Social News 8/6
High-speed boat smashes cargo vessel, injures four

Four passengers were injured after their high-speed boat crashed into a cargo ship on Monday afternoon in the waters off Quảng Ninh Province’s Vân Đồn District.

The boat, which has a maximum capacity of 50 passengers, left Cô Tô Port for Cái Rồng Port at 4.10pm with 32 passengers. The accident occurred when the boat was 1 km away from Cái Rồng Port, Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) online newspaper reported.

Officials from the north-eastern Quảng Ninh Province rushed two high-speed boats to the spot and transported passengers to land. The injured were taken to Cẩm Phả General Hospital, where they were treated free of charge.

Tuyên Quang kids get free health checks, surgeries

Hundreds of children in the northern mountainous province of Tuyên Quang have benefited from free medical check-ups and surgeries under a programme jointly carried out by the Việt Nam Association of Paediatric Surgeons (VNAPS), the Nhịp Cầu Yêu Thương (Spans of Love) Group, and the provincial General Hospital.

Following check-ups on Monday, 40 children with various defects were offered free surgery right at the hospital, saving travel costs for their families.

VNAPS President Prof. Dr. Nguyễn Thanh Liêm said the programme was joined by 40 doctors, nurses and volunteers from the association and local hospitals.

The programme will also help train staff of the Tuyên Quang General Hospital in new treatments and techniques, Liêm said.

Hà Nội to consider Belt Road No. 1 project

The People’s Committee of Hà Nội will consider the construction project of the Belt Road No. 1 at the Hoàng Cầu–Voi Phục intersection.

The project will have an investment capital of VNĐ 7.7 trillion (US$339 million).

As per the plan of the management board of investment for construction of civil and industrial architectural projects of Hà Nội, the construction will account for nearly VNĐ 1.8 trillion ($80 million) coming from the city budget and other capitals.

The total length of the road is designed to be 2,274m. Around 2,044 households have contributed a total 160,000sq.m of land for the clearance.

Earlier, the city allowed all vehicles travelling through the 550m of Belt Road No.1. The intersection from Kim Mã to Ô Chợ Dừa (Đống Đa District) has a total investment capital of VNĐ642 billion ($28 million) and is considered as the most expensive street totalling more than VNĐ1 billion ($44,000) a sq.m.

Seminar discusses preservation of heritage urban areas

UNESCO Chief Representative in Vietnam Susan Vize said the preservation of heritage urban areas should be integrated into economic growth to ensure sustainable development. 

Speaking at an international seminar in the central province of Quang Nam on June 14, the official stressed the significance of international cooperation in preserving and promoting values of heritage urban areas. 

Climate change and sea level rise have put pressure on urban areas, especially heritage ones, she said, calling for joint efforts of all-level authorities, specialised agencies and the private sector to preserve and promote their values. 

Other delegates at the seminar discussed mechanisms and new approaches in sustainable management of heritage urban areas, and other issues regarding the work. 

Dinh Van Thu, Chairman of the Quang Nam province People’s Committee, said Hoi An is an ancient town in Southeast Asia with more than 1,000 architectural works like houses, communal houses, pagodas, temples and tombs. 

Thanks to its outstanding cultural values, Hoi An was recognised as a cultural heritage site by UNESCO in December 4, 1999. 

Despite achievements in the preservation work, Hoi An is facing new challenges caused by climate change and sea level rise, along with threats of fire due to the overload of services, pressures of overpopulation and impacts of urbanisation. 

Dr. Chuk Chumno from the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism underlined the importance of heritage tourism as well as the need to maintain sustainable development in cultural tourism.

Book on President Ho Chi Minh introduced in Bangladesh

The Vietnamese Embassy in Bangladesh has held a ceremony to introduce the Bengali version of the book “How Ho Chi Minh wrote his testament” by Vu Ky, the secretary of late President Ho Chi Minh.

The book, published by the The Gioi Publishers in 2013, was translated from English to Bengali.

Addressing the event, Ambassador to Bangladesh Tran Van Khoa said that this is the first time a book about President Ho Chi Minh has been translated into Bengali language and introduced to Bangladeshi readers.

The book is expected to help Bangladesh friends get deeper understanding on the life and career of President Ho Chi Minh, while spreading the late revolutionary leader’s ideology on peace, national independence, democracy and social progress among Bangladeshi friends, thus contributing to fostering traditional friendship between the two countries.

