TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan on Monday (May 31) passed an amendment bill to increase the maximum budget for COVID-19 pandemic relief to NT$840 billion (US$29 billion), CNA reported.
Before Monday's passage of the amendment, the budget had been increased two times since its initial passage over a year ago, as the pandemic lasted longer than expected. Monday's amendment also pushed the deadline to implement the budget to June 30 of next year.
During negotiations, the caucus of the main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), agreed to increase the budget and extend the deadline for its implementation. As part of the deal, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) agreed to the KMT’s proposal that all who are entering the country’s outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu must then be tested for COVID-19 at rapid-testing stations in Taiwan main island’s airports and seaports. These stations are to be set up within a week, the report said.
DPP lawmakers also agreed to a 10-percent budget increase for local governments as well as the formation of a panel to access and review information related to the country’s acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines.