CORONAVIRUS/Stimulus vouchers being scooped up in Taiwan

07/18/2020 03:43 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, July 18 (CNA) Members of the public are scooping up various kinds of government-issued stimulus vouchers on Saturday, which are aimed at boosting the local economy weakened by the COVID-19 outbreak.

People have flooded to state owned Chunghwa Post Co. to buy NT$3,000 (US$102) in vouchers at NT$1,000, and as of 2 p.m., more than 710,000 vouchers were sold.

To handle the large crowds, 1,269 out of 1,299 Chunghwa branch offices across Taiwan will operate until 5 p.m., the company said, adding that up to 1.5 million vouchers could be sold by then.

The vouchers can be used starting July 15 until Dec. 31.

Foreign residents of Taiwan, including hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from Southeast Asia, are not eligible to receive the vouchers unless they have a Taiwanese spouse, and the government has provided no clear explanation as to why they have been left out of this program.

There are also agriculture and culture stimulus vouchers issued by the government to boost these two sectors which have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 3.35 million agriculture vouchers, each with a face value of NT$250, are being provided to Taiwanese nationals and their foreign spouses. The vouchers will be valid at 2,000 agricultural service or product providers.

Registration for the vouchers in a lucky draw to get them will be closed by the end of Saturday, and as of noon, 2.81 million people had registered, according to the Council of Agriculture.

Results for the lucky draw will be available on Sunday, and the vouchers will be valid within 60 days after they are collected.

As for a total of 2 million culture vouchers, which are being issued to the same group of people, 300,000 people had already registered for the program as of 10 a.m. Saturday, according to the Culture Ministry.

Registration for the culture vouchers, each with a face value of NT$600, will continue through July 20, and the winners will also be decided by a lucky draw.

The vouchers could be used from noon, July 22 to Dec. 31, the ministry said.

(By Sabine Cheng, Yang Shu-min, Yu Hsiao-han and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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