1. The 2018 Nanying International Folklore Festival closes on high note
(1) The nine-day 2018 Nanying International Folklore Festival officially ended last Sunday. This year’s festival provided 33 outstanding folklore performance troupes from 17 countries on four continents, including host country Taiwan, with the opportunity to learn from each other and participate in a wonderful international exchange. I would like to thank the Cultural Affairs Bureau, led by Director-General Yeh, for its hard work in organizing the event, communicating with teams, arranging transportation and accommodation, and receiving visitors, thereby allowing all of the foreign teams to feel as if they were at home.
(2) This biennial event is now in its 11th edition and has been held for 22 years. It is Taiwan’s oldest and biggest international folklore exchange activity. Many international teams come to Tainan for performance exchanges with Taiwanese teams, thus broadening the cultural horizons of Tainan’s residents. Many civic friendship associations also spontaneously form, showing how warmly Tainan’s residents welcome these international friends and achieving civic diplomacy successes for Tainan and Taiwan.
(3) I would like to thank all the domestic and international teams that participated in this festival, the 78 civic groups and companies that served as welcoming committees this year, and over 100,000 residents, friends and countrymen for their support. I hope the Nanying spirit will persist in the future, and the festival will become even more successful and more magnificent, allowing Taiwan to use arts and culture as soft powers to shine on the international stage. I also hope the world can bring its friendship to Taiwan and to Tainan.
2. Tainan leads the way in moving towards a completely open government
(1) Under the leadership of former Premier Lin, Premier Lai, and Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang, our government introduced the Participation Officers (PO) system to ministries in 2017. Open government is a doctrine that holds that government information and decision-making processes must be open and transparent, citizens can participate in the process of influencing policy decisions, and decision-making processes must be institutionalized to serve as the basis for accountability.
(2) This government began promoting open government as early as 2015, upholding the principles of transparency, participation, and cooperation, and promoting open information, open services, and open decision-making. Open government serves as a good method to resolve public disputes. Its ultimate goal is to open up policy decisions. The past discussions regarding the Feiyan New Village urban renewal project and the new municipal administration center were cases where the government solicited opinions on specific topics. In the future, it hopes to extend this to non-specific topics and to normal decision-making models that are initiated civically. At the end of the year, the Tainan City Government will be the first local government in Taiwan to try out the PO system. Through the Tainan Public Policy Participation Network Platform, it will normalize the participation of residents in the city government’s decision-making processes to make municipal administration more transparent and open.
(3) Last week, we invited Minister without Portfolio Tang and POs from various ministries to Tainan to discuss open governments. We have also upgraded government digital services (GDS), which have become an important trend around the world. If Mayor A-Bian was the one to lower the level of municipal agencies to the level of the people, then the development of government digital services will lower the virtual levels of websites and upgrade the quality of digital services. Last week, the National Development Council issued the beta version of the government digital services standards. In the future, the public will participate in the policymaking process, and departments and bureaus will refer to these standards when designing government digital services, making digital services more in touch with people’s needs and helping the Tainan City Government to take a step forward towards becoming a completely open government.
3. Preparing for November’s Pokémon event
(1) Popular mobile game Pokémon GO has teamed up with the Tainan City Government to hold the Pokémon GO Safari Zone event between November 1 and 5. The event is expected to attract gamers from all over Taiwan and even from abroad. Many hotels are already booked solid, and the hotel occupancy rate during the event period has risen significantly.
(2) To prepare for this event, the Tourism and Travel Bureau coordinated with the Tainan City Police Department, Cultural Affairs Bureau, and other relevant units, and also planned recommended travel itineraries for gamers. We hope visiting gamers will have a rewarding time catching Pokémon. As former Mayor Lai said, relevant units can apply creative thinking to marketing, but must remember the principles of no infringement, no kitsch, and safety first.
(3) As this game is an augmented reality (AR) game where gamers interact with physical spaces, we must remind the public to pay attention to road safety while they are happily catching Pokémon. We must prevent people from playing the game while driving cars or scooters. To ensure the road safety of city residents and tourists, the Police Department is asked to strengthen its crackdown on slow driving; illegal temporary parking; road and traffic obstruction; and other related actions during the event period. Relevant units are asked to promote these measures in advance.
1. The Research, Development and Evaluation Commission’s report on “Tainan, City of Elegance – Cityscape and Landscape Improvement Project Implementation Results” (refer to written sources for details)
Decision: Approved for reference filing
(1) The implementation of the “Tainan, City of Elegance” plan is now in its seventh year. The cityscape improvement achievements are currently extending into every corner of this city. I would like to thank all the bureaus and departments for their cooperation and the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission for the comprehensive planning that has gradually transformed Tainan’s cityscape and turned Tainan into a fresh and livable city.
