Social News 4/8

30 kilos of heroin found stuffed in pickup truck

Authorities in the northern province of Hoa Binh said they seized 30 kilos of heroin concealed in the body of a pickup truck during a routine traffic stop on Tuesday, August 1.

Police didn’t say what led them to stop the vehicle but when it was pulled over officers suspecting something was amiss pressed on the body and discovered where the female driver, Bui Thi Bich Thuy, 41, had hidden the drugs.

She was arrested on a variety of drug charges related to possession of the illegal narcotics with intent to distribute. Local officials applauded the alert police work and have asked the courts to timely prosecute the case.

Ho Chi Minh City starts building anti-flood reservoir

The construction of a flood control lake has begun in Ho Chi Minh City and is expected to be finished within a week.

Ninety-five percent of the water stored in the reservoir will be used for watering and firefighting missions.

Following a request from Sekisui, the lake will be constructed from cross-wave modules, made of polypropylene with high durability and eco-friendly characteristics.

The flood control lake is aimed at minimizing inundation on Vo Van Ngan Street and other nearby locations, the Steering Center of the Urban Flood Control Program said, adding that it would assist local underground water resources and prevent subsidence.

Tran Vinh Tuyen, vice-chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said that modern technology would be applied in the operation of the regulator to maximize its potential.

If positive results are achieved, similar projects will be implemented in other locations across the city, Tuyen continued.

Culture-Tourism Village delights children with various activities in August

A wide variety of unique cultural activities targeting children are being held throughout this August at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism, in the Dong Mo tourism area of Son Tay town, Hanoi.

Under the programme, children visiting the village will be provided with an opportunity to learn about the daily life, traditional crafts, cultural practices and signature dishes of Vietnam’s ethnic groups across the country, including the Tay, Muong, Dao, Ta Oi, Co Tu, E De, Khmer and Thai groups.

They will also be invited to take part in folk games, such as Con (cloth ball) throwing, stick pushing, walking on stilts and sack races; or enjoy thrilling circus programmes, as well as competing at a children’s painting contest themed ‘I Love My Village’, which is scheduled on August 5 and 6.

Folk songs and dances, gong performances and concerts of traditional musical instruments will also be staged, to the delight of visitors, during the event.

Popular traditional festivals of the Ta Oi and Co Tu ethnic groups in Thua Thien – Hue province and the Thai ethnic group in Moc Chau district, Son La province will be introduced to visitors on August 13, 19, and 20, respectively.

Notably, children aged between 8 and 15 can register for a free training course on experiencing Buddhist monastic life. During the two-day course, participants will learn about meditation, Buddhist rituals and Buddha’s teachings on humanism and being a well behaved child.

HCM City to fund construction of animal-waste processing facilities

The HCM City People’s Committee has announced its plan to help livestock breeders improve their animal-waste treatment methods in an aim to reduce pollution.

From now to 2020, the city will offer loans to be used to repair or build biogas tanks and to buy biological padding, which is used to decompose animal feces naturally.

Zero-interest loans of no more than VNĐ12 million for a 36-month term will be allowed (US$530) per household, while loans for repair or renovation will be no more than VNĐ6 million ($260) per household, according to the People’s Committee. The loans are for farmers in District 9 and 12 and Thủ Đức District.

Besides the loans, the city will also offer a subsidy of up to 50 per cent of the cost of building biogas tanks (up to VNĐ5 million or $220) and a similar offer for installing biological padding.

Children’s rights organization unveils US$45,000 in education grants

children’s rights organization unveils us$45,000 in education grants hinh 0

The Vietnam Association for the Protection of Children's Rights today (August 2) announced a new US$45,000 initiative titled ‘Light Up Dreams’ to expand young people’s access to economic opportunity.

With the country’s economy requiring a more skilled workforce, the program is designed to increase dramatically the number of youth who complete education pathways aligned with good-paying, high-demand jobs, said Ninh Thi Hong, vice president of the Association.

Currently, employers are struggling to fill middle-skill jobs in computer technology, nursing, advanced manufacturing and other fields that require technical education and training.

Too few young people are receiving the education or training in high school and beyond that would put them on a track to qualify for these skills-based positions and we believe the opportunity for these jobs should be within every child’s reach.

