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Chu vows to establish public childcare centers nationwide if elected

Chu vows to establish public childcare centers nationwide if elected

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) The presidential candidate of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT), Eric Chu, pledged Wednesday that if elected, he will expand his public childcare policy, which is being implemented in New Taipei, to every place in Taiwan.

At present, there are 40 public childcare centers in New Taipei, more than the total number in country's other five municipalities, said Chu, the mayor of New Taipei City.

If elected, Chu said, he will establish public childcare centers throughout Taiwan by integrating government and private resources.

Chu said he will also expand a free lunchbox program for needy children, from New Taipei to all other areas of Taiwan. In New Taipei, young people from disadvantaged families can obtain free lunchboxes at convenience stores though a program initiated by the city government, he noted.

Through such a program, schools and social workers can also be informed by the stores about children in need, Chu said in a televised forum organized by the Central Election Commission for the three presidential candidates to present their political platforms.

The other two candidates are Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party and James Soong of the People First Party.

It was the second round of presentations, following the first one on Dec. 27. The third and final round will be held on Jan. 8.

In Wednesday's presentation, Chu also pledged to convert idle public space into venues for after-school classes or offices to help young people set up their own business.

His other major proposal was to address the food safety issue in Taiwan by setting up a product traceability system, establishing an online database of safe foods and pushing for the revision of the regulations governing food safety.

On the issue of long-term care, Chu said that the KMT is proposing to allocate a budget of NT$110 billion (US$3.33 billion) to offer monthly subsidies of NT$10,000 to NT$11,000 to the 820,000 people in need of long-term care.

He noted that the DPP's proposal was for a monthly subsidy of NT$3,000.

If elected, Chu said, he will act immediately on pension reform, putting forward goals and ways of achieving them "within one year of taking office." In terms of education, the KMT presidential candidate said that in addition to his pledge to remove interest on student loans, he will also seek to strengthen technical vocational education.

Chu said he will put forward a five-year NT$1.8 billion program to improve the facilities at high schools and tech-voc schools and provide professional training courses at tech-voc schools that would allow the students to earn professional certificates.

For the students, "graduation will be the beginning of employment," Chu said. He said he will also open the doors for more foreign students to study at Taiwan universities.

"I want to make Taiwan the best place to study in the Asia-Pacific region," Chu said. (By Elizabeth Hsu)

Updated : 2021-07-28 23:55 GMT+08:00