Participants at the ceremony spoke highly of the publishing of the book in Bengali language. They agreed that this is a chance for Bangladeshi people to explore great and valuable thoughts of President Ho Chi Minh that maintained in his will, and discover more about Vietnam.

Translation of the book was made with the coordination between the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangladesh and Nawab Salimullah Institute, a non-governmental organisation of Bangladesh that was founded in 1987.

The initiative of the book’s translation was given in 2015. The work was finished right on the 127th birthday of President Ho Chi Minh in May this year.

The embassy and the Nawab Salimullah Institute will also jointly hold a number of activities in the future, including a workshop on President Ho Chi Minh and a conference on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam-Bangladesh diplomatic relations in 2018.

Pollution in HCMC a burden too heavy to shoulder

Pollution in HCMC remains an unbearable burden as the infrastructure system in the city trails far behind the socio-economic development demand, shows a report prepared by the municipal government as input for the People’s Council meeting next week.

The city is suffering from numerous pollution-causing sources, including wastewater, industrial and household solid waste, and emissions from industrial facilities and vehicles, according to the report. The People’s Council at its next meeting on May 11 will focus its discussions on solutions to fight pollution.

The city is endowed with a diverse network of canals and ditches that should make the landscape and environment more agreeable, but such a network is also victimized by uncontrolled discharge of household and industrial wastewater, let alone a huge amount of garbage littered on the water.

The total amount of wastewater discharged in the city is 1.75 million cubic meters a day, but the current treatment facilities in the city are capable of treating only 13.2% of this volume of wastewater. Therefore, household waste is still a main culprit polluting the city’s canal network.

Air and noise pollution in the city is also a big challenge. More than eight million vehicles, most of them motorcycles, are causing air and noise pollution but there are no effective measures addressing the problem. In addition, hundreds of industrial factories and construction sites are aggravating air and noise pollution in the city.

Monitoring data show that dust and noise parameters at measuring stations, especially at 12 major intersections, are all far higher than permissible levels.

Regarding solid waste, the total amount discharged a day in the city includes 8,300 tons of household waste, between 1,500 and 2,000 tons of industrial waste, and 22 tons of medical waste. This amount for the most part is simply buried.

In addition, city dwellers discharge some eight tons of solid waste in public places or into canals a day. The city government currently spends VND2,200 to VND2,400 billion a year to collect and treat solid waste.

The HCMC government in its report admits that pollution in the city has not been properly controlled, while environmental protection and waste management have not been well integrated in the socio-economic development master plan.

To gradually cope with the situation, the municipal government is calling on investors to join forces with the city in fighting pollution, especially in collecting and treating wastewater.

Residents can inspect waste treatment facilities in HCMC

Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has requested investors of waste treatment facilities to let local residents come and inspect next month, said Le Van Khoa, the city’s vice chairman.

Speaking at an extraordinary session on waste management and environmental protection of the city’s People’s Council on June 11, Khoa said the waste management facilities that would be subject to public monitoring next month are Da Phuoc, Vietstar, Tam Sinh Nghia and Phuoc Hiep.

The move is aimed at forcing these waste treatment project investors to strengthen environmental protection measures.

The Vietnam Environment Administration has recently slapped a fine of nearly VND1.6 billion (around US$70,500) on Vietnam Waste Solutions, the operator of the Da Phuoc Integrated Waste Management Facility, for violations of environmental protection rules which were detected in October and November last year.

In particular, the facility failed to install sewage treatment facilities as required, discharged wastewater that did not meet safety standards, and provided an environmental impact assessment report in which one item was not done.

Vice chairman Khoa said local residents filed complaints over an odor emitting from Da Phuoc last year. The municipal government then asked it to take multiple solutions to minimize the spread of the odor and protect the environment.

He added the facility has a daily waste handling capacity of around 5,300 tons. The city had told it to adopt modern technology to treat 1,000-2,000 tons of the total volume.

In regard to other facilities, he said, the local government has plans to review all the other waste treatment projects by the end of next month.

Foreigner uses fake passport to withdraw VND700 mil from bank

Police in HCMCs District 1 & related agencies detained Albert Oshdi Akinga with Congolese nationality to further investigation on the case of using fake passport to withdraw money from VP Bank.