The ‘Light Up Dreams’ program, said Mr Hong, will present some 1,000 scholarships and 5,000 gifts to children of soldiers who either died or were wounded in battle together with Agent Orange victims and victims of a natural disaster.

Currently 450 scholarships have been designated for youth in the provinces of Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Tien Giang, Hau Giang, Bac Lieu and Tra Vinh, 250 for the province of Ben Tre and the remainder will go to other deserving youth across the country.

Founded in 2008, the Vietnam Association for the Protection of Children's Rights is a social organization connecting like-minded entities, individuals and volunteers to work for the advancement of children’s rights throughout Vietnam.

Connecting Viet Youth 2017 to open in Hanoi

Various activities as part of the Connecting Viet Youth 2017 programme will take place in Hanoi from August 6-9. 

The event will be hosted by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union chapter of the Hanoi municipal Students Association, the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community – Hanoi Hub, the Vietnamese Student Association in the UK, the Volunteer for Education Organisation and Vietnamese students’ associations in the US, Australia, France, the Republic of Korea, Hungary and Singapore. 

Opening the event will be a charity run at Hang Day stadium with more than 300 young people taking part, a music show with DJs and singers and a flash mob. 

A charity programme, including blood donation, music performances and gift-giving to more than 300 child patients being treated at the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, will be launched on August 7. 

The forum “Creativity in industrial era 4.0”, scheduled for August 9, will be attended by Bitexco Chairman Vu Quang Hoi, US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius, 50 leading start-ups in tech and 1,000 Vietnamese young intellectuals working and studying abroad. 

All proceeds will be used for charity, including building a house of gratitude in Muong Mun commune, Tuan Giao district, the northern province of Dien Bien and a new school for poor students costing 261 million VND (11,300 USD) in Tenh Phong commune.

Da Nang-Quang Ngai expressway section opens to traffic

The first 65km road section of the 140km Da Nang – Quang Ngai Expressway in central Vietnam opened to traffic on August 2.

Running from Da Nang city’s Tuy Loan district to Quang Nam province’s Tam Ky city, the four-lane section with two emergency lanes allows vehicles to travel at 120km per hour, reducing travel time between the two localities. It includes a two-way mountain tunnel and 59 bridges.

The Da Nang – Quang Ngai expressway project is part of the national plan to develop networks of expressways by 2020 with a vision to 2030. 

The link, running through Da Nang city, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces, will connect industrial parks in the region and help boost transportation in the East-West Economic Corridor that links Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Viet Nam.

The project has a total investment of 1.64 billion USD, of which 798 million USD was sourced from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and over 590 million USD from the World Bank.

Can Tho: credit programmes help nearly 180,000 poor households

Credits provided by the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies have helped 179,100 households in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho escape from poor and near-poor status over the past 15 years, heard a conference in the city on August 1.

According to the Can Tho branch of the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies, it has launched additional 11 new credit programmes, raising the total ongoing credit programmes in the city to 14, with loans totalling 5,067 billion VND (222.95 million USD), benefiting 498,684 people.

The programmes have also helped create jobs for 270,800 labourers, provide financial assistance for nearly 45,000 students with difficult backgrounds, and build clean water stations and toilets for over 69,200 households.

These programmes have also assisted the building of 2,200 flood shelters for local residents, over 2,900 houses for the poor households, and provided preferential loans for 14,070 households.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Director General of the bank Vo Minh Hiep urged local authorities and the provincial Vietnam Bank for Social Policies branch to strengthen communication work to raise the awareness among locals on the preferential credit programmes while allocating resources for assisting locals and building new style rural areas.

During the occasion, numerous units and individuals were honoured for their outstanding contribution to successful implementation of the credit programmes from 2002 – 2017.

SEA Games winners to receive bonuses

Athletes who achieve high results at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games will receive bonuses from Pha Le Plastics JSC, an official of the Vietnam Sports Administration has announced.

Tran Duc Phan, deputy head of the Vietnam Sports Administration, said that following the sponsorship deal signed in Hanoi on August 2, the best 15 athletes of each sport in the Games will be rewarded. The first gold medallist, the most valuable athlete and the best footballer will also enjoy their bonuses.

Pha Le Company Director Duong Quang Thang promised to recruit family members of awarded athletes to work at their factories based on their working knowledge.