(2) This government began promoting the plan in 2012. We have implemented 18 sub-plans and 45 work projects, fully publicized this plan among residents, and created stunning urban spaces. The friendly unimpeded arcade competition is based on the spirit of safety for pedestrians while enabling stores to earn money. The plan is progressively being expanded to promoting tourism, history and culture, and residential life. In six years, 300 thoroughfares have been improved, and this year the Tainan City Government will continue to make improvements to 29 thoroughfares.
(3) Three sub-plans were added in 2017: “excellent quality temple activities,” “urban renewal, rehabilitation, and conservation,” and the “historical district revitalization plan.” They allowed for a balance to be achieved between traditional culture and residential life quality while remodeling urban spaces, landscapes and living quality, as well as enhancing the all-around historical texture and grandeur of historical districts and landscapes. In the future, the implementation focus will remain on ensuring that arcades in tourism districts are unimpeded. We will also ask residents and the city government to work as one to jointly make Tainan a livable and pedestrian-friendly city, thereby allowing residents, friends, and visitors to experience Tainan’s ancient capital atmosphere and cultural customs more deeply.
(4) The beautiful landscape that is taken for granted is actually the result of an ongoing effort to improve. I would like to thank every bureau and department for their concerted efforts to give the cityscape and landscape a brand new look. I hope every department and bureau will continue to build on the existing foundation while upholding the attitude and empathy of encountering a problem, confronting the problem, and resolving the problem. I also hope they will continue communicating with residents and proprietors and together create a city of elegance.
(5) The Public Works Bureau is requested to continue promoting the arcade reorganization plan, and bureaus and departments are requested to implement inspection mechanisms for the facilities they manage. Deputy Secretary-General Lee is asked to assist in the supervision.
2. The Bureau of Education’s report on its administrative achievements (refer to written sources for details)
Decision: Approved for reference filing
(1) Investing in education is investing in the future. Despite financial difficulties, the Tainan City Government increases the budget of the Bureau of Education every year because it spares no effort to provide children with quality education, and also because Premier Lai vowed to equip every child with what they need to achieve their dreams. The Bureau of Education’s expenditures over the years to promote important policies exceed NT $22.7 billion, and it primarily invests its energies in upgrading the skills of mentors and teachers, constructing hardware and facilities, and providing subsidies for the education of children and impoverished students. This city consistently ranks among the best in various categories of nationwide education evaluations. It was first in the nation in the Excellence in Teaching Award last year, and it has ranked first in the nation in the Award for Best Reader for two consecutive years. I would like to thank Director Chen and all of the city’s schools for their efforts. Their outstanding achievements make Tainan proud.
(2) Over the past eight years, the Bureau of Education has made great achievements in promoting aptitude-oriented education, improving early childhood education, helping indigenous education to take root, strengthening English abilities, expanding diversified learning, innovating technology education, constructing sustainable and safe campuses, and promoting sports. Significant achievements include creating the nation’s first voucher for subsidizing preschool education and care, constructing public kindergartens to achieve the 4:6 milestone of public and private childcare centers, attaining a 97.4% excellent quality public school library rate, helping teaching English as a second official language take root, leading the nation in establishing interdisciplinary bilingual education, comprehensively deconstructing and remodeling outdated school bathrooms to attain an excellent quality rate of 87%, investing NT $3.6 billion to rebuild and strengthen outdated school buildings, and successfully securing NT$3.1 billion in subsidies for the three-year “improving the earthquake resistance and facilities of public school buildings plan,” the highest subsidy amount in the entire nation. The work to make school buildings safer is scheduled to be completed next year.
(3) Education is a project of vital and lasting importance. To cultivate new generations of science talents and respond accordingly to the upcoming 2019 curriculum, we are providing NT $20 million in subsidies to equip junior high school laboratories and life science classrooms and have also secured the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program’s school campus digital construction project to upgrade the science and technology skills of students by improving classrooms’ digital equipment. If we bow our heads to work diligently, then we will be able to smile when we raise our heads. I would like to thank Director Chen for her leadership, and I hope Tainan’s education team can continue to work hard to instill the ability to adapt, the ability to care for others, the ability to work in teams, the ability to take the initiative to learn, and the ability to resolve problems for Tainan’s children so that they will be able to meet future challenges.