Informed by VP Bank that a foreign man used fake passport named Robinson Wayne Normam, born in 1977  to withdraw VND700million ($30,843) on June 9, police rushed to the bank for probe.
Through checking, bank staffs discovered that the passport is fake; so they reported to managers and called police. 

The foreign man confessed his name is Albert Oshdi Akinga, 1976, having Congolese nationality. He hired a hotel in Pham Ngu Lao Street in District 1.

Accordingly, police detained him for further investigation.

Lawyers propose to abolish regulation on informing against clients

HCMC Bar Association has sent a document to the National Assembly chairwoman, standing committee, justice committee proposing to abolish Item 3, Clause 19, the Criminal Code 2015.

According to the item, attorneys must bear criminal responsibility for not denouncing crimes infringing national security and other particularly serious crimes.
Lawyer Nguyen Van Trung, chairman of the HCMC Bar Association, said that the association’s point of view is that the regulation creates conflicts with other law items.
Specifically, Item 2, Clause 73, the Criminal Procedure Code 2015 stipulates that attorneys are banned from revealing information about cases and their clients except the clients agree in writing.
Item 1, Clause 9 of the Lawyer Law 2006 prohibits attorneys from revealing information about cases and clients during professional practice except the accused agree in writing or there are other legal regulations.
The conflicts have put lawyers into dilemma. Not informing against clients, they will break the Item 3 of the Criminal Code while informing, they will violate the Criminal Procedure Code and professional ethnics.

Children painting contest honors Vietnamese traditional festivals

TopArt, a children fine arts center & the UNESCO Center for Culture and Education (UNESCO-CEP) have jointly launched a panting contest nationwide.
Children painting contest honors Vietnamese traditional festivals

This year’s subject focusing on the “Colors of Vietnamese festivals” aims to give children a deep knowledge of  the national origin and traditional holidays.

Launched from 2014, the contest has attracted thousands of children from primarily schools and kindergartens.

The organization board will select 500 best contestants for the final round that will take place in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Tan District on October 8.

Hoi An seeks experts’ opinion in preserving & promoting its urban heri

An International Conference themed “Preserving and Promoting urban heritage values” took place in Hoi An Ancient City of the Central Province of Quang Nam this morning.

The conference aims to review the efficiency of Hoi An Announcement 2003 and 2009 of encouraging promoting new creations from localities and private sectors in its urban heritage sites’ protection and sustainable development.

Leaders of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Quang Nam People’s Committee and representatives from YNESCO, UN-labitat Vietnam attended the event.

Mr. Dinh Van Thu, Chairman of Quang Nam People’s Committee said Hoi An is home to more than 1,000 old architecture relics such as houses, temples, pagoda, well featuring Vietnamese traditional art value and Chinese, Japanese, French styled architectures.

However, in order to preserve and promote its urban heritage values, the city needs to have the cooperation programs and share experience from other countries worldwide as well as international organizations. The Province hopes to receive many opinions from domestic and international management experts, helping the city preserve its outstanding cultural heritage values.

Hoi An Announcement 2017 was launched at the closing ceremony on the same day. The conference is part of Quang Nam Heritage Festival. 

168 e-learning designs win prizes

168 out of 12,000 entries from 14,000 teachers were given the national e-learning design awards.

Winners of the contest were yesterday presented prizes by the Ministry of Education and Training.
The contest was organized by the Ministry’s Department of Information Technology and the Lawrence S. Ting fund.

It aims to promote movement to apply information technology in teaching and learning and build e-learning material and Vietnam’s geography in the basis of application of E-Learning. Content of e-learning design covers lectures of subjects in schools and geography. 

Through three rounds, the organizers selected 168 individuals and groups to give prizes. Total prizes are worth over VND1.4 billion ($61,743)

All winning and 5,000 good entries will be kept in the national e-learning stock for reference as they meet with demand of teachers, students and people who want to learn. 

Six people hospitalized after eating lamprey gut

Six members of a family were hospitalized after having sea lamprey’s gut, the Department of Food Safety in the central province of Thua Thien said.

55 year old Le Hue in Binh Dien Commune in Huong Tra Town cooked sea lamprey and the fish gut with bamboo shoot. 

Later, they experienced vomiting, diarrhea and numbed limbs; accordingly, they were rushed to the local General Hospital for emergency.

The food safety authority said it would carry out probe into the case.

