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The Bureau of Labor Insurance
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Literature masters sigh romantically about life.
But for our Taiwanese laborer friends…
What is their life-long considerate protections?
Oh the answer, the answer….
Lies in the 60 years of Labor Insurance
The Labor Insurance program started in 1950
The post-war years were unstable
Speaking of insurance//every one had but a vague idea
At that time
The Taiwan Provincial Government assigned
Taiwan Life Insurance Company to//provide Labor Insurance
Thus Taiwan Life Insurance Company…
Set up an independent Labor Insurance Division
To specifically provide labor insurance
At that time people thought//it was inauspicious
“I am not dead yet//why should I buy insurance?”
So when they began to provide//labor insurance…
They had to spend a lot of time//to persuade people
People didn’t want to pay//insurance premiums
They said it was a waste of money
At that time we were paid//every 15 days
The premium was deducted//from our pay and it was wasted
We cannot get it back
Our money was stuck there
We didn’t know when we//would get them back
“Do we have to die//to get our money back?”

Child-birth, old-age, death, injury//and invalidity
Were the main things covered//when labor insurance first started
People gradually began to understand//the benefits of labor insurance
More and more people enroll//in the labor insurance program
Back then, there were //very few doctors
Raising children wasn’t easy at all
Yes, we got an allowance//for child-birth
We got a subsidy too//for the death of a child
Labor insurance offered us//protection
Should we ever had an accident//it gave us help

At first only miners, factor workers
And employees of State-run enterprises
Were entitled to the protection//offered by labor insurance
Since 1951, along with the trends//of Taiwan’s economic development
Labor Insurance expanded the//scope of eligible occupations
And expanded to include//fishermen and sugar-cane farmers
Fishermen’s insurance started in 1953
Back then Taiwan’s economy//was not bad
And there were many fishermen
Seasonal workers at sugar refineries//were the busiest
Seasonal workers at sugar refineries
Were temporary workers//employed by sugar refineries
At every harvest season//they were very busy
And every one enrolled in the //labor insurance program
But when the season was over
That is when the sugar//refining was concluded
They cancelled the policies
So there was a peak season//every year

The earliest health insurance payments
Were hospitalization insurance coverage//which began in 1956
Out-patient coverage was added//in 1970
Laborers can get medical care
Just by applying for an// “Out-Patient Form”
It is very convenient
And thus labor insurance//became very popular
At that time, getting medical help//did not cost much
Only a registration fee was required
Look, I only had to pay //20 N.T. dollars
I don’t have to pay for//seeing a doctor
So at that time, labor insurance//was the best insurance in the world

After 10 years of gradual development//and promotion
Taiwan Provincial Bureau of Labor Insurance
Was officially established in 1960
Later, people became more//aware of labor insurance
When health insurance was provided//and even out-patient care
So at that time ordinary folks
Understood what labor insurance//was all about
At least if I enroll in the //labor insurance program
I can go to a clinic//if I have a minor illness

Apart from health care coverage//which attracted people to enroll
When “Labor Insurance Act”//was officially enforced…
Labor insurance became compulsory
They enroll you in the labor insurance//program as soon as you enter a mine
You have to enroll when you enter
They took your identification card
Only when you enrolled in the//labor insurance program
Then you were allowed to enter//a mine to work
It was easy to enroll in//the labor insurance program
If you want to work tomorrow
You enroll in the program today
And tomorrow you can work
Every one was insured
You cannot work without insurance
You cannot enter the mine
The boss cannot let you work
The boss said he didn’t have//that kind of money to compensate
He couldn’t help it
Everything must be handled professionally//by the Bureau of Labor Insurance

When Taiwan’s economy //developed very rapidly
And when huge populations migrated//from farming villages to factories
The number of insured laborers//increased along with industrial growth
For example, employees of//government agencies
Military factories…
Private schools were all covered
Labor Insurance was hugely//expanded at that time

In 1960…
Labor Insurance was expanded//to include Kinmen and Matsu
The Bureau of Labor Insurance
Was renamed Bureau of Labor Insurance//of the Taiwan and Fukien Areas
We held a seminar for handling//labor insurance in Kinmen
But transportation was very inconvenient
There were no scheduled flights//at that time
We could only fly in military planes
Our Liaison Office had to work very hard
But many people attended
We had a very good result //at that time

