Mandatory central provident fund unsuitable for time being: Ao Ieong

2023-11-28 03:05     BY Tony Wong    Comment:6

Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U said yesterday that “for the time being” it will “not be suitable” to switch the city’s non-mandatory central provident fund system to a mandatory one, considering that many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are still going through a difficult time in running their businesses, despite the city’s ongoing economic recovery.

Ao Ieong made the remarks during yesterday’s one-day Q&A session in the Legislative Assembly’s (AL) hemicycle about her portfolio’s policy guidelines for next year.

The city’s non-mandatory central provident fund system was implemented on January 1, 2018.

Ao Ieong said yesterday that if Macau’s economy continues to perform well next year, the government would begin to study the possibility of implementing a mandatory central provident fund system.

Ao Ieong added that the Social Security Fund (FSS) will hire a research institution to study whether a mandatory central provident fund system could be implemented by 2028.

Meanwhile, Ao Ieong underlined that the government will recruit a total of up to 197 health workers and other staff by the end of next month for its Cotai hospital complex, which will start its trial operation on December 20.

The Cotai hospital complex launched recruitment of 90 health workers and support staff members, comprising five general practitioners, 50 junior-level nurses, three pharmacists, six radiologic technologists, six pharmacy technical assistants, 10 nursing assistants, and 10 healthcare navigators.

Ao Ieong said yesterday that the Cotai hospital complex will launch a recruitment drive for another 50 staff at the end of this month, including legal professionals and administrative staff.

Ao Ieong underlined that the government will continue to recruit more staff early next year for the facility.

The hospital complex in south Cotai will be operated by Peking Union Medical College Hospital. The large-scale health facility is officially known as Islands Healthcare Complex – Macao Medical Centre of Peking Union Medical College Hospital.

“Islands” is the official term referring to Taipa, Coloane and Cotai.

Meanwhile, Ao Ieong also said that the government will publish a set of supplementary textbooks and other teaching materials for local schools’ national security education next year.

The policy secretary also underlined that the local government has been putting strong emphasis on the promotion of English teaching in local schools.

Ao Ieong also said that the government has received over 1,200 applications for its high-rise rental residential building for senior citizens on Plot P in Areia Preta district, since the application process started on November 6.

The high-rise will have a total of 1,815 studio-style units. Successful applicants in the first-phase application process, which covers 759 flats, will be offered a 20-percent discount on their rent during their first three-year lease, because of which the lowest rent for a flat will be 4,328 patacas per month.

Property management fees will be included in the rental fees. The tenants will, however, have to pay their utility bills.

Meanwhile, Ao Ieong also revealed that the government was planning to set up a school with Portuguese as its main language of instruction for local students planning to pursue their higher education studies in Portugal. She said the school would offer a four-year course focused on teaching its subjects in Portuguese.  

Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U addresses yesterday’s Q&A session about her portfolio’s 2024 policy guidelines in the Legislative Assembly’s (AL) hemicycle. – Photo: GCS

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