Surgeons succesfully construct vagina utilizing transverse colon

The Hue Central International Hospital in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue yesterday said that surgeons have utilized transverse colon for vaginal construction for three patients.
Of three patients who underwent vaginal reconstruction, two patients have no wombs and vagina while one has womb without vagina.
Surgeons performed endoscopy to cut off a section of transverse colon to construct vagina for the three women.
Head of the Surgery Ward Dr. Pham Anh Vu said that the operation is firstly carried out in the hospital.
Successful surgery can help these women have sex like normal women. One of three patietns is 15 year old girl who can give birth after the surgery because she has womb.
Three women paid VND30 million for the surgery while it costs VND600 million for such operation conducted in Thailands.

Participants of green consumption campaign change avatar

Over 2,000 volunteers took part in the eighth Green Consumption Campaign organized by Saigon Giai Phong (Liberated Saigon) newspaper and Saigon Co.op - which owns Co.opmart,

Student Trang Thi Thanh Hien of University of Social Sciences and Humanities said that clubs of environment lovers were set up in universities. Students encouraged their friends not to drop litter in schools’ premises, to plant trees and to water them and to classify wastes.

In joining in the campaign, Hien and her friends learned the new way to protect environment by consuming eco-friendly products which help preserve the environment by significantly reducing the pollution they could produce. Eco-friendly products can be made from scratch, or from recycled materials. This kind of product is easily recognizable as it is, in most cases, labelled as such. In such way, consumers help to promote more “green” companies who have responsibilities with environment.

By backing the campaign, more than 2,000 volunteers changed their personal Facebook’s their Facebook profile picture with slogan “Green Consumption- Needed acts” in support of the campaign. Deputy Editor-in-Chief Ly Viet Trung said that the Green Consumption Campaign has attracted the participation of 400 enterprises with 4,000 products. Unilever Vietnam, the Urban Environment Company and Mondelez Kinh Do Company.

Deputy Director of Saigon Co.op Nguyen Anh Duc said that in the campaign’s framework, from June 3 to 25, Co.opmart and Co.opXtra chains nationwide will launch the promotion program in a bid to increase environment’s awareness amongst consumers to buy green products.

The supermarkets will give over 180,000 vouchers and customers who buy green products will earn valuable reward points. Moreover, Vietnamese agricultural produce festival and Vietnamese fruit festival will be organized to promote buying. Additionally, people will get discount of 43 percent when buying 2,000 green products.

Various gameshows would be held in supermarkets to help people identify green products.

The organizers said that from June 4 to 24, over 1,000 volunteers will spread information of green products to locals in Ho Chi Minh City. Participants in the campaign will be given a voucher of VND30,000.

HCMC proposes leasing pavement, roadways for commercial operations

The Department of Transport in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday put forward a scheme to lease pavements for commercial operations.

As per the authority in district 1’s proposal, business could be charged VND100,000 ($4.4) per square meter a month for the privilege while business in district 3 would pay VND80,000 per square meter a month.
Business will be charged VND30,000; VND50,000; VND25,000; VND45,000; VND35,000; VND40,000 per square meter a month in district 4 and Binh Thanh; district 5; districts 6 and Tan Binh; district 10; district 11 and district Phu Nhuan respectively.

Meanwhile outlying districts 2, 7, 8, 9, 12, Go Vap, Binh Tan, Thu Duc, Tan Phu, Binh Chanh, Hoc Mon, Nha Be, Cu Chi and Can Gio proposed to pay VND20,000 per square meter a month.

The Department of Transport suggested parking fee of VND20,000 for under 10 seater cars in roadways in districts 1, 3, 5 in day time and VND40,000 in night time. Drivers will be charged VND15,000 and VND30,000  in the day and night time in the remaining districts.

Drivers of over 10 seater cars will pay the maximum charges of VND25,000 and VND50,000 for parking in day and night time respectively in district 1, 3, 5 while it will be VND20,000 and VND40,000 a car in day and night time in the remaining districts.

At present, City administration collects fee from business in 345 thoroughfares which use a part of pavement and roadway for parking. Of them, 160 roads  are hired for public parking lots, 112 streets are used for commercial operations and 73 roads are allowed to park in the roadway with charges.

The Department of Transport said that charges will be used to repair roads and harbors. Charge levels will publicize on the collecting booths and related agencies’  websites. 

President calls for voluntary blood donation

Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang sent a letter to call for promoting voluntary blood donation on the occasion of the World Blood Donor Day on June 14.

