Social News 11/10

HCMC sets up team to assess antiflooding project

HCMC will set up a team to thoroughly inspect a VND10-trillion antiflooding project to mediate the disagreement between the investor Trung Nam Group and a joint venture functioning as a consultant and supervisor of the project, said Vo Van Hoan, spokesman and chief of staff of the municipal People’s Committee, at a press briefing held on October 1, the local media reported.

The municipal People’s Committee will host a meeting, attended by the investor and the consultant, to determine the responsibilities and accountability of each party and remove obstacles hindering the big-ticket project, Hoan stated.

The city wanted to tackle the existing problems as soon as possible to restart the project and has sent a report to the Prime Minister, proposing that the Government leader and the relevant central State-run agencies join the meeting to work on the issue together, the spokesman said.

The Prime Minister, in turn, asked the ministries and agencies to research the report to give the Government Office a summary; otherwise, he will direct the city on how to handle the situation or directly chair the meeting.

The project came to a halt in April this year, so its partner bank has dropped the annual preferential interest rate of 3% and replaced it with a new rate of 7%. The joint venture is responsible for supervising and promptly reporting to the municipal government any issues of inadequacy.

However, the joint venture did not cooperate with the investor and did not make any explanations or attend a meeting with State-run agencies, which is unacceptable, Hoan said.

Meanwhile, Hoang Anh Dung, deputy director of the HCMC Steering Center of the Urban Flood Control Program, said that the center had transferred a petition from the joint venture to Trung Nam Group and had concurrently reported the action to the city’s government.

Dung added that the disagreement between the investor and the consultant must be addressed quickly so that the two parties can join a discussion on resuming the suspending project.

Earlier, on September 25, the steering center called on the two parties to join a meeting attended by the relevant agencies. Meanwhile, to explain their absence from the meeting, the joint venture said that some of its staff had been threatened by gangsters and were traumatized.

Responding to this situation, Trung Nam Group proposed the municipal government invite police agencies to investigate these claims to reassure the parties involved.

In addition, the joint venture has publicly voiced a number of complaints, including claiming that the investor used Chinese steel for some safety valves related to the tide-controlling drainage system and has changed the foundation’s design.

Danang government rejects airport relocation plan
The Danang city government has rejected the relocation plan of Danang International Airport, as it was just a tentative proposal put forth at a recent seminar, Tran Van Mien, vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, stated at a meeting on October 2, the local media reported.

A resident raised the question at a meeting with the municipal delegation of National Assembly (NA) deputies, asking whether reports of an airport relocation plan publicized on mass media were accurate since no confirmations had been given by the municipal government.

In response to the question, Mien asserted that the city did not have any plans to relocate the airport.

Mien added that several delegates had proposed replacing Danang International Airport with Chu Lai Airport in the neighboring central province of Quang Nam at a conference, titled “Orientations on planning and developing the Danang metropolitan region,” held by the Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association in early September. However, the city did not make any official plans to pursue this proposal.

As for the plan to upgrade Danang Airport, the municipal government has worked with the Ministry of Transport to develop the airport’s third phase until 2030, aiming to accommodate 28 million passengers per year. In the near future, the city plans to renovate the airport, serving the demand for Danang’s development, as well as map out appropriate solutions, stated Mien.

The Danang delegation of NA deputies held the meeting with local residents in Danang’s Thanh Khe District to respond to their questions on multiple issues and to prepare for the sixth session of the 14th NA. The suggested airport relocation had sparked widespread public concern, along with other hot-button topics addressed at the meeting.

HCMC to update feasibility research on smart bus tickets

Vice Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen has assigned the municipal Department of Transport to team up with the relevant agencies to assess and update the feasibility study of a smart bus eticket project in the city, the local media reported.

To launch the project to apply smart etickets to public buses, the department and involved agencies were asked to consider the application of the latest technology to payments for bus tickets with bank cards and smartphones and to make preparations for developing a single pay card that can be used on upcoming public transport services such as metro and bus rapid transit lines.

