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President Tsai, other donors pledge millions in quake relief

Taipei, Feb. 7 (CNA) Millions of Taiwan dollars are being donated by people in various sectors of the country for assistance in the wake of a powerful earthquake that struck Hualien late Tuesday, killing at least six people and leaving 256 injured and scores missing.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday pledged a personal donation of NT$1 million (US$34,800) for the reconstruction and rehabilitation work, according to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Meanwhile, Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said he will donate one month's salary to the relief efforts. According to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, that will amount to NT$333,360 when the government's new 3 percent pay hike for public servants is included.

Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) and his deputy Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) announced that they will donate NT$200,000 each to the disaster fund.

In a press release, the DPP said its headquarters and legislative caucus will each donate NT$1 million to the earthquake relief efforts.

In addition, all employees of the party will donate one day's income to help with victims recover and rebuild their homes, according to DPP spokesperson Ho Meng-hua (何孟樺).

Pledges have also come from other individuals, including opposition Kuomintang Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who said he will donate NT$200,000 to the relief efforts and has called on all party officials and employees to donate one day's earnings, according to Lee Ming-hsien (李明賢), director of the KMT's Culture and Communications Committee.

KMT legislators will also donate one day's income, which will total about NT$220,000, for the recovery of victims, according to Lee.

Lawmakers of the opposition People First Party (PFP) will contribute one week's earnings, about NT$183,000 each, to the relief effort, said PFP legislative caucus whip Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞).

The New Power Party said in a statement that its headquarters and legislative caucus will each donate NT$500,000.

The embattled National Women's League (NWL), meanwhile, said it has obtained approval from the government's Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee to donate a total of NT$42 million to Taiwan's Red Cross Society and the Ministry of Health and Welfare for earthquake relief.

In addition, the league said, it will donate NT$10 million to the Hualien County government, NT$5 million to each of two religious charities, and NT$2 million to the league's emergency relief aid division in Hualien.

The league said it will also give NT$200,000 to each family that lost a home in the earthquake and NT$200,000 to the families of those who died.

The league's assets were frozen after the settlement committee last week declared it a KMT affiliate and said its assets will be considered ill-gotten on the grounds that the KMT has control of its personnel management, finances and business operations.

Pledges of earthquake relief donations have also come from the private sector, with Wistron Corp. saying it will donate NT$10 million, and Acer Taiwan promising NT$5 million.

Meanwhile, Eric Chuo (卓永財), chairman of Hiwin Technologies Corp., on Wednesday deposited a donation of NT$5 million to a special bank account of the Haulien County government.

Sinyi Realty Inc. pledged NT$10 million, GFC, Elifemall, and Wei Chuan Foods Corp have each said they will donate NT$2 million, while Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp. said it will provide 3,000 boxes of food supplies.

Taiwanese Mandarin pop diva Chang Hui-mei (張惠妹), also known as A-mei, has pledged a donation of NT$2 million.

Taken from: By Chung Jung-feng, Pan Chih-yi, Fan Cheng-hsiang, Hsieh Chia-chen and Evelyn Kao 2/7/2018