In his letter, the President said that blood donation is a kind act and responsibility of each individual.

For years, the movement to give blood voluntarily has grown nationwide with meaningful activities such as “Le hoi Xuan Hong”(Pink Festival), “Hanh trinh do”( Red Journey),“Giot hong tri an”( Grateful blood drop), “Trai tim tinh nguyen” ( Voluntary heart). 

More types of blood donation in localities like “Tuyen pho hien mau”( locals in a street donate blood),  “Cau lac bo nhom mau hiem”( Clubs of people with rare blood type); therefore, timely provision of blood to save people contributes to develop the country’s good  tradition. 

President Quang lauded exemplary blood donors who have donated blood many times and those who encouraged their relatives to give blood.

He asked governments, agencies and unions to promote voluntary blood donation movement more and called for the contribution of people in the country and soldiers to give their blood for saving others. 

1,500 fish die in Ca Mau

Around 1,500 dead fish appeared in floating fish farms around Hon Chuoi offshore islands of Ca Mau province yesterday.

The dead fish are type of Rachycentron Canadum.

Total damage increased up to VND 1 billion. 

Currently, the People’s Committee of Song Doc town and functional agencies took fish samples for test to investigate the reason. 

Dau Tieng irrigation reservoir to discharge water on July 1

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has just asked the Dau Tieng- Phuoc Hoa Irrigation Exploitation Company to discharge as well as balance water level at its reservoirs on July 1.

The direction aims to ensure reservoir safety and reduce water level of the Dau Tieng irrigation reservoir.
The city also asked functional agencies need to eye the water flow at the reservoirs to ensure water supply during the dry season, and prevent flooding in this year’s rainy season.

HCM City collects 8,507 tons of trash per day

The urban environment management agencies said they collected & treated over 255,000 tons of solid waste from households in May, an average of 8,507 tons per day. 

The City recommended Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to early approve a list of business units of causing serious environmental pollution. Besides, the ministry should organize a seminar titled "Solutions to reduce environmental pollution in the city" to attract the participation of 50 experts, functional agencies and relevant enterprises.

Through seminar, the city will have chance to collect experts' opinions about the city's environmental protection. 

Aquatic animals reduce by 1.5 percent due to polluted sea

Answering the questions of National Assembly deputies on exploitation and protection of fisheries, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that total products of aquatic in 2016 reached 6.7 million tons.

In the period of 2013-2016, average increase was 4.48 percent yet it saw a surge of 2.9 percent in 2016, down by 1.58 percent compared to the whole period’s production.
The Minister explained the reduction is due to natural disaster and polluted sea in four central provinces. Average export turnover of the period reached $7.04 billion a year, up by 15.6 percent compared 2012.

The quantity of fish, shrimp, crab, octopus and cuttle in the period of 2011-2015 was 4.36 million tons excluding aquatic animals in the coastal zones, bottoms of  continental shelves, and deep-water fishing sea over 200 meter.

Compared with the period of 2000-2005, aquatic products dropped by 14 percent. 

Despite the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture and its partnership in establishing fishing ports at various locations, the Minister said that it is uncontrollable the number of fishing boats which illegally use dynamite, electricity and catch baby fishes and fishes in mating season.
He blamed polluted sea for a serious drop of aquatic animals.  
Fishermen‘s awareness in protecting and developing fish is low plus light penalties can not deter people from committing illegal work. Additionally, documents on protecting the country’s sea and water zone are not suitable.
Furthermore, there have been no policies to support fishermen or help them to transfer to another job and there have been no policies to encourage investment in preservation areas. 
To remedy the above-mentioned shortcomings, the Ministry will carry out investigation to value sea profit, verify key fishing grounds, and which aquatic animals to catch.
Another measure proposed by the Ministry is to set up a prohibited area about fishing to protect pregnant fishes and breeding aquatic animals in mating season. The Ministry should increase inspection and issue fines to illegal activities including fishing by electricity and dynamite.
As per the sector’s study, around 110,950  fishing boats are working in sea, catching over 3 million tons and this offers jobs to 650,000 direct laborers in sea and millions of services in ashore.

Representative office of Daejeon city inaugurated in HCMC

Representative office of Korea's Daejeon city was inaugurated in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday.
The inauguration will open more cooperative chances as well as boost further the friendly relationship between the two cities.  