In addition, the department needs to propose appropriate solutions to facilitate the project.

Earlier, the city had developed various schemes related to using prepaid cards to purchase bus tickets. In early 2010, bus line No.1 connecting Saigon and Binh Tay and line No.27 operating on the Ben Thanh-Au Co-An Suong bus station route ran pilot operations with the card. However, the card was not useful as it was only applicable on these two bus lines.

Three years later, the HCMC Public Passenger Transport Management and Operation Center joined forces with the municipal Department of Science and Technology and various banks to launch the scheme on 121 buses plying five routes, on a trial basis.

The city’s People’s Committee in 2015 approved the scheme for execution in the 2015-2017 period. However, the city failed to put the scheme out to international tender as the State Bank of Vietnam had yet to approve a standard framework for the etickets.

The following years has witnessed the robust growth of technology, resulting in a dramatic change in payment methods with the introduction of ewallets and smartphones. Accordingly, the municipal Department of Planning and Development requested the transport department to re-evaluate the scheme.

Tran Chi Trung, director of the HCMC Public Passenger Transport Management and Operation Center, told news site that the number of bus users in the city had surged in the first few months of 2018. In particular, the bus system had served an average of 840,000 passengers a day, up 1.6% year-on-year.

Among the 145 operational bus routes, 23 had seen a rising number of passengers during the year up to April. Some routes recorded a passenger growth rate of 180%-200% versus last year’s figure.

Mekong Delta receives over 20 million visitors

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) cooperated with the People’s Committee of An Giang province to organize a conference on improving the effectiveness of agricultural tourism in the Mekong Delta on October 1.

According to VNAT, the region received more than 20 million visitors in nine months this year, showing an average increase of 9 percent per year.

The regional tourism industry saw a small number of long-stay tourists of 2 million.

The average amount of expenditure by a visitor in the Mekong Delta is averagely US$22 per day.

More than 78,000 train tickets for Lunar New Year 2019 reserved

Can Tho to host Vietnam-Japan culture and trade exchange, Cultural activities celebrate Hanoi’s liberation anniversary

Sai Gon Railway Transport Joint Stock Company (Saratrans) began selling train tickets for Lunar New Year 2019, starting on October 1.

Around 78,635 seats were successfully booked and the payment for 17,740 tickets was made.

Train fares can be purchased online at and at the train stations nationwide.

Passengers can buy tickets and make payments via Payoo or Momo e-wallet.

Sai Gon Railway has cooperated with FPT, VN Post and VIB to help passengers in reservation, payment and printing tickets.

PM urges to solve shortage of teachers in Highlands

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Training to solve shortage of teachers in highlands province to ensure students’ benefits.

In his document, he asked the two ministries to report what is out of the reach of the two ministries before October 10.

As per news articles, highlands provinces are facing shortage of teachers in preschools and primary schools at this time when the new academic year starts. Specifically, Dak Lak Province reports to lack around 1,000 teachers and 1,400 staffs in kindergartens while Dak Nong Province needs 643 teachers including 510 preschool teachers and 133 elementary teachers.

Last time, at question-answer session on education held by the National Assembly Committee for Culture, Education, Youth, Adolescents and Children, Vice Minister of Home Affairs Nguyen Duy Thang said that in 2018, 29 provinces urged to recruit additional 40,447 in education sector. Of them, the northern province of Thanh Hoa proposed to recruit 7,519 teachers on lifetime contract.

According to Education Minister Phung Xuan Nha, the area lacks nearly 80,000 especially in preschool yet there is local abundance of teachers in the area too.

Vietnamese university recognized with AUN-QA standards

Can Tho to host Vietnam-Japan culture and trade exchange, Cultural activities celebrate Hanoi’s liberation anniversary

The ASEAN University Network-Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) has recognized four training program of the Industrial University of Ho Chi Minh City to meet with its standards.

Four training programs placed under the AUN’s quality assessment following the AUN-QA standards, include Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology - Communications, and Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technology.

