Social News 5/1

Quang Binh one of the top ten destinations in Vietnam: Trip Advisor

21 explosions leave 11 dead in 2017, Spring flower festival to be held in District 7, Four fishermen saved at sea of Đà Nẵng, Efforts scaled up to prevent winter-spring diseases, HCM City marks Cambodia’s victory over genocidal regime

In 2017, Central Quang Binh Province ranks fourth among the top ten Vietnamese destinations after Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hoi An, according to the travel website Trip Advisor.

Dang Dong Ha, vice director of the provincial Department of Tourism, said Quang Binh is known as the kingdom of caves and is a paradise waiting to be discovered on interesting tours of fascinating locations like Son Doong, Tu Lan cave system, Da Nhay beach, Thien Duong cave, Phong Nha-Tien Son, Chay River, and Toi cave.

Quang Binh welcomed 100,000 foreign visitors for the first time in 2017, a year-on-year rise of 120%.

Mr Ha attributed such a rise in popularity to the localities’ efforts in improving service quality and new tourism products, organizing a variety of promotional programs for local tourism like Quang Binh cave festival, and hosting Miss Grand International, all of which lured more visitors to the province.

21 explosions leave 11 dead in 2017

There were 21 explosions reported in Vietnam in 2017, claiming 11 lives and causing property damage in excess of VND4 billion, according to the Vietnam Fire and Rescue Police Department.

The number of incidents involving explosions fell by 8.7% for the year and the injury rate dropped by 50%, but fatalities from those incidents rose by 57.1% compared to 2016.

According to the Department, the most common causes of the explosions were put down to faulty equipment and reckless malpractice in the use of chemicals, gas, and welding equipment.

Explosive blasts resulting from fires are often less dangerous than those caused by detonated explosive devices, as evidenced by the recent explosion in northern Bac Ninh Province, says a representative from the Department.

Contaminated soil, water removed from residential area

Authority in the central province of Quảng Bình’s Quảng Đông Commune has removed more than 100cu.m of soil and water contaminated with sodium hydroxide from the 19/5 Village.

The information was released on Friday by Nguyễn Đức Hiền, chairman of the commune’s People’s Committee.

The removal was conducted within two days in the presence of residents and under supervision of the commune authority.

The contaminated land and soil was treated as per regulations.

Following Typhoon Doksuri, the 10th typhoon of 2017, which hit the province at the end of September last year, several chemical wells were affected in a 1,000sq.m store in the village.

The typhoon destroyed the store’s roof and the chemicals from the store spread to the environment, burning grass in the surrounding area, leading to a foul-smelling out door.

Inspection by the commune authorities revealed that the store contained different bags with the labels “Caustic Soda Flakes” and “Made in China”. There was a pile of solid slimy substance in a corner of the store.

Since residents were concerned, local authorities undertook timely treatment to ensure safety for the residents.

Sodium hydroxide is a highly caustic base and alkali, which decomposes proteins at ordinary ambient temperature and may cause severe chemical burns. Sodium hydroxide is used in many industries in the manufacture of pulp and paper, textiles, drinking water, soaps and detergents, and as a drain cleaner.

Spring flower festival to be held in District 7

Phú Mỹ Hưng Development Corporation plans to hold its annual spring flower festival this year from February 8 to 15, which would be 23rd-30th of the 12th lunar month.

The flower festival in HCM City’s District 7 in February is expected to attract thousands of visitors. 

The festival will be themed “River and Spring Love” to emphasise water and rivers, homeland images which are close to the Vietnamese people and are vital for life, according to the company.

The company said the theme is also meaningful because Phú Mỹ Hưng City Centre is surrounded by rivers.

The heart of the festival will be Spring Road which will contain decorations of familiar water areas of Việt Nam. Lotus buds, the Tràm forest, palm trees and other plants will be featured in Nhà Bè area.

In the Spring Wharf area, images of old Nhà Bè District will be on display with floating houses and many boats full of flowers.

The festival, to be held in the Crescent Lake area of Phú Mỹ Hưng City Centre in District 7 of HCM City, is expected to welcome thousands of visitors.

