Chinese counterfeiters sentenced to jail


The People's Court in northern Hai Phong City yesterday sentenced four Chinese nationals to a total of 57 years for using high-tech devices to counterfeit credit cards.

Xiong Jie (35) was sentenced to 17 years, Lin Wei (50) and Lin Li Hua (33) were given 14 years each while Lin Jia Jun (21) received 12 years.

They were all convicted on charges of using the computer and telecommunications networks, the Internet and digital equipment to illegally appropriate assets.

According to the indictment, between March 16-26 last year, the four suspects and two others said to have absconded completed 196 transactions using forged cards. They collected more than US$183,300 from Vietcombank and Vietinbank.

The court asked police to investigate three Hai Phong-based companies whose directors and staff are suspected of helping the Chinese commit the fraud.

Worker suffocates in Quang Ninh mine

A worker is reported to have died yesterday from suffocation at a coal mine in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

Nguyen Van Tao, 29, from northern Hung Yen province, was working at a mine run by the Thong Nhat Coal Company with other miners.

He then went into an abandoned mine to dig coal, but did not emerge after about 15-20 minutes. He was later found dead by other workers. An initial investigation said he died from suffocation.

Vaccination shipment to ease local shortages

About 30,000 doses of "five-in-one" vaccine and 200,000 doses of "six-in-one" vaccine will be imported next month to use in the nation's immunisation programme, said Nguyen Tran Hien, director of the programme.

The "five-in-one" vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and haemophilus influenza type B. The "six-in-one" vaccine also protects against hepatitis B.

The importation would ease a shortage of vaccines since the beginning of this year, said Hien.

Viet Nam has two immunisation programmes - the national immunisation programme and immunisation services.

The Ministry of Health supplies 11 free vaccines, including those against tuberculosis, diphtheria, polio and whooping cough to the national immunisation programme.

Funds for the programme come from the State and the ministry's budget.

Immunisation services also provides vaccines for chicken-pox, flu and meningo-encephalitis.

Every year, the country needs about 35-40 million doses of vaccine for the national immunisation programme and more than three million doses for the immunisation services programme.

Hien said that low awareness in some parts of the country and a few reports about negative reactions had led to a big fall in demand for vaccines.

Many enterprises imported vaccines last year, but could not sell them all. So they reduced the amount imported this year.

To ensure a stable supply for the immunisation services programme, Hien suggested close co-operation between the immunisation stations and domestic vaccine enterprises.

Hien said Viet Nam also needed a project to forecast the demand for the vaccines. Projections would be based on forecasts and the capacity of manufacturers to supply the goods.

Dissemination for residents about the necessary of vaccine was also needed.

Social associations, for instance the Viet Nam Preventive Medicine Association, should be encouraged to join the immunisation services programme.

"With experienced members who have work in the health sector for long time, the association can give exact annual forecast about disease and help increase the community's awareness on immunisation-related problems," said Hien.

Information technology application should also be improved to better manage the immunisation programme, he said.

Dengue fever cases fall from last year

The number of dengue- fever cases so far this year has dropped by 40 per cent compared with the same period last year.

The turnaround has been credited to a better flow of information about the disease, said Tran Dac Phu, director of the Ministry of Health's Department of Preventive Medicines.

Viet Nam has had more than 10,000 cases of dengue fever so far this year - and seven fatalities.

In the central area, the number of patients fell by more than 70 per cent and in the Central Highlands by 60 per cent.

Ha Noi had 90 cases, a decrease by 50 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Phu told the Nong thon ngay nay (Countryside Nowadays) that medical workers kept close watch on affected areas and gave advice on preventing the disease.

After an outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease last month in Yen Hoa Commune in Ha Noi, the city's Preventive Medicine Centre joined hands with medical stations to spray affected areas.

"We do not have a vaccine for dengue fever. The only measure to prevent the disease is to destroy the mosquitoes' reproductive environment," he said.

Director of Ha Noi Preventive Medicines Centre Nguyen Nhat Cam said residents should clear up water puddles around their houses.