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong yesterday welcomed Mayor of the Republic of Korea’s Daejeon city Kwon Sun Taik. 

At the reception, two sides expressed their pleasure at an active development of the friendly cooperative relations between Vietnam and Korea in general and between Ho Chi Minh City and localities of Korea in particular. 

Chairman Phong highly appreciated active role of Korean enterprises as well as community in Vietnam, contributing to strengthen cooperation relationship of the two nations. 

With a science & technology strong point as Daejeon city, chairman Phong believed that the two cities will have more cooperative projects in the upcoming time.

Green Shopping Marathon launched

The Green Shopping Marathon, as part of the Ho Chi Minh City's annual Green Consumption Campaign has been kicked off at Co.opmart Ly Thuong Kiet.

Launched in 2011, the second edition of the event featuring  environmental protection activities aims to call on people to choose environmentally friendly green products.

The opening ceremony attracted more than 200 customers, 500 volunteers and dancer Quang Dang, the Monstar band, singers Thai Trinh and Dinh Huong.

The Green Consumption Campaign is co-organized by Saigon Giai Phong newspaper, the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, and supermarket chain  Saigon Co.op. The campaign is designed to further promote the “Vietnamese people use Vietnamese products” program, as well as green technology and green products.

Raising children's awareness of environmental protection

The Honorary Consulate of the Republic of South Africa in Ho Chi Minh City, the HCM City Vietnam Environmental Protection Fund and students in the city visited disadvantaged children in response to the 2017 World Environment Day (June 5).

The delegation offered gifts to kids at the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation in Ho Chi Minh City, including more than 200 books and coloring books on nature and environment.

Children today spend much time for watching TV or playing computer games but too much time in front of screens can damage children’s health both in the short and long term.

South African Honorary Consul, Do Thi Kim Lien said that the adult should teach children a love for the environment, show them to see beauty in the environment, and give a deep knowledge of  environment values. 

Kids must be encouraged to go outside and play outdoor activities, plant and care trees, visit museums and botanical garden and zoo. Play is essential to develop the health because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and youth.

They are taught ways of  saving water and  turning off power supply when not in use, she added.

HCMC bestows “Heroic Vietnamese Mother” title to 38 women

Thirty eight women whose husbands and children bravely sacrificed themselves for national liberation and unification in Ho Chi Minh City were honored with the Vietnamese Heroic Mother title, this morning.

Attending the award ceremony was Standing Deputy Secretary of Party Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, Tat Thanh Cang; Chairman of the People’s Committee of the city, Nguyen Thanh Phong.

On behalf of the city leaders, Mr. Cang expressed deep gratitude to the heroic mothers for their great contribution and sacrifice towards the cause of national liberation and reconstruction, and wished them good health and a long life, and asked the local authorities to take care of the mothers and help improve their lives.

As many as 5,184 women have been awarded and posthumously bestowed with the Vietnamese Heroic Mother title in Ho Chi Minh City.

Can Gio plan changes from agriculture into tourism, services

Coastal Can Gio district will change its plan and economic structure, giving priority to tourism and services instead of agriculture to fully exploit local potentials and improve residents’ living quality.

