1. A major earthquake struck Osaka on June 18
At 06:58 AM GMT+8 on June 18, an earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale struck Northern Osaka in Japan’s Kansai region. The earthquake occurred at a shallow depth of around ten kilometers. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, this earthquake is the largest measured in Osaka in nearly a century. Although there was no imminent danger of a tsunami, many road surfaces and pipes cracked, resulting in flooded roads. Around 170,000 households experienced electricity blackouts, and the natural gas supply to 100,000 homes was cut off. Many fires were reported, and ground traffic in the Kansai region was disrupted. We sincerely hope that rescue and repair operations are conducted smoothly and with success. In addition, we also hope that casualties are minimized and reconstruction operations be completed as soon as possible.
2. The first wave of monsoon rains did not substantially add to water reserves as anticipated; please continue to conserve water and prevent Dengue fever outbreaks
(1) Water levels have been relatively low this year. The long-anticipated first wave of monsoon rains finally arrived on June 13. However, the results were both positive and negative. On the bright side, the monsoon rain eased water shortages for citizens. On the other hand, the monsoon rain may also lead to showers and flooding. The monsoon front and southwesterly flow added 70 million tons of water to our reservoirs, which slightly eased the recent water shortage. However, this amount does not guarantee a sufficient amount of water for second stage irrigation. Thus, I would like to remind citizens to remain vigilant and continue to conserve water. We should all make saving water a habit.
(2) When it comes to flood prevention, the Tainan City Government always prepares for the worst. It is better to be safe than sorry. The Tainan City Government established a level two Disaster Emergency Operation Center and held two work meetings on June 13. As precipitation had decreased by June 15, the Disaster Emergency Operation Center was reduced to a level three authority. During this period, all staff members of the Tainan City Government delved into relevant operations. All departments were up to date in their respective duties related to preparing for natural disasters. As emergency response measures were in place, no disasters were reported during this wave of monsoon rains. I would like to thank all staff members of the Tainan City Government for their cooperation, and the personnel working in the Disaster Emergency Operation Center for their efforts in preparing for this wave of monsoon rains.
(3) The continuous rainfall may lead to water accumulating in puddles or exposed containers. As it is still Dengue fever season, I urge citizens to complete the four steps of patrolling, emptying, cleaning, and scrubbing after rain. These four steps involve inspecting your surroundings, turning idle containers over, removing the contents of idle containers, and scrubbing containers to remove mosquito eggs, thereby mitigating vector growth and the risk of Dengue fever outbreaks. It rained quite hard this morning (June 20), with most of the rain occurring along the western seacoast, the South District, Rende District, and Anping District. As a result, a small number of roads were flooded. Five households on Beimen Road in the North District and houses in Xinying District experienced flooding. Flooding occurred at the five households on Beimen Road in the North District due to objects obstructing ditches (maintained by Taiwan Railways Administration) behind the five households. This resulted in three separate occasions of flooding in the five households on Beimen Road in the North District. The Tainan City Government has requested the district office to coordinate with Taiwan Railways Administration’s contractor to help remove the objects and blockages. I would like to take this chance to remind citizens to ensure that the ditches surrounding their houses are free of any obstructions, and to maintain the cleanliness of the environment, thereby preventing blocked ditches from causing flooding.
3. Renowned domestic film production teams are on course to shape Tainan into a major film hub
(1) Renowned director Wei Te-Sheng, who is originally from Tainan, proposed to establish a historical and cultural park named “the City of Abundance”,. His proposal has recently been approved by the Executive Yuan. The park is considered a major cultural infrastructure project, and it will be located in Wushulin, Houbi District. The park is scheduled to be used as a setting for the movie series Taiwan Trilogy, for which the glory of 17th century Fort Zeelandia will be portrayed. The City of Abundance will be Taiwan's first historical theme park that is simultaneously a center for film development, leisure activities and recreation, and cultural tourism.
(2) In the meantime, Taiwan’s leading traditional performance art group – Ming Hwa Yuan Arts & Cultural Group – has proposed to be stationed in the creative cultural zone at the former Tienma Radio Station. In addition, the filming for Puppet Flower, a taiga drama supported by the Ministry of Culture and planned by Cao Ruei-yuan, the renowned director, is scheduled to begin at the former Anne Sugar Factory this year. The permanent set constructed for Puppet Flower will be available for use to domestic and international film crews in the future.
