1. Prepare for the review of motions discussed during the City Council’s plenary meeting
(1) The seventh regular plenary meeting of the current session is due to end tomorrow. I would like to thank the heads of department for preparing for the interpellation sessions over the past few months. Moving forward, I would like to ask the various departments to follow-up and respond to the city councilors’ policy recommendations.
(2) Committee reviews are scheduled to begin on May 11. Thus, I would like to ask all departments to double-check whether all motions pending review have been proposed.
(3) In consideration of the upcoming election in November, the last (eighth) regular plenary meeting may commence earlier than planned. I would like to ask the departments to conduct an internal overview of motions, construction work, and phased projects that are scheduled to be completed before the end of the current session, which will serve as a basis for our conclusive report to the City Council.
2. Forging international partnerships to combat cross-border outbreaks
(1) We learn from experience. After having endured a serious Dengue fever outbreak three years ago, Tainan City has collaborated with the Central Government in proactively improving disease prevention measures. As a result, the number of Dengue fever cases in 2016 and 2017 decreased substantially. As of present, no local cases of Dengue fever have been reported. Tainan City's achievements in disease prevention are unmistakable and have received international recognition.
(2) The APEC Seminar on Preventing Dengue Fever and Reducing Disease Burden, organized by the R.O.C. Centers for Disease Control, took place last week and received APEC financing. Twenty-six Dengue fever experts from ten countries in the Asia Pacific region were invited to Tainan to discuss new prevention technologies and prospects in combating Dengue fever. A disease prevention network/platform was also established during the seminar. Together, Taiwan and the international community have joined forces to enhance the Asia Pacific's disease prevention capabilities, thus contributing to global health and safety.
(3) Tainan was once affected by a Dengue fever outbreak but is now able to share its disease prevention experience and skills with the world. Dengue fever outbreaks have grown severe around the world. Climate change has also led to a rapid increase in vector count. Therefore, strong transnational collaborations and information exchanges are the only methods for preventing outbreaks from further exacerbating.
(4) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, an Ethiopian professional in Malaria, took office as Director-General of the WHO last year. Dr. Adhanom is well aware of the severity of mosquito-borne diseases. When he took office, he stated that the WHO is “committed to ensuring good health for all.” However, this statement seems rather ironic considering that the WHO has shut its doors to Taiwan. As this year’s World Health Assembly is about to take place, Tainan calls to the WHO as a city that once suffered from infectious diseases: Please face the health demands of the 23 million people in Taiwan, and do not leave Taiwan out of the picture. Only by doing so can the WHO deem itself as an organization “committed to ensuring good health for all.”
3. The groundbreaking ceremony for the Greater Tainan Expo Center was held on May 8
(1) Yesterday, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the long-anticipated Greater Tainan Expo Center. I would like to thank former Premier Lin for supporting and approving the funding for this project two years ago when President Tsai first took office, and Premier Lai for his full support in promoting this project. This project has been a dream come true for the citizens of Tainan City. Again, I would like to thank the Central Government for supporting Tainan City.
(2) Tainan is home to 17 universities and 14 industry clusters, which is the highest number of industry clusters among all counties/cities in Taiwan. After Tainan was upgraded to a special municipality, business activity grew, and local industries began experiencing a transformation. With the foundation and the scale of these transformations, and considering citizens' expectations of economic development, Tainan needed an exhibition center. Other than promoting industrial development, the Greater Tainan Expo Center also serves three important purposes. The first is to facilitate Tainan’s manufacturing industry to keep abreast of international trends. The second is to provide a sheltered and comfortable performance/exhibition and sports venue for Tainan’s citizens. The third is to elevate Tainan’s visibility and tourism value. In future, the Greater Tainan Expo Center will have a significant effect on Tainan’s economic development.
(3) The total construction cost for the Greater Tainan Expo Center was NT $2 billion and 2 million, a budget allocated by the Central Government and executed by the Tainan City Government. The plan involved building an exhibition center that serves multiple purposes. The Greater Tainan Expo Center offers a column-free space with a net height of 12 meters. It can be used for banquets, exhibitions, conferences, performances, and sports competitions. Additional indoor parking was constructed, accommodating up to 550 cars and 464 scooters. The outdoor parking space for the Greater Tainan Expo Center can accommodate up to 250 cars.