The company expected to continue their sponsorship to athletes in other international sporting event in the future.-VNA

National action plan on antimicrobial use reduction launched

A meeting was held in Hanoi on August 2 to launch Vietnam’s national action plan for the reduction of antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in livestock production and aquaculture in the 2017-2020 period.

Funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the action plan was built with technical support of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

It aims to review, amend and implement regulations and policies relating to antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use in animal husbandry and aquaculture, while raising the awareness of antimicrobial use and the risk of antimicrobial resistance infections among farmers, workers in the agricultural and food industries, and consumers.

The action plan looks to promote good practices in medical examination and treatment, animal feed production, animal farming, and aquaculture. It will also supervise antimicrobial use, antibiotic residues, and antimicrobial resistance in livestock production and aquaculture. 

Cooperation in antimicrobial resistance management among sectors is also set to be facilitated under the national action plan.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam said the use of antibiotics in livestock production in Vietnam hasn’t been strictly monitored, especially in pig and poultry farming. The inappropriate use of antibiotics will lead to antibiotic resistance and residues in food.

USAID Vietnam Deputy Mission Director Craig Hart said the launch of the action plan is a very important step, but its success depends on the compliance with and enforcement of law when necessary.

FAO representative in Vietnam Jong-ha Bae said antimicrobial resistance threatens the health and livelihoods of Vietnamese people, as well as the sustainability of agriculture, food production and the environment. 

He added farmers, veterinarians, and veterinary medicine sellers should share responsibility by using antibiotics more responsibly, seek alternatives to raise farming productivity, and improve biological safety and practices in animal husbandry.

Lao delegation to fifth theoretical workshop greeted in Kien Giang

Vo Van Thuong, head of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Information and Education Commission, received Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune, head of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee’s Commission for Propaganda and Training, in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang on August 2. 

Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune, who is also President of the Lao National Council for Social Sciences, is in Vietnam to attend the fifth theoretical workshop between the two Parties. 

At the meeting, Thuong expressed his belief that the workshop, together with other activities marking the 55th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties and 40 years of the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, will help boost the special solidarity between the two countries as well as cooperation between the two Parties in a practical and effective manner. 

Host and guest reviewed collaboration between the two commissions over the past time and discussed measures to enhance the affiliation in the time ahead. 

They agreed to closely work with each other in implementing agreements reached by the two countries’ leaders and increase the exchange of information and experience, thus contributing to strengthening the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos. 

The same day, Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune had a working session with Vice Chairman of the CPV Central Committee’s Theoretical Council Phung Huu Phu.

They assessed the implementation of cooperation agreements between the CPV Central Committee’s Theoretical Council and the Lao National Council for Social Sciences during 2013-2017 as well as orientations for their partnership in the next five years.

CLMTV ministers discuss guest workers affairs

Cooperation in education, trade and technology would help Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam control and protect migrant workers, said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.

He made the remark at the 2nd Ministerial Conference on Labour Cooperation in these five countries, or the CLMTV, which convened in the central city of Da Nang on August 2. The biennial conference focused on the theme of “Promoting Human Resources Development and Decent Work for Migrant Workers”.

Dam said connected by the Mekong River, the ASEAN member states, with combined population of about 230 million people, have witnessed their partnership expanded continuously. 

He suggested the countries increase the sharing of information on labour affairs and policy changes.

Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dang Ngoc Dung stated guest workers are an important growth momentum for both sending and receiving countries, adding that this is why they need to be protected and provided with stable jobs. 

Participating ministers agreed the management of migrant workers requires consistent approaches and concerted efforts not only within a country but also at the regional and international levels. 

They also highlighted the roles of parties involved, including public officials, lawmakers, researchers and enterprises.

The ministers approved a joint statement on safe labour migration submitted by the CLMTV senior officials following their meeting in Da Nang on August 1. 

The statement stressed cooperation among these countries is in line with international labour standards and the law of each nation, with parties committing to working together in a number of prioritised sectors, including labour training, fair recruitment, and standard labour contract.

Scholarships given to disadvantaged children

As many as 1,000 scholarships and 5,000 gifts are expected to be offered to children from difficult backgrounds under the programme called “Thap sang nhung uoc mo” (To light up dreams) this year.

The scholarships and the gifts are worth at least one million VND (44 USD) and 500,000 VND (22 USD) each, respectively, said the Vietnam Association for Protection of Children's Rights (VAPCR) on August 2.

