1. Pay close attention to the breaking news on air quality in the wake of recent outdoor air pollution
(1) The issue of PM2.5 has attracted much the attention of people from all walks of life in Taiwan. Civil groups in the city are also concerned about the issue of air quality. The Tainan City Government has rallied support from 18 departments and bureaus to provide a higher quality living environment for the public by advocating the “Suspended Particulate Reduction Control for a Clear Sky Program”. Through a rolling review, the city government has intensified control with more projects launched to better air quality. Last month we held the “2017 Tainan City Suspended Particulates Control Forum” and invited representatives from all sectors of society to commit their efforts to the cause.
(2) According to research findings of experts, about 70% of the suspended particulates over the sky of Tainan City are from outside while 30% are generated from the city. We can control the latter by intensifying our efforts in the education of reducing the emission of pollutants and enforcement of applicable laws. Influenced by climatic factors and geographic location, Taiwan is vulnerable to the intrusion of air pollution from the coastal regions of China. Indeed, the city government has continued the monitoring of air quality and has given alerts on the problem through the Environmental Protection Bureau by broadcasting from garbage trucks, and hoisting air quality flags at city and town offices, primary schools and junior high schools, and nursing homes as reminders. When the air quality flag is orange or red, people with cardiopulmonary or respiratory system diseases, and people of lower physical resistance such as the elderly and children, should reduce intensive outdoor activities, and wear face masks when outdoors as a precaution.
(3) As always, autumn is a season tainted with poor air quality. It is that related functions of the city government should be prepared, including the drill response for poor air quality, the voluntary reduction of air pollutants by factories, the suppression of floating dust from construction, and the control of motor vehicles of high pollution. In addition, give timely and friendly reminders to the people of the city, particularly the group of “sub-healthy” people. The Environmental Protection Bureau, Public Health Bureau, Bureau of Social Affairs, and Bureau of Education should share information on air quality in real-time to avoid the impacts of PM2.5, the unseen killer, on the people.
2. Shake off departmentalism and replace it with enthusiasm and selflessness to serve the people
(1) At around 7:20 pm last Sunday night, a train from Taiwan Railway Corporation passed by the urban area of Rongyu Street of Tainan, and was stopped by a falling cable of the railway system. This incident caused an interruption of both northbound and southbound traffic, and at least 20 trains with almost 12,500 passengers were affected. Some of them were trapped on their way to their destination.
(2) Director-general Chen of the Bureau of Civil Affairs and the Tainan City Police Department were the first to receive the report. This incident also caused a power failure in part of the urban area. At this point, Director-general Huang of the Tainan City Police Department immediately dispatched police officers to direct traffic at the junctions. Considering the peak traffic hours at the end of a long weekend, all departments mobilized to give support in traffic connection, control, and information transmission. The Bureau of Transportation also notified the taxi association to make special arrangements by dispatching more taxis to the scene and coordinated with bus services to help trapped passengers. At this point, I would very much like to express my gratitude to all the personnel involved in transportation services, the auxiliary police and the radio broadcasting services in helping the city government to mitigate the impact and inconvenience to the public caused by the accident.
(3) Glamorous physical appearance and the-state-of-the-art hardware are not ways to determine if a city is advanced. It is the people of the city who work hand-in-hand to respond to any hardship caused by unanticipated incidents. Railway transport is not the responsibility or authority of the city government, and support and assistance are not the obligations of the transportation service providers and the public. Yet, the fact that people could be mobilized to provide assistance after an accident with selflessness and enthusiasm makes the outside world feel the enthusiasm and ability of Tainan in mobilizing the public for a social cause. I reiterated my gratitude to the people in Tainan who responded on the day of the event without thinking twice. If Tainan is the “Cultural Capital”, the enthusiasm and selflessness of the people really could be the most valuable “cultural assets” of this city.
1. The Tourism Bureau reported that at the “2017 Tainan Music Festival” (please refer to written sources for details).
Resolution: approved for reference filing.
(1) The purpose of the “2017 Tainan City Music Festival” is the “proactive creation of the opportunity for the encounter of musical talents in Taiwan with the music industry of the world”. This festival is the first of its kind in Tainan and is organized in the spirit of the SXSW (South by Southwest) Festival in the USA with close cooperation between the music industry both at home and abroad. This festival will highlight the specific features of the architecture of Tainan, promenades in the city, and cultural creation bazaars with the elements of indoor and outdoor music in combination with the musical talents, industry, and events. This plan is highly imaginative and reflects the efforts of the design team of the Tourism Bureau.
(2) Among the other music festivals in Taiwan, the music festival in Tainan of this year will open a new path with more than 100 domestic professionals and more than 10 foreign countries invited to the forum and selection of the teams for performance. There is also a breakthrough in the event, as a big concert will be held as a showcase at the performing site. In just a matter of three days, there will be more than 50 teams performing more than 16 shows in the form of independent musical performance. This indicates that the needs of exchange between the music circle and the industry are pressing. Tainan will use music to launch global links and make friends with other parts of the world. This event is not just a stage for performance but also a platform for the industry. It will emerge as a brand for the city as an international musical event. It’s one to watch.
