses businesses and institutions, and a growing number of R&D and tech personnel will re-center their work and lives in this area. Our objective is to create 32,000 employment opportunities. Again, I would like to thank President Tsai, Premier Lai, and all departments of the Central Government for supporting Tainan. The Tainan City Government will continue to work with the Central Government in promoting various peripheral infrastructure projects.
(3) Academia Sinica – Southern Branch covers an area of 7.3 hectares. It received NT $4 billion worth of funds. An open plan design was employed, and themes such as an international university town, biodiversity, and friendly neighborhood were adopted. Construction is carried out in two stages. A total of three buildings are to be completed during the two phases, which respectively end during December 2019 and March 2021. The establishment of Academia Sinica – Southern Branch represents a new milestone for R&D in scientific industries for the new generation dwelling in Southern Taiwan. The responsibilities of Academia Sinica – Southern Branch in promoting research and regional development are comparable to those of its headquarters in Nankang District. Tainan is home to diverse agriculture and unique history and culture. Now, it is also a major hub for green energy technology and the circular economy, all of which are research topics with great potential. In the future, Tainan will integrate the forces of green energy R&D from all corners of Taiwan and become the most important green energy R&D center in the world.
2. Shaping Tainan as an international city by protectively promoting a second official language
(1) One of Premier Lai’s major policy objectives during his term as mayor was to promote English as Tainan City’s second official language. Policies have currently been undertaken to achieve this objective. This policy has received widespread recognition and support. To support this cause, the Flomo Education Foundation donated NT $10 million in 2016. StudioClassroom also donated ten million sets of serial numbers in 2017, which is worth NT $90 million, for Tainan’s citizens to download courses for free. This year, TOEIC Bridge sponsored 1,500 citizens to take free English proficiency tests, the first project of its kind in Asia, amounting to more than one million new Taiwan dollars. Furthermore, renowned domestic online English learning platform VoiceTube also provided sponsorship by offering free business English courses to 2,000 employees of local businesses.
(2) The Tainan City Government has organized the “three arrows for business English,” which encourages business owners to offer incentive programs that inspire employees to learn. The Tainan City Government publicly commends businesses that exhibit excellent overall learning performance as English-friendly businesses. Currently, owners of major companies have taken the lead in launching incentive programs to show their support for employees in learning English, demonstrating the resolve of local businesses for going international. Data from Airbnb indicate that there is a growing number of foreign visitors who now find lodging in Tainan via Airbnb, achieving a growth rate of 74% this year, the highest among all cities/counties in Taiwan. I would like to thank General Manager Li of Silks Place Tainan for leading a foreign consultant team in counseling owners for 150 legally established B&Bs in creating an English-friendly environment in Tainan, which enhances their competitiveness and also benefits the promotion of international travel.
(3) I would like to thank Deputy Secretary-General Li and the Office of English as the Second Official Language for proactively promoting relevant projects over the past few years. Your hard work should be recognized, as it has yielded significant results. I would like to ask the departments to continue to extend and promote relevant projects with the goal of transforming Tainan into a benchmark for international cities. Together, let us make learning and using English a common endeavor for the citizens of Tainan City.
1. The Bureau of Social Affairs’ report on the affordable housing project (refer to written sources for details)
Decision: Approved for reference filing
(1) Residents dwelling in Tainan’s few remaining 45-year-old affordable housing units have been resettled in structurally safe housing. After a major earthquake struck Tainan on February 6, 2016, then-mayor Premier Lai convened an internal meeting to ensure the safety of residents dwelling in aged affordable housing units. For residents of aged housing units that had exceeded their maximum years of usage or those that clearly lacked structural integrity, the Tainan City Government provided rental subsidies, relocation subsidies, and rewards for volunteered relocations. These three measures offered greater incentives compared to previous ones, which encouraged residents to collaborate with the City Government in resettlement operations.
(2) “One social worker per household” was employed for visits, consultations, and resource matching involving listed households on social welfare or for residents that were underprivileged or marginalized, thereby assisting these households during resettlements. The innovative concept of “real-time care prioritized for the underprivileged” was adopted to demonstrate the Tainan City Government’s sincerity. Multiple and comprehensive communications were conducted with the residents, which enabled the exacerbation of resettlements. Statistics indicate that a total of 177 households from the Dalin Affordable Housing Project in the East District and 185 families from the Datong Affordable Housing Project in the South District were resettled. The demolition of the two aged affordable housing projects was completed on April 5. The original site of the Dalin Affordable Housing Project is scheduled to be built into a temporary, paid parking lot. The original location of the Datong Affordable Housing Project is to be transformed into a green area with basic recreational facilities or parking space, thereby creating a diverse living environment for residents nearby. The comprehensive resettlement and demolition policies have equally benefitted the residents of these units, neighbors in the area, and the Tainan City Government.
(3) I would like to thank the residents of these projects their cooperation, and also the Tainan City Council; Bureau of Social Affairs; Public Works Bureau, Finance and Local Tax Bureau; Bureau of Urban Development; Environmental Protection Bureau, Bureau of Transportation; Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics; Department of Leal Affairs; Annan District Office, East District Office; and village chiefs for their assistance. Your excellent work and effort played an indispensable role in the success of this endeavor.
(4) Resettlement for residents of the Dalin and Datong Affordable Housing Projects has been completed. I would like to ask the Bureau of Social Affairs to reward staff members who contributed to this endeavor. In addition, I would also like to ask the Secretary-General to convene a meeting with concerned departments in assessing the future applications at the original site of the Datong Affordable Housing Project.
2. The Bureau of Urban Development’s report on the promotion of social housing in Tainan City(refer to written sources for details)
Decision: Approved for reference filing
(1) The socially underprivileged and incoming populations are often faced with poor rental conditions and expensive rent as well as a lack of rental options. To solve this problem, the Tainan City Government has proactively collaborated with the Central Government in promoting housing policies to achieve suitable housing for all. Over the past 12 years, the Tainan City Government has provided more than 35,000 housing subsidies, including rental subsidies and preferential interest rates for purchases and renovations. These subsidies have been rather popular, attracting a substantial number of applicants. The scope of subsidies was expanded this year, with a total of 695 rental subsidy programs for the youth and newlyweds, thereby assisting young people who are new to the workforce while benefiting a higher number of citizens. For this, I would like to thank Director-General Chuang and the staff members of the Bureau of Urban Development for their great work.
(2) The rental escrow project, which was launched at the beginning of the year, is a significant policy for the underprivileged who are facing difficulties in finding houses for rent. This project is currently in its infancy; therefore, I would like to ask the Bureau of Urban Development to further promote this project. In addition, citizens are encouraged to apply for status as a landlord in the rental escrow project, for which citizens will receive renovation subsidies and tax breaks.
(3) A variety of social housing projects and land acquisition methods exists. By utilizing the Central Government’s resources and launching projects that are organized by the Central Government and undertaken by local governments, fiscal pressures for local governments can be alleviated, and social housing can be acquired more effectively. I would like to ask the Bureau of Urban Development to continue to discuss subsequent operations with the Central Government, thereby accelerating the construction of social housing projects in Tainan and enabling our citizens to recognize the Tainan City Government’s thoughtful public services.