A policeman of the Miaoli County Police Bureau received "an unexpected small happiness" when he was given a minor merit(??)by his superior for fathering five children.
He was among 60 people named in a bureau honor list recently for having children. Most of them got one commendation (??) for having three children. Five of them received two commendations for having four children, but only one received a minor merit for having five.
Policemen at the bureau said privately that the incentive is more symbolic than anything else.
"Who would have children just for one or two commendations? The cost of raising children is very high, and we couldn't even afford to buy baby formula or diapers! It would be more useful to give cash awards," some of the policemen commented on the new policy.
Shortly after Chin Hao-ming (???), chief of the Miaoli County Police Bureau, assumed the post in August, he unveiled the new incentive.
Chin said he knows it is easy for a policeman to get a commendation -- catching two drunken drivers is sufficient, for example.
He also knows that getting a commendation for having kids is "by no means comparable" to getting a commendation for police work, but he expressed hope that the incentive, despite being small, could have some effect on his staff.
Three commendations equal a minor merit and three minor merits equal a major merit (??). Accumulations of commendations and merits boost a staff member's chances of getting a good "job performance evaluation" report at year-end, which usually is accompanied by a cash reward.
Chin has promoted similar policies while working at the Xindian and Banqiao police branches and at the Keelung Harbor Police Department.
He pointed out that having fewer children while society is growing older is a potential source of concern.
He admitted that his own children, now in their 30s, are not married, and said that "if we cannot punish them, we can at least give them positive encouragement."
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel