Flood control is not a bipartisan issue

The DPP held a meeting to discuss major topics affecting the nation, focusing on the government’s plan to implement flood control measures after the recent damage from Typhoon Kalmaegi. Director of Information and Cultural Affairs Cheng Wen-chang expressed that while the budget for flood control construction was increased during the DPP administration, the bill was stalled in the KMT-controlled legislature. As a result, construction projects have only been ongoing for a short amount of time. Those already completed have shown positive results. Thus, the Ma government should continue these projects in order to effectively control the flooding problem.

Director Cheng said that the flooding in urban areas was due to flaws in their drainage systems and hoped that the city governments can soon get to the root of the problem. As for the mountainous areas, the DPP spent a lot of time during its eight-year administration dealing with the issues of water and soil conservation. However, the bills were stalled in the Legislative Yuan for six years, leading to the widespread damage of the recent flooding.

The DPP administration addressed the issue of flood control by targeting measures all along the water flow: upstream, midstream and downstream. With this foundation laid, the KMT government should work to continue in the right direction. Director Cheng emphasized that flood control is not a bipartisan issue. Simply bickering and pointing fingers will not solve the problem. The DPP will ask its legislators to monitor closely the progress of flood control projects.

In the wake of relief efforts, the government has called for allocating funds from other purposes to the flood-control budget. Director Cheng expressed that these funds were originally scheduled to be used for short-term construction projects only. Flood control construction projects will take a longer period of time and require a much bigger budget. The government lacks a long-term strategy and should not act irresponsibly by switching funds from one purpose to another.