Wood discovered in Sê San 3A reservoir

Ia Grai District authorities in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai on Wednesday discovered a large amount of wood which was illegally gathered on the riverbed of the Sê San 3A reservoir in Nú Village, Ia Khai Commune.

The river level of the reservoir is quite deep, so local authorities faced difficulties in fishing out the wood, said Phan Trung Tường, vice chairman of the Ia Grai District People’s Committee.

So far, the authorities fished out 2.7cu.m of wood of different kinds. The wood, with a diameter of some 30cm to nearly 1m, was taken to the local inspection station for maintenance.

It was observed that a large amount of wood was still on the riverbed, Tường said.

The district leaders assigned the police, forest rangers, militiamen and the commune People’s Committee to conduct an investigation into its origin, following legal regulations.

Puih Dinh, chairman of the Ia Khai Commune People’s Committee, said that the commune was witness to the continuous transportation of illegal wood.

In 2016-17, local authorities discovered 17 cases and seized more than 51cu.m of wood of different kinds. Most of the cases were reported at the Sê San 3A and Sê San 4 reservoirs.

Four fishermen saved at sea of Đà Nẵng

A broken down fishing boat with four sailors on board from Quảng Nam Province was rescued 25 nautical miles off the coast of Đà Nẵng city on Thursday.

The Regional Maritime Search and Rescue Co-ordination Centre No 2 said the boat was fishing when it became flooded with water due to big waves and rough seas.

The centre received an SOS from the boat at about 5am and a rescue ship was sent to search for it.

Within an hour, rescuers found the crippled vessel and towed it to safety in Đà Nẵng at noon yesterday.

The rescue was the first off the coast of Đà Nẵng so far this year. Last year, more than 20 fishing boats carrying about 100 fishermen were safely rescued from sunken boats or due to sickness.

Vietnam News Agency signs cooperation agreement with telecom group

Vietnam News Agency (VNA) and the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) have signed an agreement to reinforce their cooperation and look towards building a strategic partnership in fields of their strengths.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Hanoi on January 4, VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi expressed his pleasure to establish cooperative ties with VNPT, one of the leading telecom companies and economic groups in Vietnam.

He said VNA is a governmental agency and the official State news provider of Vietnam. It is responsible for publishing official information and documents of the Party and State, providing information in service of the Party leadership and State management and collecting and providing news through various forms to mass media agencies, the public and readers at home and abroad.

VNA boasts a network of 63 representative offices in all cities and provinces nationwide, and 30 overseas representative offices.

With more than 60 media products produced by some 1,300 reporters and editors out of its 2,500-strong staff, VNA is now the media office with the largest number of products and forms in the country and one of the strongest press agencies in Southeast Asia, Loi said.

He hoped the two sides will map out a cooperation agenda in several fields to build win-win cooperation.

Chairman of the VNPT Member Council Tran Manh Hung said the signing of the agreement aims to elevate bilateral relations.

VNPT will provide maximum support for VNA to become a strong-infrastructure communication group, he said, adding that the group wants to use VNA documents to develop its services.

Under the agreement, VNA and VNPT agreed to carry out some online services, jointly organise for-community social welfare programmes and produce a weekly programme on the VNA television channel Vnews.

VNPT will provide the best products and services at competitive prices for VNA as well as technical assistance for VNA press activities.

The group will provide optimal solutions for VNA regarding technological infrastructure investment and business cooperation, Hung said.

Meanwhile, VNA will prioritise using telecom services and information technology provided by VNPT and encourage reporters and editors to use VNPT products and services.

Efforts scaled up to prevent winter-spring diseases

The prevention and treatment of winter-spring diseases should be implemented effectively and synchronically, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said at a teleconference on January 4. 

Tien asked medical establishments to soon detect infection cases to reduce the number of fatalities, while paying attention to bacterial contamination and cross-infection in hospitals. 

At the same time, it is necessary to increase public awareness of preventive measures, the minister said.

Speaking at the conference, Director of the Health Ministry’s Preventive Medicine Department Tran Dac Phu said dangerous and newly-emerging diseases like avian influenza A/H7N7, Mers-Cov and bubonic plague are very likely to penetrate into Vietnam and break out if drastic preventive measures are not taken. 