This is the first school under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

A school representative said that in the academic year 2017-2018, the number of scientific researches surged by nearly 20 percent with expenditure of VND14 billion ($600,634).
Moreover, articles in international magazines also increased by 10 percent compared to last year with 56 articles.

Furthermore, the school spent over VND100 billion repairing facilities and equipment.
The school targets to have four additional programs to be recognized with AUN-QA standards.

To prepare for this assessment, these programs were initially scheduled in 2016; together with were different activities such as collecting evidence, writing self-assessment reports, and carrying out internal assessment in 2017.

Barges caught red-handed illicitly sand mining

Three barges were caught at red –handed illegally sand mining in Can Gio River yesterday.

Border guards in Ho Chi Minh City discovered three barges to illicitly mine sand. The ships are equipped with 20 high-powered dredgers which can mine over 100 cubic meter every hour.

When the border guards raided the ships, each barge contained over 40 cubic meter of sand. Captains of the ships could not show licenses to mine sand in the river and not able to explain the origin of sand in the ships.

Border guards have seized people and barges. 

The uncontrolled extraction of sand, gravel, and boulders from rivers is destroying ecosystem of rivers.

MoH determined to curb outbreaks of HFMD

Can Tho to host Vietnam-Japan culture and trade exchange, Cultural activities celebrate Hanoi’s liberation anniversary

The Ministry of Health (MoH) urged local governments to carry out measures to prevent hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD).

Due to the disease broke out drastically in the South Vietnam infecting kids and killing them, in its document to local health authorities, the Ministry directed the civic body to immediately initiate remedial measures to curb the outbreak of the diseases and minimize infections and deaths.

Especially, the Ministry paid much attention to localities with many cases of infections leading to more outbreaks as well as increase information of good personal hygiene and eating habits.

The departments of health must keep a close watch on the disease to early detect fresh outbreaks to contain the disease and manage the outbreak.

Infirmaries must provide treatment to all patients especially take heed to serious patients to handle complications leading to deaths.

Additionally, it is needed to prevent cross-infections in hospitals especially between hand-foot-mouth patients and measles patients, or with lung patients.

Schools must have soaps in toilets and clean toys and daily items of kids. Schools must inform health authority right after they discover case of infection for early treatment.

In the end of September, the country has over 53,529 hand-foot-mouth cases including 25,845 inpatients and six deaths in five cities and provinces in the South. The infection cases and inpatient number decreased by 25.3 percent and 20.1 percent compared to the same period last year.

However, lately, the infection cases are escalating in HCMC, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Dong Thap, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Long An, Tay Ninh, the central City of Da Nang, Ninh Thuan, Quang Ngai, and Hanoi.

Medical experts warned the upward trend because students gather in schools in the new academic year.

Over 1,000 hand-foot-mouth cases reported in Quang Ngai Province

Can Tho to host Vietnam-Japan culture and trade exchange, Cultural activities celebrate Hanoi’s liberation anniversary

Deputy head of Department of Health in the central province of Quang Ngai Pham Minh Duc said that until now, the province has over 1,000 cases of hand-foot-mouth (HFM) infection increasing double year-on-year.

Quang Ngai City has reported 400 cases of infection.

The Department said that an outbreak of HFM was discovered in Nghia Phu Preschool in Quang Ngai City. Health authority disinfected the school and 50 kids were allowed to stay at home to curb the spreading.

The health sector and schools , local governments are implementing measures to curb the spread of the disease especially amongst kids in preschools and primary schools.

HCMC to build more public toilets

Deputy Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen yesterday assigned the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to review the model of public restrooms.

The Department was assigned to study models of smart public toilets designed by Tien Phong Co. Ltd and consult the requirements of toilet construction to the committee and administrative bodies in an effort to build such facility citywide.

Departments of Natural Resources and Environment, Transport, the Architecture Planning, Construction and related bodies should review locations of public restrooms in 24 districts to build more facilities aiming to improve urban "face".