(4) In future, the Greater Tainan Expo Center will be developed along with projects promoted by the Executive Yuan in the surrounding area, including the Self-Driving Vehicle Test Run Venue, Green Energy Technology Joint Research Center, Green Energy Lab, Academia Sinica – Southern Branch, Taiwan Sugar Corporation Circular Housing, and international hotels. This entire area is known as the Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City. The total amount invested in this area has reached NT $23.8 billion. Furthermore, the smart and green energy technology R&D areas, science parks, and industrial zones in the region are expected to create substantial benefits for the Greater Tainan Expo Center’s business recruitment and performance. We anticipate that after the infrastructure and construction projects in the Tainan High Speed Rail Station area have been completed, Tainan will truly become a smart eco city.
1. The Bureau of Social Affairs’ report on the progress of implementing long-term care in Tainan City (refer to written source for details)
Decision: Approved for reference filing
(1) The percentage of citizens in Taiwan aged 65 or above reached 14.04% in March this year, indicating that Taiwan has officially become an aging society. Taiwan is projected to become a super-aged society in eight years, which means that Taiwan’s senior citizen population will exceed 20% by then. This indicates severe and accelerated population aging in Taiwan. Based on Tainan’s demographics in March, our senior population of 14.56% ranked second highest among the six special municipalities. The senior citizen population in 13 of Tainan’s administrative districts has exceeded 20%, meaning that many communities in Tainan are now considered super aged, leading to a rapid increase in demands for long-term care.
(2) To take a proactive stance in tackling population aging, Tainan City became the first in Taiwan to establish a care service management center, which is a local secondary authority, establishing care centers in communities, integrating service management and assessment units, offering a unified contact window and ensuring case follow-up, providing long-term care-related services, and building a convenient system for residents to make inquiries. The objective of the Executive Yuan’s long-term care 2.0 plan is to establish a comprehensive long-term care service system, thereby enabling the public to utilize various services flexibly. Integrating public and private resources of medical, health, and social welfare systems will increase the convenience of long-term care and reinforce the long-term care service network. Ultimately, the goal of long-term care is to achieve holistic healthcare, local aging, and diverse and continuous services.
(3) Previously, funding under the long-term care 2.0 plan was reviewed and approved by the Central Government, which entailed a longer administrative procedure. As of this year, all related budget is to be reviewed and approved by local governments, which will boost the administrative efficiency of related projects while offering greater room to tailor projects to meet local needs. As the rate of population aging continues to increase, the Tainan City Government Care Service Management Center will be faced with a growing amount of work in the future. I would like to thank the staff members of the Bureau of Social Affairs for their excellent work. Please continue to promote relevant policies and provide timely services to those in need. I would also like to commend Director-General Liu and her team for their excellent performance in promoting long-term care over the past few years. For several years straight, Director-General Liu’s team has ranked first in reviews conducted by the Central Government. Again, thank you for the great work.
(4) I would like to ask the Bureau of Education to inventory idle elementary and junior high school buildings and the Finance and Local Tax Bureau to allocate these buildings for concerned departments to use. I would like to ask Deputy Secretary-General Li to organize the division of labor and adjustments among the concerned departments for issues related to long-term care.
2. The Public Health Bureau’s report on Dengue fever prevention in Tainan City (refer to written sources for details)
Decision: Approved for reference filing
(1) I would like to thank Commissioner Chen for the detailed report. Based on the report, the positive rate and number of Dengue vector eggs in observation containers during the 14th week of 2018 (April 1) exhibited an increase. Thankfully, the district offices in Dengue fever hot zones were able to terminate vector growth promptly, which led to a gradual decrease in vector indicators in week 16 (April 15). Other than using scientific methods to prevent outbreaks, enhancing information dissemination, and employing interdepartmental collaborations, citizen cooperation is also extremely important. Thus, we would like to remind citizens to comply with the four steps of preventing Dengue fever: patrolling, emptying, cleaning, and scrubbing. By doing so, we can maintain the health of our loved ones and the community.
(2) So far no local cases of Dengue fever have been reported this year. Four cases involving patients infected overseas have been reported. As of last Saturday (May 5), no additional cases have been reported. Since then, Dengue fever has been removed from the disease monitoring list. Among the four cases where patients were infected overseas, three were from Cambodia. Studies have revealed that Cambodia is prone to Dengue fever outbreaks in May. Peak season for traveling is arriving with summer; thus, I would like to ask the Public Health Bureau and concerned departments to disseminate information among the public to raise awareness. Please remind citizens to be aware of mosquito bites when traveling abroad, and seek medical attention immediately if any symptoms surface after returning to Taiwan.
(3) Taiwan has now entered the Dengue fever season. Therefore, I urge all departments to continue to enforce Dengue fever prevention work, thereby ensuring a living environment that is safe and healthy for Tainan’s citizens.