The cold weather and crowded festivals in the winter-spring seasons could facilitate the development of such diseases as avian influenza, whooping cough, diphtheria, measles, rubella, meningitis and diarrhoea, he said, warning that dengue fever is forecast to develop more complicatedly in 2018.

Luong Ngoc Khue, Director of the Health Ministry’s Medical Examination and Treatment Department, said his department has asked medical centres to provide training for health workers and planned to decentralise medical treatment of winter-spring diseases. 

According to the Preventive Medicine Department, the number of measles cases dropped by 29.2 percent in 2017 compared with the previous year and no deaths caused by the disease were reported. 

Meanwhile, 183,287 cases of dengue fever were reported in all 63 cities and provinces of the country, killing 30 people, and 105,953 cases of hand-foot-mouth disease were recorded in the year with one death.

Phu Quoc island works to lure more foreign visitors

Phu Quoc island district of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang targets to serve at least half a million international tourists in 2018, according to local authorities.

The island welcomed more than 8,300 foreign visitors on the first four days of the year, doubling the figure of the same period last year.

Vice Chairman of the Phu Quoc People’s Committee Huynh Quang Hung said that authorised agencies were asked to increase monitoring in tourist destinations and accommodations, as well as transport services in the locality. Besides, the district has paid attention to environment protection and food safety, and strictly handled violations.

The island has worked to improve infrastructure, including transportation, water supply and electricity, meeting the increasing demand of Phu Quoc’s tourism development.

Travelling to Phu Quoc has been made easier with new flights from Thailand, China, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Sweden, the UK and Italy.

Phu Quoc will continue with communication campaigns to promote tourism and enhance tourism activities management, while strengthening the preservation of historical relics and natural resources, Hung stressed.

In 2017, nearly 361,500 international guests came to Phu Quoc, a rise of 72 percent against the previous year.

Cambodia presents friendship order to Vietnamese diplomats and pressmen

The Ministry of Information of Cambodia has presented the Order of Cooperation and Friendship to 12 Vietnamese diplomats and press correspondents in recognition of their sound cooperation with the ministry and other relevant Cambodian agencies during their working terms in the host country.

The presentation ceremony held in Phnom Penh on January 2 was attended by Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith; Charge d’ affaires of the Embassy of Vietnam in Cambodia Nguyen Trac Toan; and representatives from relevant ministries and sectors of Cambodia.

Orders of Thephaden (first class) were presented to former Ambassador of Vietnam to Cambodia Thach Du; Counsellor of the Embassy of Vietnam in Cambodia Trinh Ba Cam; Chief of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) Representative Office in Cambodia reporter Tran Chi Hung; Chief of the Vietnam Television (VTV) Representative Office reporter Thach Thong; and ex-Director of the Binh Phuoc Television Station reporter Phan Minh Hoang.

Orders of Asarith (third class) were awarded to seven correspondents of VNA, VTV, the Voice of Vietnam, and Nhan Dan (People) newspaper posted in Cambodia.

Minister Khieu Kanharith affirmed that by accomplishing their tasks in Cambodia, the Vietnamese officials have contributed to propelling the close-knit neighborliness, traditional friendship and long-lasting cooperation between the two countries.

Former ambassador to Cambodia Thach Du said in any posts in the future he will spare no effort to preserve and foster the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia.

Party official requests further improving people-to-people diplomacy

Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Commission for Inspection Tran Quoc Vuong lauded people-to-people diplomacy during a conference in Hanoi on January 4 reviewing activities of the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations. 

Speaking at the event, Vuong asked ministries, agencies, the Vietnam Fatherland Front and mass organisations to build on the past achievements and further improve people-to-people diplomacy in 2018 by seriously following the Secretariat’s Directive 04, thus ensuring the Party leadership and State management in the field.

They were also required to fully tap collective power and national interests in diplomatic activities and global integration. 

