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Taipower, CPC budgets for ‘neighborhood’ panned

Most of the money earmarked by state-owned Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) and CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC) for environmental protection, has instead gone toward what he called “bribing the community,” Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) said yesterday.

Hsu told a press conference that he would boycott the two companies’ budgets if they refuse to change the way they regulate their combined total this year of NT$3.55 billion (US$118 million) for “neighborhood-relations building.”

The neighborhood budgets have been spent on funding a wide range of activities, including religious ceremonies, tours and dance competitions, the lawmaker said.

Taipower, which annually allocates about NT$3 billion for its neighborhood budget, spent just 4.9 percent of the 2012 budget and 5.6 percent of last year’s budget as of November on environmental projects, Hsu said.

In 2012, CPC spent only 3.4 percent of its allocated budget on environmental-related items, compared with 8.5 percent of last year’s allocation as of November last year, he said.

CPC vice president Chang Ray-chung (張瑞宗) said Hsu’s statistics were correct and pledged to monitor and regulate the spending, as well as cutting the neighborhood budget next year.

Taipower public service department director Hsiao Jin-yi (蕭金益) said the company could not easily adjust its budget allocations.

The budgets were listed according to the construction progress or power output of its power stations to local governments and could not be adjusted, Hsiao said.

However, the budgets have been getting smaller over the years, he added.

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