The programme, the 4th version, aims to encourage and honour outstanding students who have overcome their difficulties to obtain good results in their study, as well as enterprises and donors for their support for the programme.

As scheduled, the VAPCR will present 450 scholarships and 105 presents to disadvantaged children in Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Tien Giang, Hau Giang, Bac Lieu, and Tra Vinh provinces from September 8-30, while handing over scholarships and gifts to 50 others from northern provinces in Hanoi on September 23.

VAPCR Vice President Ninh Thi Hong said the association has mobilised half of the expected scholarships and gifts, expressing her hope that the association will continue receiving support from organisations and individuals to help needy children.

The programme’s main event will be organised in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre on October 1 on the occasion of the Mid-Autumn festival which falls on October 4. As many as 250 scholarships and 30 gifts are will be presented to needy children during the event.

“Thap sang nhung uoc mo” 2017 programme is part of efforts to implement the Law on Children and the Prime Minister’s Decision 2361/QD-TTg approving the child protection programme for 2016-2020; and respond to the action month for children, and the Mid-Autumn festival.

Sympathies to Thailand on flood-triggered property losses

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on August 2 offered sympathies to his Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-o-cha on heavy property losses caused by storm Sonca-inflicted floods in northeastern provinces of Thailand.

The same day, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh also sent a message of sympathies to Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.

Many areas in the northeast of Thailand were submerged under water after storm Sonca, especially in Sakon Nakhon province where a number of schools, hospitals and airport shut down for days. 

In Nakhon Ratchasima province, at least 229 villages in five districts were flooded, seriously affecting more than 5,000ha of land and tens of thousands of people. More than 6,000 families in Phetchabun province were also affected by floodwater.

Workshop promotes grass-roots units’ access to law

Promoting legal access for communes, wards and towns across the country is crucial for enhancing authorities’ responsibility in creating favourable conditions for local people to approach to legal regulations.

Deputy Minister of Justice Phan Chi Hieu made the remarks at a training workshop jointly held by the Ministry of Justice and the United States Agency for International Development (USAIDS) in Hanoi on August 2.

Helping localities get access to legal regulations is meant to raise awareness of law enforcement among local authorities and people as well as speed up the reform of administrative procedures. It also makes contributions to realising the national target programme for building new-style rural areas in 2016-2020.

According to Phan Hong Nguyen, Deputy Head of the Department of Legal Dissemination and Education, a commune meeting legal access standards should satisfy five criteria: ensuring the enforcement of constitution and regulations, performing administrative procedures within its competence, popularising and educating legal regulations, undertaking conciliation at grass-roots level and assuring democracy at grass-roots level.

At the event, participants underlined that building communes with legal access standards is important to state and social management. They also discussed challenges while carrying out the mission at localities to find out proper settlements.

More 1,000 national flags come to fishermen in Ly Son Island

The confederations of Labour of central Binh Thuan and Quang Ngai provinces presented 1,000 national flags to members of commune-based Fishery Trade Unions in Ly Son Island district, on August 1.

The flags were given to the fishermen in response to a national campaign to support Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes in 2017.

The event aims to motivate local fishermen to continue fishing offshore, affirming the country’s sea and island sovereignty.

In March, some 3,000 national flags were also presented to fishermen of Ly Son island district by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union of the central province of Quang Ngai and Hue University of Education.

Thailand hands over 27 Vietnamese fishermen

After being held for a year, 27 Vietnamese fisherman who were arrested while fishing illegally in Thai waters were handed back to the Vietnam Embassy after successful talks with the local authorities in the Pathum Thani Province, Thailand.

The Vietnamese fishing boats were arrested in mid-July, 2016, by the Thai coast guards. The captain and crew of the fishing boats went on trial for illegal fishing and labour abuse.

Other fishermen were kept temporarily in Songkla Province, for further investigation.

 Nguyen Hai Ngoc, a representative from the Vietnam Embassy, said that since 2016, Thai coast guards have arrested 86 Vietnamese fishermen for illegally fishing on Thai waters.

The 27 fishermen are now in good health and are in contact with their families at home.

The Embassy has completed procedures to send them home next week.

30 kilos of heroin found stuffed in pickup truck, HCM City to fund construction of animal-waste processing facilities, Children’s rights organization unveils US$45,000 in education grants