Taiwan Today: Chaotic roll-out of child care subsidy program draws criticism, Ratio of young Chinese tourists to Taiwan on rise

Since the policy was announced in May, the MOHW and Ministry of Education have been engaged in talks with local governments on ways to implement the program, Cabinet Spokesperson Kolas Yotaka said, adding that there is a two-month grace period to implement the program and parents, babysitters and institutions need not worry.

Chaotic roll-out of child care subsidy program draws criticism

A nationwide child care subsidy program that came into effect Wednesday as part of the
government’s efforts to reverse Taiwan’s low birth rate has attracted criticism from parents, government-contracted kindergartens and babysitters, citing a failure to publicize relevant measures in advance.

Under the program, parents who qualify will receive a monthly subsidy of NT$6,000 (US$196) for each child up to the age of two who attends a semi-public private kindergarten or are looked after by babysitters who sign a contract with the government.

However, the the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) only unveiled the guidelines on applications for payments to government-contracted baby care service providers on Tuesday evening, drawing complaints from babysitters and child care centers who were unable to sign contracts with the government before the launch of the program.

Ratio of young Chinese tourists to Taiwan on rise: report

The percentage of young Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan has been on the rise, which tourism sources attribute to a higher number of independent tourists visiting the country.

According to a recent report by Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, the ratio of Chinese tourists to Taiwan aged under 39 years old accounted for 40.1 percent of the total Chinese tourist arrivals in 2011, compared with 47.9 percent in 2016.

A further analysis of the Chinese visitors aged under 39 years accounted for 62.01 percent of all those who came to Taiwan as independent tourists, businesspeople or professionals in 2016.

Commenting on the phenomenon, Su Yu-hong, chief of the Shanghai branch of the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association, told CNA that the trend can be a result of more Chinese independent tourists visiting Taiwan.

35 shops advance in Taipei Beef Noodle Festival competition

Thirty-five beef noodle shops have been selected for the next round of competition in the 2018 Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival, and the winners will be announced in September, the Taipei City government said Wednesday.

Taipei city government has invited the public to sign up as anonymous jurors and gain the chance to taste the offerings of the 35 beef noodle shops that have advanced to the next round of the competition.

Awards will be given in eight categories in the finals of the competition, which started with 50 participating shops, the city government said.

The shops with the best service quality, atmosphere, flavor, cost-performance ratio, soup, noodles, and eco-friendly operations will receive awards in September, while a special prize will be given to the shop voted as the people’s choice, city officials said.

The Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival began in 2005 as a means of promoting Taipei tourism and food specialties.

Soaring heat causes peak power consumption for two consecutive days

The soaring mercury pushed peak electricity consumption in Taiwan to an all-time high of 37.227 million kilowatts Wednesday, recording an all-time high for the second consecutive day, according to state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower).

The record high occurred at 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday and surpassed the previous highest level of 36.906 million kW recorded a day earlier, leaving the country with an operating reserve margin of 6.18 percent, Taipower said.

The reserve margin triggered a yellow light, indicating a tight power supply when operating reserves fall between 6 percent and 10 percent, Taipower’s website noted.

The top four electricity consumption peaks prior to Wednesday were 36.906 million kW July 31, 36.771 million kW May 30, 36.713 million kW May 31 and 36.705 million kW July 19, according to Taipower statistics.

The hot weather continued Wednesday, with temperatures up to 36 degrees Celsius in northern Taiwan, and over 34 degrees in other parts of the country, the Central Weather Bureau said.

President addresses transitional justice at 2018 Austronesian Forum

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) believes that transitional justice is happening in Taiwan and of freeing its indigenous peoples from 400 years of suppression and disregard in  society, although at a slow pace.

“Change is happening. We will stick to our goal and work harder to promote understanding between different ethnic groups,” said Tsai while addressing the opening ceremony of the 2018 Austronesian Forum.

Promoting transitional justice was one of Tsai’s key political platforms during her campaign for the presidency before the 2016 election.