The departments and related bodies will give consultation to people’s committees and investors in districts when needed.

The Department of natural Resources and Environment will instruct Tien Phong in completing formalities of public toilet construction projects in public-private partnership format or other forms of investment.

The department will consider investment and earnings as basis for project feasibility as per the law. It will assess Tien Phong’s project and then submit to the Committee.

By QUOC HUNG - Translated by UYEN PHUONG

Cultural activities celebrate Hanoi’s liberation anniversary

Can Tho to host Vietnam-Japan culture and trade exchange, Cultural activities celebrate Hanoi’s liberation anniversary

Visitors at the exhibition

An exhibition highlighting traditional trade villages opened at Kim Ngan temple in Hang Bac street, Hoan Kiem district of Hanoi on October 9 with an aim to promote values of heritage and honour artisans who contribute to preserving the values.

Visitors to the event, part of the activities to celebrate the capital city’s 64th liberation anniversary (October 10, 1954-2018), were introduced to various traditional jewellery crafts in the city as well as in Hai Duong, Bac Ninh and Thai Binh provinces.

The exhibition displays a large number of traditional craft products showing the talents and enthusiasm of Hanoi artisans. The process of making the products is also performed.

Visitors also have a chance to meet and talk with artisans from trade villages to get a deeper understanding on the tradition and quintessence of the crafts.

Tran Thuy Lan, Vice Director of the Hanoi Old Quarter Management Board, said the organizers hope that Kim Ngan temple will become a venue for artisans to meet and exchange experience, thus attracting more visitors to Hanoi old quarters and promoting craft villages in Hanoi.

A fashion show themed “Hanoi’s Autumn” and music performance will be held in Phung Hung street on October 13, introducing collections from various designers such as Trinh Fashion, Adesigner, Thao Oliver, Camelia Fashion, Myana, D.Khang, Caroll Tran, Yen Phu Designer, A&C Media and Azalea.

Visitors can get free make-up, hair dressing and try the clothes introduced in the fashion show.

The Hanoi Old Quarter Management Board also plans various activities such as folk music performance, folk games in the street to make Phung Hung a tourist attraction and a hub for public art activities.

Can Tho to host Vietnam-Japan culture and trade exchange

Can Tho to host Vietnam-Japan culture and trade exchange, Cultural activities celebrate Hanoi’s liberation anniversary

A corner of Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho city 

The 4th Vietnam - Japan culture and trade exchange will be held in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho from November 2-4, according to Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Truong Quang Hoai Nam. 

Addressing a press conference on September 9 in Can Tho, Nam said the event aims to promote trade, investment and culture exchange between the city as well as other Mekong Delta localities and Japan. 

In 2018, authorities have organised a programme to enhance linkage between Japan and Mekong Delta localities which attracted the participation of 500 Japanese delegates and those from Mekong delta region, he noted.  

The event is part of activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties, he added.  

The 4th Vietnam - Japan culture and trade exchange will mark the debut of a direct flight from Tokyo to Can Tho with the largest ever number of Japanese entrepreneurs. 

It is hoped to pave the way for opening more international flights to and from the Can Tho international airport in the future, Nam said. 

In the framework of the proramme, a photo exhibition highlighting Japan’s peace movement to support Vietnam during the war (1954-1975) and the Vietnam-Japan friendship will be arranged. 

The event will also include a workshop on how to promote culture exchange and trade and investment cooperation between the Mekong Delta region and Japan. 

Other activities will be an international agriculture exhibition, the groundbreaking ceremony of the Vietnam - Japan Industrial Park in Can Tho, and a workshop to introduce tourism potential and destinations of the Mekong Delta region and Japan.

Programme introduces indigenous culture of southwest region to Hanoians

A programme introducing the traditional culture, customs and specialties of ethnic groups in the southwest region is taking place in the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism, in the Dong Mo tourism area of Son Tay town in Hanoi.

The programme is being held throughout October by the village’s management board in coordination with the departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Soc Trang, Ninh Thuan and Kon Tum provinces.