They should use mosquito nets while sleeping and wear long-sleeve shirts when going into mosquito-ridden areas, he said.

Vietnam-Myanmar Friendship Association outlines tasks

The Vietnam-Myanmar Friendship Association (VMFA) will seek to strengthen bilateral friendship and help the two countries’ business communities establish partnerships through participation in trade fairs and exhibition, trade promotion, and market development.

Newly-elected president of the association Chu Cong Phung, who is also Vietnamese ambassador to Myanmar, made the commitment at the first congress of the Vietnam-Myanmar Friendship Association in Hanoi on August 26.

He said the VMFA will assist the business communities in sharing experience and expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in such areas as industry, services, and construction.  

Addressing the congress, President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisation (VUFO) Vu Xuan Hong noted that the Party and State of Vietnam attach importance to boosting relations with Southeast Asian nations, including Myanmar.

The inception of the VMFA is a milestone in the ties of friendship, cooperation and people’s exchange between Vietnam and Myanmar, he said.  

He expressed hope that the association and other Vietnam’s friendship organisations with ASEAN nations will strengthen cooperation and carry out effective and practical activities, so as to enhance mutual understanding and build a strong ASEAN community in the coming time.

Myanmar ambassador to Vietnam Win Hlaing voiced his great support for the VMFA to fulfil its task, thus promoting friendship and cooperation between the two nations.

Russian passenger arrested for carrying cocaine into Vietnam

A Russian citizen has been detained for carrying 2.8kg of cocaine into Vietnam via Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

Arriving in Vietnam on August 23 aboard a Vietnam Airlines flight VN650 from Singapore, Dapirka Maria concealed two nylon bags of white powder, weighing 1.87kg, inside her hand luggage.

The Russian passenger, 28, also hid another two nylon bags of white powder, weighing 0.93kg, inside a magazine.  

Later examinations found the white powder contains cocaine.

The case has been transferred to the drug-related crimes investigation unit under the HCM City Police Department for further investigations.

Roads lit up in Bac Ninh’s disadvantaged communes

Canon Vietnam Ltd. on August 25 handed over the street lighting systems along nine km of rural roads in poor communes in three districts of the northern province of Bac Ninh.

Addressing at the event, Michio Motohashi, Deputy Director General of the company, shared that the lighting-up-village road project was part of Canon Vietnam’s activities to support traffic safety and enhance rural development.

A resident in Giang Lieu, a village benefiting from the project, said: “Previously we seldom ventured out at night as there was no light. However, now we can walk outside safely.”

The two-month work to install the lighting systems in the four communes cost some VND200 million (US$950).

Canon Vietnam is also working to built lighting systems for four communes in the northern province of Bac Giang, which is scheduled to complete this month.

The company has carried out a number of projects such as building schools, planting trees and granting scholarships, contributing to Vietnam’s socio-economic development.

Tourists from Ebola risk areas under strict observation

Almost 23,000 tourists, including one from Liberia – the country most affected by the Ebola virus in West Africa - were recorded at the Vietnamese-Cambodian border crossings at Moc Bai and Xa Mat in southern Tay Ninh province between August 12-25.

Moc Bai health workers and immigration officials requested the Liberian national to complete a medical declaration form and informed the health department in Ho Chi Minh City, where the visitor will remain under strict observation for three weeks.

The provincial health department has also been keeping a close eye on the health status of a Nigerian national - residing in Trang Bang district - since his arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

Director of the provincial Centre for International Health Quarantine Tran Phuoc Doan said suspected Ebola cases will involve quarantine at border gates’ isolation wards and referrals to the nearest medical centres for blood samples and further tests.

In addition to equipment for taking body temperature measurements, the border gates have also been equipped with personal protection gear and sterilisation chemicals.

Ebola is spread through the exchange of bodily fluids, such as sweat and blood, between an infected and non-infected person. Currently, no cure or vaccine is available, according to the World Health Organisation.

The virus has spread relentlessly throughout Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, with Nigeria now also affected, despite showing some progress in containing the epidemic. By August 22, 1,427 people had succumbed to the Ebola virus.

