Volunteer soldiers on Taiping to make $2,240

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Coast Guard Administration (海巡署, CGA) yesterday officially announced that volunteer military personnel serving as first- and second-class soldiers are to be given a NT$4,000 (S$169) raise, while those serving in certain regions such as Pratas (東沙), Dadan (大二膽) and Taiping (太平) islands would receive NT$17,000 more starting from Jan. 1, 2014, bringing the monthly salary of a volunteer soldier serving on one of this islands to NT$53,000.

According to the CGA, there were no volunteer soldiers serving on Taiping island until the Ministry of National Defence (MND, 國防部) said it was considering a pay raise for volunteer soldiers. After that, the number of volunteer soldiers on Taiping increased significantly. "The number of applicants will probably increase 80 per cent when the policy takes effect next month," a CGA official said.

The CGA said that they are currently considering reducing the length of time volunteer soldiers could serve on Taiping Island from four to two years. Every soldier there would be able to save at least NT$1 million over two years, a CGA official said.

Currently, a second-class CGA conscript serving on Taiping earns NT$11,370 a month, with a first-class conscript earning NT$11,930 a month, according to the MND.