(3) I would like to thank the Tourism Bureau for its effort in hosting this unique event in Taiwan that is exclusive to the city of Tainan, all with limited funding and time. This event will help the Tainan and the international music industries grow even closer. It will emulate the international Open House by arranging 10 low-profile historical houses to launch “Walking from Door-to-Door in Formosa”. This will give the public an opportunity to realize the beauty of old-time architecture and highlight the friendliness and hospitality of the people of Tainan. In the future, districts with historical value and old houses will be renovated to make the events organized in Tainan more appealing and symbolic. This will highlight the distinctive features of innovation from historical heritage in Taiwan’s “Cultural Capital”.
(4) Bureaus and departments should organize their annual activities in an integrated effort to optimize their results. Would the Secretary-General provide assistance in the integration? The effort of Director-general Wang of the Tourism Bureau is deeply appreciated. She spared no effort in continuing the innovation and development of prospective business, and unveils new activities despite the remainder of her term of office being just 1 year and 2 months. Her spirit should serve as our model.
2. The Bureau of Economic Development reported on the “2017 Tainan Shopping Festival” (please refer to written sources for details).
Resolution: approved for reference filing
(1) The Bureau of Economic Development has made effort in the supervision of business zones and modernization over the years to upgrade the competitiveness of commerce, the service quality of shops, and to carve out a good-quality, friendly shopping environment. Through the Tainan Shopping Festival, business zones, department stores, superstores, one hundred shops and specialty stores, as well as hotels were connected to launch joint marketing. They provide special offers and gifts for shopping with a view to boosting consumption and the effective promotion of peripheral economic benefits.
(2) This is the 7th year of the Tainan Shopping Festival. Indeed, the Tainan Trade Show is also being held for the 6th consecutive year. Improvements have been made to the festival and the show year after year, with enthusiastic response from the public and the shops. At the beginning, only 400 shops participated in the event. Now, there are some 1,600 shops in the event with revenue growing from NT$500 million to NT$1,800 million. This result indicated that the Tainan Shopping Festival is an event of the year. Many thanks to the team of the Bureau of Economic Development for their hard work planning and marketing the event.
(3) A million-dollar car has been offered as a grand prize for the lottery draw this year. In light of the growing population of online shoppers and the vision of the city government in the development of a smart city, the Bureau of Economic Development specifically launched a mobile shopping scheme with the three major ecommerce platforms. The public may choose the merchandise they want easily with their mobile app. This mode of shopping helps to amplify the reputation of the renowned shops of Tainan and the potential business opportunity for these shops.
(4) Thanks to the efforts of Director-general Yin and the team of the Bureau of Economic Development, the shopping festival continues to thrive. In addition to the continued support of commercial technology applications such as mobile payment, I would like to ask the Bureau of Economic Development to further assess the effect of the event this year, including: the details about the satisfaction of the shops and the public? How should they make refinements? Is cooperation between ecommerce firms and the shops going well, and could branding Tainan be a success? I reiterated the importance of carving out a friendly consumption environment through the assistance of the city government, and firmly believe that Tainan could be a brand on its own with the backup of a healthy workplace, fair trade platform, good social order, proper law enforcement, and reliable brands. These will be indispensable to the sustainable development of the city’s business environment.
3. Director-general Chen of the Bureau of Civil Affairs reported on the “Adjustment of the System of Villages and Neighborhoods of Tainan” (please refer to written sources for details).
Resolution: approved for reference filing.
(1) After the merger of Tainan County and Tainan City, the problem of uneven distribution of resources between villages and neighborhoods surfaced in cross-district governance. In some districts of urban areas, the number of households in a neighborhood is even greater than the number of households in a village in rural areas. Of all the six special municipalities in Taiwan, the population of Tainan is the lowest but the ratio of villages and neighborhoods in the system is the highest. This results in unevenness of service capacity among representatives of villages and neighborhoods. Adjustments of the administrative districts will be an indispensable responsibility of the city government for the development of the city in the future.
(2) The overhaul of the organization of the villages and neighborhoods at this time was made with reference to the size of the land concerned and from a bottom-up review. In the future, the 752 villages will be streamlined to 649 while the 17,730 villages will be streamlined to 9,660. As mentioned in the reports of Director-general Chen, there are seven reasons for this overhaul wherein reduction in budget is just an added bonus. The main purpose is for urban development. Thus the legal source of the system of villages and neighborhoods is provided by the “Regulations Governing the Organization and Adjustment of Villages and Neighborhoods in Tainan City” promulgated under the authorization of Article 7 of the “Local Government Act”. This case has been passed by the 310th Municipal Administrative Meeting on September 27 of this year. As for the adjustment of the names of the villages, Article 6 of the “Local Government Act” will not regulate it because the newly organized areas are new and they will not just adopt new names.
(3) The Bureau of Civil Affairs started the review of the organization of villages and neighborhoods of the entire city in April, completed the planning in September, and will make an announcement by the end of December of this year. The process is detail-oriented, the design sensible, and the procedure law-based. Special thanks to Director-general Chen and his colleagues for their dedication to effective city governance in the long run. Pain is inevitable in any reform. I ask the Bureau of Civil Affairs to engage in proper communication with city councilors, village chiefs and the public according to schedule. Where necessary, the bureau should call press conferences to explain issues to the public so that the consolidation of villages and neighborhoods will be completed smoothly.