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http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/nati ... nistry.htm
Interior ministry to organize match-making events
Monday, June 21, 2010
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said recently that it will organize match-making activities for its unmarried workers as part of its efforts to improve the country's birth rate.
Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah said he has asked his Personnel Office to organize the match-making activities at least once per year for single staff members in every agency under the MOI.
"As the agency in charge of the country's population policy, the Interior Ministry should serve as an example in boosting the birth rate." Jiang said.
Jiang's proposal came under heavy discussion at a meeting of senior officials of the ministry, with some suggesting that match- making activities could be held between MOI departments staffed by many unmarried women and the National Police Administration which has many single male police officers.
But some people at the meeting expressed concern that high-profile match-making activities could impose undue pressure on unmarried MOI workers.
However, there were some lighter moments, as one of the participants related. National Police Chief Wang Cho-chiun, who has been beleaguered by a series of scandals in the police force, showed rare signs of being amused during the discussions, the participant said.
In another instance, a senior official joked with a single subordinate who often works overtime, saying "you are my responsibility now, " and offering the worker time off to take part in the match-making activities once they begin.
The minister's directive has put Huang Li-hsin, the chief of Civil Affairs Department at the ministry, in a hot spot as 18 of the 48 workers in her department are single.
Huang promised to make it part of her job to keep an eye out for partners for her colleagues, saying that she will contact her friends outside the ministry to see if there are chances to enrich the private lives of her co-workers.
However, she assured the workers in her department that she will not be a nagging match-maker on the job.
As part of its efforts to boost the country's birth rate, the MOI is offering a prize of NT$1 million (US$31,121) to anyone who comes up with a slogan that will help convince people to have more children.
Taiwan's birth rate declined from 12 in every 1,000 population in 1999 to 8.29 in every 1,000 population in 2009, which was one of the lowest in the world that year.
The country's leaders have become alarmed at the trend, seeing it as a threat to economic growth, and have assigned the Ministry of the Interior the task of dealing with the issue.
Copyright Â© 1999 â€“ 2010 The China Post.
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