The People’s Committee of HCMC has assigned the Department of Planning and Investment to work with Can Gio district authorities to change construction plan in the district.
The move has been made after the Government approved in principle the plan adjustment of coastal areas in Long Hoa commune and Can Thanh town.
After being approved, the plan will be supplemented to the city’s construction plan by 2030. The city People’s Committee will consider the scale of sea reclamation project Can Gio Urban Area and report to the Prime Minister matters out of its jurisdiction.
Mr. Le Minh Dung, chairman of the Can Gio People’s Committee, said that the district’s plan adjustment comprises economic structure change, putting services and tourism on top of priority before agriculture.
According to Mr. Dung, the city’s only coastal district has many unique places to develop tourism with the coastline length of 23 kilometers, over 20,000 hectares of river and canal water face, 330,000 hectares of mangrove forest and Sac Forest Base Historic Site.
However, the district’s potentials have yet to be exploited fully for the last many years. Hence, Mr. Dung said he hoped that experts and agencies will give opinions and ideas for the plan adjustment to develop the district and improve residents’ living quality.
According to HCMC economic zone development plan, Can Gio is one of satellite towns.
The Department of Planning and Investment said that besides the already planned Binh Khanh urban area, the adjusted plan will develop Can Thanh urban area; home to the sea reclamation project, tourist and services development.
Can Gio now has Sac Forest road linking Binh Khanh urban area up to future Can Thanh urban area.
In addition, the policy of building Binh Khanh bridge has been approved by the Prime Minister to connect District 7 with Nha Be and Can Gio. Can Gio development will help remove residents from the overloaded center of the city.
Waterway traffic development
Can Gio is not only a world biosphere reserve but also the green lung of the city and surrounding areas. So balance between economics and preservation and sustainable development is not a simple problem for planners.
Mr. Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy chairman of HCMC Planning Association, said that Can Gio development should be put in a long term vision with initial roadmap possibly lengthening 20-30 years as many sea reclamation cities in the world have taken up to 40-50 years to establish and operate smoothly.
He suggested waterway traffic development in Long Tau and Soai Rap rivers to connect the center of the city with Can Gio. This measure will reduce road building costs, protect mangrove forests and develop waterway tourism.
Beside the plan adjustment, the city People’s Committee has approved the policy of permitting Can Gio Tourist Urban Area Joint Stock Company to study the sea reclamation project. After two times of change, the project’s area has increased to 2,870 hectares comprising 600 hectares of sea reclamation. 
So far, Can Gio district has only one built real estate project, Phuoc Loc residential area invested by Phuoc Loc Housing Construction and Trading Company.
The garden house, locating near the reclamation project site, has 500 villas and houses built over 56 hectares since 2005 but been unsalable. Infrastructure system in the area has run downgraded.

HCMC thirsty for capital for urban infrastructure investment

Ho Chi Minh City government needs a whopping VND500 trillion ($22 billion) for urban infrastructure investment by 2020 excluding removing houses on canals while the state budget just meet 31.8 percent of the demand, said People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong at a meeting yesterday.

In the meeting “City leaders meet infrastructure investors” lately, businessmen said that they wanted to join hand in build infrastructure projects to carry out infrastructure, environment rehabilitation, healthcare and manpower development projects as part of its seven breakthrough programs by 2020

Director of the Department of Transport Bui Xuan Cuong said that the city built over 106km roads, the metro No.1, the ring road No.2 and it is calling for investment in two other flyovers.

For the period 2016 - 2020, the city needs VND318 trillion for 189 projects including building roads, Tan Son Nhat Airport, Cat Lai Harbor, ring roads and parking lots for public means of transport.

Director of the Department of Construction Tran Trong Tuan said that the city has 935 old condos with 1,249 apartments; of which, 577 condos were built before 1975 and in poor repairs. By 2020 the city will construct half of them to meet living demand.

It requires a big sum to remove around 20,000 houses in canals and the city must call for social contribution from enterprises.

The city also needs investment in handling waste by new technologies because the city produce 8,300 tons of waste a day in the period 2006 2016, said director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resource Nguyen Toan Thang. The city is employing burying technology.
It is predicted that by 2020, around 10,080 tons of waste will be produced a day; therefore, it needs investment in thermal plasma technology.

The city is also calling for anti-flooding project. Nguyen Hoang Anh Dung, vice director of the Steering Center for the Urban Flood Control Program  said the city needs over VND73 trillion for the period 2016 - 2020 for anti-flooding program; mainly the city used ODA loans to build plants to treat wastewater discharge and system to forecast rains and monitoring canal system.

Party Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan ordered city administration to direct agencies to review land plan, publicly call for investment in internet and promote cooperation between state agencies and private companies as well as improve investment environment to attract investors.

People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong expected to enterprises to invest in public transport, metro system, express buses, underground parking lots, satellite urbans development and commercial service centers.

Two men carrying 1,500 drug tablets into Vietnam arrested

Border guards in the central province of Ha Tinh this morning said that they discovered two trafficking of drug from Laos to Vietnam, confiscating nearly 1,500 synthetic drug tablets.

Yesterday, in the international border gate Cau Treo in Huong Son District, border guards, the anti-drug team and customs officer, police officers arrested 34-year-old Tran Dinh Loc hailing from Can Loc District who carried 1,268 drug tablets in a passenger bus travelling from Laos into Vietnam.

Initially, Loc confessed at the police station that he was hired to transport the drug tablets for a Laotian man in Bolykhamxay District into Vinh City in the central province Nghe An to give hand the drug tablets to a Vietnamese who will give back VND8 million. 