To date, Vietnam has no reported cases of Ebola infections.

NEU bestows honorary doctorate on EC President

European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso was given an honorary doctorate from the esteemed National Economics University of Vietnam (NEU) on August 25.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Director of NEU Pham Manh Hung said the honorary degree is in recognition of the exemplary lifetime contributions of President Barroso to the development of cooperative and friendly relations between the EU and Vietnam.

For his part, Barroso said he was very grateful for the award of the honorary doctorate certificate from NEU – the leading university in Vietnam.

He said he appreciated NEU’s vision which focuses on building and developing international training and research cooperation.

“Making full use of educational cooperative relations between Vietnam and other countries in the world will help Vietnam train high-quality human resources to meet the demands posited by international integration,” he added.

During his working term as EC President (2007-2014), Barroso was instrumental in negotiating the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and Vietnam.

Vietnam Airlines to increase flights on National Holiday

The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines plans to increase an additional 147 flights on key domestic routes from August 29 to September 3, to meet passengers’ increasing demand for travel during the upcoming National Holiday.

The carrier will offer approximately 106,400 more seats available for passengers to select during the peak time for holiday, up 30% compared to normal days and 22% against the same period in 2013.

Increased flights will apply to such routes of high demand as Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City-Danang/Nha Trang/Da Lat/Phu Quoc and Hanoi-Dong Hoi.

Vietnamese people celebrate National Day on September 2 and there is a sharp increase in the number of air passengers on this occasion.

International visitors to Vietnam on the rise

Vietnam welcomed more than 5.47 million foreign holidaymakers over the Jan-August period, representing a year-on-year increase of 2.2 percent, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

August alone saw approximately 618,600 international arrivals, up by 9.5 percent compared to the previous month.

The number of tourists from almost all Vietnam’s traditional markets was up in the first eight months of this year. Hong Kong market showed the highest surge with 97.5 percent, followed by Germany, 83.3 percent, and Russia, 27.1 percent.

The number of domestic holidaymakers for the same period peaked at 30.1 million, up 6.9 percent compared to last year’s data. The country raked in a total of close to 159.8 trillion VND (7.5 billion USD) in tourism revenue, 20.4 percent higher than for the same period in 2013.

Many localities reported that they have seen the return of Chinese tourists.

According to Hanoi’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the city received over 4,000 visitors from China in July. Meanwhile, in the central city of Da Nang, flights between China and the city have resumed after a short suspension.

Vietravel, one of the travel agencies active in the Chinese market said the firm had taken up promotional activities again and relaunched its portfolio of tours on offer, adding that a large number of Chinese tourists had booked tours to Da Nang for September and October.

Saigontourist Travel Services Company welcomed the Malaysian cruise liner SuperStar Virgo to the northern city of Ha Long, with 2,600 international passengers on board, the marjority being Chinese. The firm is expecting 65,000 customers on 25 cruises on the SuperStar Virgo from now to October.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Anh Tuan has reminded localities with high tourism potentials and travel agencies throughout the country to actively forge links and improve the quality of services and products to meet the customer service requirements of international guests, including those from China.

Since the East Sea tensions in early May, Vietnam has seen a sharp decrease in tourists from several Chinese-speaking markets, which has negatively impacted the country’s tourism sector.

Campaign launched to promote use of motorcycle helmets

A media campaign has been launched in the capital city to prevent road accidents by promoting the use of helmets among riders of motorcycles, Viet Nam's main means of transportation.

The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee and the National Traffic Safety Committee launched the month-long campaign, from August 23 to September 23, last Saturday. It includes participation in a standard helmets programme and a songwriting contest about "young people with a transport culture."

Figures showed that accidents involving motorcycles still accounted for 70 per cent of the 30,000 road accidents that happen every year. Of these, an estimated 30 per cent result in death due to traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Studies have shown that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle or electric bicycle, a traffic regulation carried out in Viet Nam since 2007, helps to reduce serious injuries in traffic accidents by 69 per cent and minimises the risk of death by 42 per cent.

