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The County Government to Spares No Effort in a Revision of the Offshore Islands Development Act

The County Government to Spares No Effort in a Revision of the Offshore Islands Development Act
2017/11/16
Reporter: Li Zeng-Wang / the County Government

The Offshore Islands Development Act was promulgated on April 5th, 2000, more than 15 years ago. With the changes in the context, the Act urgently needs revisions or additions in order to promote the development of offshore islands.
The offshore island counties drafted and submitted proposals for the revision. However, on January 19th, 2016, the response to the 15 suggestions for revisions submitted by the leading authority of the offshore islands, the Kinmen County Government, was that “the offshore islands are varied in nature. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to address the issues, which is raised by Kinmen and Matsu, by revising the laws.” On February 15th, 2017, the proposals were modified and resubmitted by the then leading authority, the Penghu County Government, to the Executive Yuan. The response to the proposals was that “hereafter, similar cases should be submitted only after having obtained a consensus with the work team of the Steering Committee for Offshore Islands Development of the Executive Yuan.” Having said that, the opinions from the Executive Yuan were significantly different from the clauses submitted by the Kinmen County Government. Therefore, the Offshore Islands Cooperation Platform resolved to set priorities for the task in 2017.
The Kinmen County Government called the conference with the work team to forward a revision of the Offshore Islands Development Act yesterday with the Deputy Magistrate Wu Cheng-Tien hosting the meeting. Executive Officer Wong Zi-Bao, the directors or persons in charge of each department and relevant authorities were present. The head of the Second Division of the Fujian Provincial Government, Lin Zhen-Cha also attended the conference.
Deputy Magistrate Wu emphasized that the revision of the Offshore Islands Development Act would be helpful and important to the development of Kinmen and that the aim of being serious in the Legislative Yuan is to have a Kinmen chapter listed in the general principles or the articles. In particular, it is substantial to develop policies that create resources. Wu urged that the relevant departments shall gather more opinions on the matter.  
Minister without Portfolio Chang Ching-Sen attended the closing ceremony of the “Cross-strait Exchange 30th Anniversary: The Retrospect and Prospect of the Mini Three Links Seminar” on September 30th, 2017, and stated that in response to the developmental needs of the Kinmen and Matsu region, the Fujian Provincial Government and the Kinmen-Matsu Joint Services Center, Executive Yuan, are currently drafting the proposal of a revision of the Offshore Islands Development Act and relevant regulations to bestow greater flexibility in the development upon the Kinmen and Matsu region in order to satisfy the actual needs of the region.
The Kinmen-Matsu Joint Services Center, Executive Yuan then held the “Discussion on the Revision of the Offshore Islands Development Act Task Coordination Meeting” on October 12th, 2017 and invited the Kinmen County Government, the Lienchiang County Government, and the Penghu County Government to attend the meeting. The resolution was that the Kinmen-Matsu Joint Services Center will commission contractors to conduct public hearings on the revision of the Offshore Islands Development Act (a total of six public hearings are expected to be held, one each in Kinmen, Matsu, Penghu, the north, center and south of Taiwan) and commission experts and scholars to aid in the revision matter. In the future, the Center shall also play the integrating role among the offshore islands and serve as the bridge of communication with the central government.
In order to coordinate and cooperate with the Center, on October 13th, 2017, the Kinmen County Government sent an official letter (no. 1060082284) to all of the departments to notify them to draft proposals regarding the revision of the Offshore Islands Development Act and to submit the proposals to the General Affairs Department. A summary was made and divided into three proposals, each of which was submitted by the Finance Department, the Tourism Department and the Public Health Bureau, respectively. Another five proposals submitted previously will also be reviewed and resubmitted.
The General Affairs Department of the County Government pointed out that the revision was called by the Kinmen-Matsu Joint Services Center, and that the Provincial Governor Chang Ching-Sen also places high emphasis on the matter; therefore, the Kinmen County Government will spare no effort in the promotion of the revision. For this reason, a work team was established under the Kinmen County Government to promote the revision of the Offshore Islands Development Act upon obtaining the magistrate’s approval, with the deputy magistrate serving as the chairperson. In the first work team meeting, relevant departments were invited to discuss the central government’s responses and the addition to the proposal so as to set a direction for future works.
On October 12th, the Kinmen-Matsu Joint Services Center held the Discussion on the Revision of the Offshore Islands Development Act Task Coordination Meeting in the Lienchiang County Government Office in Taipei to discuss the public hearings to be held in Kinmen, Matsu, Penghu, the north, center and south of Taiwan in order to gather public opinions. The County Governments of Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu were also asked to suggest concrete measures that could support the regional development in the future, which will later be listed in the revision proposal.
In the meeting, the three county governments agreed on holding public hearings to help people express their opinions and participate in the whole process of forwarding the revision. Public hearings will be held in Kinmen, Matsu, Penghu, the north, center and south of Taiwan this year. The opinions received in public hearings will be taken into account for the revision of the Act. The three county governments were also asked to deliberate upon the development of the region in the future, and list specific supportive measures in the revision proposal. The county governments shall research and discuss in a practical and concrete way rather than making empty promises with fancy proper nouns.

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  • Date:2018-01-02