The Commission for External Relations highlighted diplomatic highlights last year, including the Year of Vietnam – Laos Solidarity and Friendship, the Vietnam – Cambodia Friendship Year, the APEC Year 2017 and APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, contributing to strengthening solidarity, friendship and cooperation between peoples, 

Concluding the event, head of the Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan launched an emulation campaign for people-to-people diplomacy 2018. 

On the occasion, individuals and organisations were awarded with certificates of merit for their achievements in people-to-people diplomacy.

Social Security enhances inspections to prevent fraud: Deputy PM

The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) must enhance inspections and join hands with relevant agencies to ensure transparency and prevent health insurance fraud, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said at a meeting with the VSS on January 4.

He pointed out that coverage of social insurance in the country only stood at 29 percent of the total population, far below the Party Central Committee Resolution 21-NQ/TW’s set target of 50 percent by 2020, and asked the VSS to channel efforts into increasing the number of participants and branching out social insurance fund.

The VSS should join hands with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Public Security to ensure transparent bidding for medicines covered by health insurance as well as other medical commodities, Hue noticed.

At the event, he also hailed robust achievements made by the sector in 2017, expressing his impression at total amount of social insurance collection in the year, which was estimated at 290 trillion VND (12.8 billion USD) - the highest number since 2007 when the Law on Social Insurance took effect.

The VSS reaped a fruitful year thanks to its efforts to renovate administrative procedures, apply information technology in management as well as effectively implement online public services.

According to report of the VSS Deputy Director Pham Luong Son, 13.83 million people joined social insurance, 79.9 million people hold health insurance cards, and some 11.4 million people buy unemployment insurance.

The VSS spent 270 billion VND (11.9 million USD) on payment of social, health and unemployment insurance. Frequent inspections helped social insurance debts stand below 3 percent, the lowest level ever and down 0.8 percent from 2016.

As social insurance and health insurance are the two key pillars in the national social welfare, contributing to ensuring social security for people, the VSS should work towards creating a professional, transparent, reliable and efficient system helping spread social and health insurance coverage to all people, the Deputy PM concluded.

Midfielder Thịnh bids farewell to Hải Phòng

Midfielder Vũ Ngọc Thịnh said goodbye to V.League club Hải Phòng. He will now play for HCM City.

Thịnh was a key player of the northern port city’s team. During the four years he played for Hải Phòng, he helped the team win the National Cup in 2014 and become the runners-up of the National Premier League in 2016.

With his ideal stature and good tactics, Thịnh is expected to help his new team achieve the target of finishing among the top five teams of the league this year.

The 1.81m tall Thịnh was called to the national U23 team in 2015, in which Việt Nam ranked third in the Southeast Asian Games. The 25-year-old player was also called to the senior national team in 2016.

HCM City marks Cambodia’s victory over genocidal regime

The 39th anniversary of Cambodia’s victory over the Pol Pot genocidal regime was marked in Ho Chi Minh City on January 5.

Cambodian Consul General in HCM City Im Hen expressed his deep gratitude to the Party, Government, ex-volunteer soldiers and experts of Vietnam for their valuable support for Cambodian people to escape from the Pol Pot genocidal regime (January 7, 1979).

He said the progressive development that Cambodia gained in all aspects over the past 39 years was attributed to the close collaboration between the two countries’ Parties, Governments and people, particularly the assistance of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City, in the difficult periods in the 1980s and 1990s.

The two sides have been actively nurturing and reinforcing their sound neighbourliness, traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation to bring practical benefits for people in the respective nations.

Chairman of the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association’s chapter in HCM City Truong Minh Nhut highlighted January 7 as a historical milestone of the special solidarity and friendship between Vietnam and Cambodia, saying the day marked Cambodia escaping from the genocidal regime to enter in an era of independence, freedom and revival, and it also opened a new chapter in the bilateral neighbourliness.

He noted that in 2017, the association implemented over 20 cooperation activities with Cambodia on the occasion of the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties such as celebrating big holidays, promoting people-to-people exchanges, presenting gifts to Cambodian students in HCM city, organising art and cultural exchange programmes, and launching social welfare programmes in assistance of poor Cambodian people.-

Party education commission works to orient public opinion

The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education needs to proactively provide information to orient public opinion in the fields of politics-economics, culture-society, defense-security, external affairs, and protection of national sovereignty and independence.

