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Report shows Taiwan’s alternative military service draftees lack training

Report suggests 60% of public agencies failed to arrange call-ups for such personnel

A draftee for Taiwan's substitute military services. 

A draftee for Taiwan's substitute military services.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A legislative review warned about inadequate training for Taiwan’s conscripts for substitute services at a time of intensified Chinese military threats.

Those who opt for substitute services serve at government agencies, public organizations, or universities and engage in work related to administrative affairs or scientific and technological research. Call-ups are required for the personnel within eight years after they complete their term of service.

However, a report by the legislative body’s Budget Center pointed out that only six out of 17 organizations or agencies staffed with substitute service draftees in 2021 have applied for call-ups to the Ministry of the Interior, wrote Liberty Times.

This means over 60% of relevant units did not follow call-up rules. Merely 1,565 of the 181,940 alternative service draftees, or 0.86%, will be summoned for training in eight years.

Training for such conscripts involves disaster prevention as well as rescue and relief among other work. The budget center cautioned that failure to ensure relevant skills for the personnel are honed could undermine Taiwan’s response in the event of a war or disaster.

According to the report, the agencies that failed to register for training programs last year include the Council of Indigenous Peoples, the National Airborne Service Corps, the Investigation Bureau, the Coast Guard Administration, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, and others.