Two hours later on the same day, also in the Cau Treo border gate, forces captured 50-year-old Trinh Dinh Tri from Yen Thanh District in the central province of Nghe An who was carrying 189 drug tablets in his luggage.
Trinh Dinh Tri confessed to buy the drug tablets from a Laotian man and brought back to Vietnam for earning profits. 

Further investigation will be carried out.

Under Vietnam’s Penal Code, those who are convicted of smuggling more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine will be given a death sentence.

Medical insurance profiteering faces inspection

The Ministry of Health has told the local departments of health to conduct inspections and find ways to take back VND3 trillion (US$132 million) allegedly profiteered by individuals from the health insurance fund after a refusal of Vietnam Social Security to reimburse the sum to hospitals.

According to the ministry, the health insurance information system detected many violations by many individuals and organizations in health insurance fund profiteering in the first four months of the year.

To prevent these violations and promote the effectiveness of health insurance, the ministry has assigned the directors of the departments of health and relevant agencies to strengthen inspections and management of health insurance funds.

Medical insurance agencies in provinces and cities will also have to implement inspections and submit results to the ministry before June 15.

Pham Luong Son, deputy general director of Vietnam Social Security, said the agency had detected 2,800 patients who took at least 50 visits to medical centers each in the first four months of 2017, with a single individual making 123 visits even on days off and holidays.

The health insurance agency will coordinate with the HCMC Department of Health and medical centers to check and take back the money, Son added.

In early June, a patient in HCMC gave back VND9 million appropriated from the insurance fund.

Vietnam Social Insurance will continue inspections and ask individuals or organizations with alleged violations to return the money. If they refuse to give back the money, the agency would cooperate with competent agencies to impose sanctions.

Only 6% of construction workers buy social insurance

Among three million workers in the construction industry, a mere 6% of them had social insurance coverage in 2014, shows a survey released at a seminar in Hanoi last Friday.

The event was jointly held by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Meanwhile, in the handicraft sector, around 20% of 300,000 workers at enterprises making bamboo and rattan products were socially insured, according to the Vietnam Household Living Standards Survey 2014. This rate, though much higher than in the construction sector, is still alarmingly low.

An ILO report shows both enterprises and employees in these two sectors were reluctant to participate in social insurance.

Paulette Castel, an ILO consultant, said laborers want stable careers but are also ready to quit their jobs and return home if possible. Especially, construction workers seek short-term income sources rather than social benefits, so they are unwilling to sign labor contracts and contribute social insurance.

Bamboo and rattan craft workers have the same tendency. As a result, they are not committed to social insurance within 20 years to get pensions, as they are confident about their ability to earn a living upon retirement, plus a chance to have support from families.

Besides, employers are inclined to hire temporary workers through verbal contracts, and often pay their workers on a daily basis.

Nguyen Thi Dieu Hong, a social welfare expert, said it is necessary to develop a multi-layered social safety net consisting of compulsory and voluntary social insurance, as well as establish a set of satisfaction indicators towards social insurance procedures, thereby improving the quality of services, and building up confidence for participants.

Meanwhile, ILO recommended social insurance procedures should be simplified, and relevant technologies innovated to set up a flexible method that allows workers to have easier access to social insurance.

HCMC seeks to limit tobacco retail at public places

The HCMC government has asked its departments of industry-trade and planning-investment, as well as district-level authorities not to grant tobacco retail dealer’s permits at public places like hotels, restaurants, cafes and discos.

Besides, the city wants to raise public awareness against smoking at weddings, funerals and festivals.

The move is intended to enforce the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms in response to World No Tobacco Day on May 31.

Statistics of the Health Ministry show 96.8% of lung cancer patients in Vietnam smoke while findings of the Health Strategy and Policy Institute reveal smoking-related diseases and early mortalities account for 12% of the total.

Non-communicable diseases are estimated to make up 73% of the total death toll, and one key reason is widespread smoking in the country. Besides, smoking has adverse effects on the local economy, and is a cause of poverty, according to the World Health Organization.

Local residents spent a total of VND31 trillion (US$1.36 billion) on cigarettes a year. A further VND23 trillion (US$1.01 billion) was spent on treatment costs for five groups of diseases closely linked to smoking, as well as economic losses due to premature death and loss of labor caused by these diseases.
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