Speaking at a conference in Hanoi on January 5, head of the commission Vo Van Thuong urged relevant units to strengthen coordination and reform the working style to promote communication activities in all areas.

He described 2018 as an important year to implement tasks underlined at the 12th National Party Congress, noting that the dissemination work must be based on reality to ensure peace, security and stability.

The commission needs to strictly follow the direction of the Politburo and the Secretariat of the CPV Central Committee while strengthening coordination with ministries and departments from the central to local levels to complete projects summarising the Party’s resolutions, directives, conclusions and decisions, Thuong said.

In 2017, the commission made active contributions to increasing public awareness of the Party resolutions.

According to permanent deputy head of the commission Vo Van Phuong, the commission will enhance leadership and orientation of press, culture, and art activities in 2018 to encourage people from all walks of life to implement well political tasks of developing economy, culture, society, defense, security, and external affairs along with building the Party and political system.

It will step up the internal prevention of corruption, wastefulness, and “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” behaviours as well as fight against distorted information and allegations of hostile forces that aim to harm the Party and State, he said.

The commission will inspect the implementation of the Party’s resolutions and directives on education, training, science, technology, environment, health care, and social affairs.

It will work with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to build a project reforming salary policy and social insurance for revolutionary contributors.

The commission will increase dissemination of external information on seas, islands, border demarcation and landmark planting, national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Government always listens to VFF’s feedback: PM

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed at the eighth conference of the Vietnam Fatherland (VFF) Central Committee in Ho Chi Minh City on January 5 that the government always listens to the VFF’s opinions. 

He thanked the VFF for contributing to the country’s socio-economic development over the past years, saying that during monthly government meetings, the VFF voice public opinions and offer proposals regarding management to authorities and the Cabinet. 

The PM lauded VFF chapters at all levels for launching patriotic emulation campaigns and raising funds in support of the poor and disaster victims. 

According to him, the VFF’s supervision activities have proved effective, especially in the settlement of complaints and denunciations, food safety and hygiene, production and trade of agricultural materials, taxation and customs policies. 

The leader expressed his delight at collaboration between the government and the VFF over the past years, particularly in 2017 when positive results were seen in science-technology, food safety, protection of legitimate rights and interests of businesses and people.

Mentioning tasks for 2018 – a crucial year for 2016-2020 socio-economic development plan, the PM reiterated the government’s motto of Discipline, Integrity, Action, Creativity, and Effectiveness. 

The government will continue working closely with Party and State agencies, and the VFF to successfully achieve set targets, he said. 

He asked the VFF to strengthen the great national unity to effectively realise the Party guidelines and State policies, pay attention to social welfares, especially for the poor, the disabled and the elderly. 

The VFF needs to raise public awareness of Party policies and State laws as well as supervise law enforcement, thereby upholding the power of the great national unity of nearly 100 million Vietnamese people at home and abroad. 

He suggested focusing supervision on issues of public concern such as administrative reform, business climate improvement, assessment of the people’s feedback, responsibility of heads of units in the fight against corruption, and comprehensive reform of education-training. 

In 2017, the VFF held 7,271 meetings with the ethnic groups with 346,677 taking part, 9,186 visits and meetings with religious followers with the attendance of 586,066 people and 1,186 gatherings to honour 26,990 outstanding and prestigious people at the grassroots level. 

The “For the Poor” fund raised a total of 919.483 billion VND (40.86 million USD) while individuals and businesses donated over 3 trillion VND to social welfare programmes in localities. Up to 32,414 houses of gratitude were built and repaired, support was given to 155,423 poor households and health check-ups and treatment were offered to more than 2.7 million poor residents. 

The VFF also launched 850 provincial-level inspections, 4,469 others at district level and 45,584 at communal level. It also sent staff to 22,450 inspections held by its chapters and State agencies in localities.

21 explosions leave 11 dead in 2017, Spring flower festival to be held in District 7, Four fishermen saved at sea of Đà Nẵng, Efforts scaled up to prevent winter-spring diseases, HCM City marks Cambodia’s victory over genocidal regime