Visitors to the event have an opportunity to explore unique festivals observed by local ethnic groups, including Sene Dolta festival of Khmer people in Soc Trang province, new-crop ritual of Xo Dang people in Kon Tum, and the praying for rain ceremony of Cham people in Ninh Thuan province.

Cultural exchange activities and praying for peace ceremonies will also be staged at Khmer pagodas and Cham towers in the village during weekends of this month.

VNA inks deal with Thales to offer AVANT IFE services

The national flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines (VNA), has signed an agreement with Thales Group, headquartered in France, to equip the carrier’s new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner fleet with AVANT inflight entertainment (IFE) systems.

Thales Group is a multinational firm that designs and builds electrical systems and offers services for the aerospace, transportation and security markets.

AVANT features a customized passenger experience with a wide range of applications. With its lightweight design, Thales’ high-performing IFE solution allows VNA’s passengers to experience a wide choice of entertainment activities during their flight. The onboard entertainment services comprise numerous television series, the most recent feature films, music and games.

The agreement reportedly helps expand the existing partnership between the Vietnamese carrier and Thales. Earlier, the airline had chosen Thales’ AVANT IFE system for its A350-900 XWB and B787-9 aircraft.

Thales also provides turnkey maintenance services on these aircraft in collaboration with Vietnam Airlines Engineering Company, which is a subsidiary of VNA. Thales’ turnkey maintenance program ensures the provision of outstanding services across the airline’s fleet, enabling VNA to focus on its core business activities.

Nicolas Bernardin, country director at Thales Vietnam, stated that Thales had entered the country nearly 30 years ago, providing advanced technology for multiple sectors. The agreement will strengthen the partnership between the two parties, he said, adding that the French firm has contributed to supporting VNA in providing a remarkable onboard experience to its global passengers with AVANT IFE and aircraft maintenance services.

The national carrier currently operates air routes connecting 50 destinations across 17 countries and regions. It was recognized as a four-star airline for three consecutive years by the UK-based international air transport rating organization, SKYTRAX.

As for Thales, its manpower includes 65,000 employees in 56 countries, providing advanced technology solutions to a large number of customers around the world and reporting sales of EUR15.8 billion, equivalent to some US$18.2 billion, last year.

Super-large pump rent set at VND9.9b per year

The super-large water pump has been installed on the flood-prone Nguyen Huu Canh Street in downtown HCMC 

The head of the HCMC People's Committee Office, Vo Van Hoan, has announced that the HCMC government has set the final rent for the super-large water pump to be used for fighting floods on Nguyen Huu Canh Street, Binh Thanh District, at VND9.9 billion per year, reported Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper.

The new rent is much lower than the VND24 billion per year fee previously demanded by the owner, Quang Trung Industry JSC.

Hoan noted that the government and the owner have yet to reach a consensus on the rent. If both parties fail to settle on a price for the pump, the municipal government will assume responsibility for paying the owner of the pump an advance based on the fee determined by the city. Hoan added that negotiations over the rent will have to be concluded by end-October.

The Steering Center of the HCMC Urban Flood Control Program had earlier proposed a rent of VND9.9 billion per year for seven years, with a total cost of VND70 billion.

Nguyen Tang Cuong, general director of Quang Trung Industry JSC, however, rejected the suggested price as it was not enough to recover the company’s investment in the pump and the cost of operating it over the long term.

Cuong explained that it had taken the company seven years to research the antiflooding water-pumping system. The company spent over VND100 billion on designing, manufacturing, installing and operating the pump and on training workers.

Since then, the pump has been deployed 31 times and has only failed twice when blocked by large pieces of garbage.

The owner has stopped the operation of the pump while awaiting fresh capital since early September, some five months after the signing of the in-principle contract, as the negotiations over the rent have yet to be concluded.

Can Tho to host Vietnam-Japan culture and trade exchange, Cultural activities celebrate Hanoi’s liberation anniversary