(3) These national-level art groups’ deciding to establish a presence in Tainan emphasizes not only Tainan’s rich history and culture but also outstanding film and creative talent, setting Tainan on course to becoming a major film hub in Taiwan. I would like to ask the Cultural Affairs Bureau to continue to offer support to these groups by facilitating vertical and horizontal communications with government departments. Let us all work together to highlight Tainan’s soft power in cultural creativity, and shape Tainan into a leader for promoting the local film industry on a global scale.
1. The Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics’ report on its operations over the past eight years (refer to written sources for details)
Decision: Approved for reference filing
(1) As the legislative procedures for the Act Governing the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures were ongoing when Tainan was upgraded as a special municipality, Tainan’s budget scale was not increased accordingly. As a result, Tainan’s total debt maxed out at NT $100.7 billion after the upgrade. Subsequently, Mayor Lai had to launch administrative reforms. These reforms involved tapering expenditure and adopting a zero-based budgeting approach. Unnecessary expenditure was excluded, whereas necessary expenditure was prioritized. In addition, the departments were required to propose innovative solutions to problems while working with limited resources, rather than discarding projects because of inadequate budget. The report indicates that faced with the fiscal pressures following Tainan’s upgrade to a special municipality, an austerity policy was applied to Tainan’s total annual expenditure. At the time, the Tainan City Government reduced its expenditure and allocated limited resources to selectively prioritized administrative projects. Tainan’s budget for education and cultural projects has risen over the years, which highlights the core values of the Tainan City Government’s policies. I would like to thank Director Chen and the staff members of the Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics for their effort and hard work.
(2) Over the past seven years, the Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics has compiled and utilized basic statistical data and completed 60,000 statistical surveys on behalf of the Central Government per year. In addition, the Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics has completed five large-scale, fundamental national surveys over the past seven years, including one census and residential survey; two surveys involving the agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, and fisheries industry; and two surveys for the business and service sector. The Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics of Tainan City has emerged with excellent national ratings while elevating the effectiveness of government statistics and propelling statistic-based decision-making.
(3) Be it the mainstreaming of fund utilization, expenditure, and write off; the stipulation of accounting mechanisms; the establishment of internal control mechanisms; or the formation of statistical data, the Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics takes a proactive approach and adopts reforms. This not only improves the government’s fiscal performance but also ensures fiscal discipline. I encourage the staff members of the Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics to continue to follow relevant laws and regulations when undertaking administrative tasks, and to control the government’s internal finance with discretion.
2. The Finance and Local Tax Bureau’s report on using infrastructure to enhance fiscal integrity – an overview of Tainan’s local tax income over the past eight years (refer to written sources for details)
Decision: Approved for reference filing
(1) Since Tainan was upgraded as a special municipality, local tax income has risen from NT $18.3 billion to NT $25.8 billion in 2017. Director Chang's report indicates that local development leads to an increase in tax income, which can then be invested in various key infrastructure projects, creating a positive cycle.
(2) Reasonable taxation is crucial for realizing a just society. In response to the Executive Yuan’s Medium and Long-Term Program for Achieving Sound Finance, the Finance and Local Tax Bureau adjusted standard housing prices. The government also published land value with the objective of ensuring equal and reasonable house and land value tax within Tainan City.
(3) An increase in local tax income can be seen as a positive indicator of urban development. The development operations for Southern Taiwan Science Park (including Tree Valley Park), Liou-ying Technology and Environmental Industrial Park Stage One and Stage Two Development Area, Tainan Technology Industrial Park, and Yong Kang Technical Industrial Park have been gradually completed. In addition to increasing employment opportunities, these parks promote local development. Industrial park development raises tax income via house tax, land value tax, land value increment tax, and deed tax. Furthermore, a rise in the employment population surrounding industrial parks also propels development and increases tax income. These tax revenues will be invested in key infrastructure and development projects for Tainan City in the future. The development projects for Pingshi Barracks, Yongkang Artillery School, and southern Tainan sub-city center will soon be completed, which will further generate tax income. By using tax to support infrastructure, and in turn using infrastructure to generate more income, Tainan City can secure an income source for sustainable development.