How should a special (Executive Yuan-governed) municipality apportion its educational, scientific and cultural funds in its total annual expenditure?
Article 164 of the Constitution provides that the funds reserved for education, science and cultural programs shall not be less than fifteen percent of the total national budget, twenty five percent of the total provincial budget, and thirty five percent of the total municipal or county budget. The objective of the said Article is to prescribe a minimum ratio of the said funds, in proportion to the total annual expenditure, to be abided by governments at various levels when preparing their total budget for the administrative year. Executive-governed municipalities are accorded the same status as provinces by the Constitution; thus the ratio of their educational, scientific and cultural funds in proportion to the total budget shall resemble that of the provinces.
The first sentence of Article 164 of the Constitution stipulates: "Funds reserved for education, science and cultural programs shall not be less than fifteen percent of the total national budget, twenty five percent of the total provincial budget, and thirty five percent of the total municipal or county budget", which seeks to prescribe a minimum ratio of such funds in proportion to the total budget of the governments at different levels. The so-called "total budget" refers to the total annual expenditure listed in the various governments' total annual budget prepared for their ordinary annual budget. The foregoing has been explained in this Yuan's Interpretation Nos.77 and 231.
Reference to "municipalities" in the Constitution may be interpreted as referring exclusively to province-governed municipalities, expressed as "province, municipality" in Article 109, Subparagraph 3, and as "municipality" in Article 128; or referring also to Executive-governed municipalities, as can be seen in Article 26, Subparagraph 1, ─ "county, municipality". Article 118 of the Constitution categorizes the self-governance of Executive-governed municipalities in Chapter XI, "System of Local Government ─ Province"; thus Executive-governed municipalities that operate on the said legal principles are on the same level as local self-governing bodies, and have the same status, authority, obligations, financial resources and responsibilities as provinces under the Constitution. Executive-governed municipalities are densely populated, have extraordinary political, economic and cultural circumstances, and their infrastructure construction fund needs exceed those of counties and province-governed municipalities. Therefore, their financial resources shall be allocated efficiently so as not to affect the complete development of infrastructure construction adversely, and the ratio of their educational, scientific and cultural funds in proportion to the total budget shall resemble that of the provinces. 'Translated by Wei-Feng Huang of THY Taiwan International Law Offices.