In 1972 insured laborers//exceeded one million
The Bureaus’ work-load//increased continuously
So in 1974 they set up an …
Electronic Data Processing Team
To computerize the various//transactions of the Bureau
Out-patient forms were mailed to//the various insured units
The insured unit had to get a//Out-patient form to see a doctor
So our colleagues went to get//Out-patient forms
Put Forms Number 1 to Number 10//in the envelope
And then we staple them up
And send them to the post office’
When we mail them
We had to use more than 30//small trucks
So the volume was huge
The employees handling them//had to work very hard
The forms were filled by hand everyday
After writing them, they also//had to write index cards
They have to review files and cards//to make the index cards
So it was bothersome
So we had to simplify it
Application for hospitalization//was also reduced in size
It was reduced from two large sheets//to a small sheet
Finally we use computers //to check insurance payments
And to make hospitalization records
So we eliminated the work-load //of making hospitalization index cards
Reducing a lot of our//colleagues’ work-load
We also eliminated some waste

After 1971
The number of insured laborers// grew rapidly not only
Because more laborers migrated//from farming villages to factories
But also because white-collar workers
Were also covered since 1972
Items covered by labor insurance//also increased
Labor insurance covered//Chinese traditional medicine and dentists
We also had industrial parks
For example when Hsin-Chu// Industrial Park was established
If insured laborers there increased
The growth was phenomenal
It also had to do with the //economic boom
In an economic boom//there are more and more factories
There were, of course//more and more insured laborers
And also everyone became//more aware of
The many benefits of labor insurance

Along with the increase of //insured laborers
The first line jobs of labor insurance//faced a greater challenge
In the event of mine accidents//and plane crashes
They always went to the scene immediately//to offer condolences and help
During the 1960’s and the 1970’s
When the most coal was mined in Taiwan
The coal mines and the factories
Were places where the most//injuries occur
At the time of the Coal Mountain//coal mine disaster
We actively contacted the mining company
They gave us a list of 103 victims
I went ,with checks and chops
To our Keelung Office to make//payments to relatives of the victims
I spent a total of four days

From the 1970’s to the 1980’s
It was the first golden age//for labor insurance
The number of insured laborers//rose from 1 million to 8 million
Farmers Insurance, insurance for//elected officials
And health insurance for //low-income families
Were also handled by the Bureau//of Labor Insurance
Most of the insurance premium//for insurance for elected officials
Were paid by the government
The government pays 2 thirds
While we only pay 1 third
So the village and borough heads
Were in a better mood for promoting// policies and to serve the people

After the National Health Insurance//was established in 1995
The Bureau’s Health Insurance was //transferred to the National Health Insurance
The Bureau of Labor Insurance//entered a new era
The establishment of the Bureau of //National Health Insurance;
Was by transferring the entire//Bureau of Labor Insurance health division to it
And so the Bureau of National//Health Insurance started smoothly
The transfer of employees from//the Bureau of Labor Insurance
And their previous experiences
Were all instrumental in the //smooth establishment of NHI

The restructured Bureau of //Labor Insurance
Invested more of their efforts
To construct a social security system
Firstly, the Bureau strengthened//its care for occupational accidents
When the Occupational Accident Protection Act//was enacted in 2002
Even laborers not enrolled//in the Labor Insurance Program
Can obtain help and care
When the “Employment Insurance Act”//was enacted in 2003
Apart from unemployment //insurance payments
The Bureau also actively provide//job trainings
And incentives for early//re-employment
Children-care Allowances during//Unpaid Parental Leave is also provided
To protect female employees
Children-care Allowances during Unpaid Parental Leave
Means demanding our country//our society
And enterprise owners
To treat employees according to
A more sexually un-biased//point of view
To see not just the person’s
Contribution to the job
But to see the employee’s whole person
And to give them a friendly//work place

Labor Insurance not only protects//laborers in the work-place
But also takes full care//of their retired life
When the New Labor Pension Program//was set up in 2005
Every laborer can use his or her//Labor Protection Card
To check personal pension accounts
When the National Pension Program//was set up in 2008
Citizens originally without//social security insurance
Are also protected
At about 2030 AD
About three persons will support//one person
Especially when I make a calculation
I will be 80 then
It makes me more nervous
So setting up programs like this
Makes us feel more secure

The Labor Insurance Pension Program//which was set up in 2009
Labor Insurance Pension
Has the alternative of //collecting monthly pension
The longer you live//the more you collect
15 years ago
We also reached a new milestone
In social welfare
That is the National Health Insurance
Just like today’s Labor Insurance//Pension Program
They are both important //historical milestones
I retired last year at the age of 55
After I made a calculation
I decided to collect a monthly//Labor Insurance Pension
Although it’s not a lot of money
Only 18000
But for me I can fulfill many of//dreams after retirement
So to me, after retirement
With this labor insurance pension
My quality of life is raised//quite a lot

Looking back on those 60 years
We have advanced from labor insurance
To Occupational Accident Labor Protection Program
Employment Insurance Program
New Labor Pension Program
And National Pension Program
And Labor Insurance Pension Program
Every step is a crucial link
In constructing a social security system
The Bureau of Labor Insurance will//keep on renovating
And with an enthusiastic and considerate spirit
Accompany all our citizen into//many, many 60 years


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