But a part of the population, including the youth, have been found to be wearing poor quality or fake helmets or doing without helmets when riding motorcycles or electric bicycles.

Khuat Viet Hung, Deputy Chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC), said that in response, his office issued National Plan 69 / KH-UBATGTQG dated April 18, calling for a propaganda campaign on helmet use and deployment of inspectors authorised to arrest manufacturers and users of fake or poor quality helmets.

Since July 1, inspectors from concerned government agencies have joined traffic police in apprehending manufacturers and users of fake or poor quality helmets.

VN's health-information system lacks sufficient, reliable data: deputy minister

A comprehensive assessment of Viet Nam's health-care sector is necessary to improve the quality and trustworthiness of its information databases, the Deputy Minister of Health said at a two-day workshop held yesterday (August 25) in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Pham Le Tuan said that most of the sector's information was derived from periodical reports, rather than from actual examinations.

In addition, the quality of the information lacks precision and is not trustworthy, he added.

He explained that information collected on one issue from different sources varied too much because it was not conducted at the same time or with the same method.

Moreover, the use of information technology to collect, analyze and disseminate information was still limited.

The ministry, with support from the EU's Health Sector Capacity Support Project (HSCSP), has issued a master plan for health-information system development in the 2014-20 period with a vision toward 2030, as well as statistical indicators to support health planning, monitoring and supervision of healthcare activities, and the country's regional and global integration.

"The ministry is striving to create important reforms of the health sector, and the contributions made by HSCSP in improving and strengthening the health information system is highly sensible.

"These contributions will, at the macro level, help Viet Nam's health information system define an orientation toward development to support health planning and budgeting processes, making them better-tailored to actual needs," Tuan said.

The workshop was jointly organised by the ministry and HSCSP with an aim to disseminate and replicate solutions to improve and strengthen the quality of the health information system.

More than 250 statistics officials from the Ministry of Health and departments of health are expected to benefit from the workshops, as well as another one planned in the northern city of Hai Phong at the end of the week.

During the two workshops, statistics officials will have a chance to study the set of health statistical indicators and master plans, as well as hear the experiences of local health departments on collecting and compiling statistics.

Since 2009, HSCSP has supported Viet Nam's health sector in standardising its health information system by using the project's solutions to improve the quality of health-information systems in its projects in three provinces and partnerships with 15 provinces.

Medical workers work around clock to be ready for Ebola prevention

Medical experts are always ready for Ebola prevention, especially mobile teams will be set up soon to treat Ebola virus disease.

No one is quarantined in the Tropical Disease Hospital after a worker who returned from Liberia which is one of Ebola-hit countries arrived at the hospital for willing isolation.

The Department of Health in Ho Chi Minh City said that it has controlled prevention task at medical clinics in districts and communes.

Nguyen Huu Hung, deputy director of the Department of Health in HCMC, said that those who were discharged from the Tropical Disease Hospital are under observation in community. Medical workers of preventive medicine centers in districts or communes will check these people everyday.

Once, there is any abnormality, medical workers will soon report to the department for consultation. Even relatives of these people experience fever or any symptoms including fever, headache, muscle pain, they will call for medical centers for help.

Medical workers are trained to treat the disease. Nguyen Van Sau, director of the Center for International Health Quarantine in Tan Son Nhat International Airport said, medical workers still measure passengers’ body daily.

However, Mr. Sau added that it is difficult to discover Ebola-infected people as in reality some passengers are in incubation period; accordingly the most important is to raise passengers’ awareness of the disease.

People who used to travel to the West Africa countries and suffer fever are encouraged to have medical check-up in hospitals.

Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, director of the Tropical Disease Hospital, said that its lab has waited for the Ministry of Health’s approval to carry out tests for the disease.

Phan Trong Lan, head of the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, said that six mobile medical worker teams have been set up, aiming to prevent the disease in community. The health sector also pays attention to other provinces which closed border gates with others countries.

Ebola virus disease can quite penetrate into Vietnam , said Tran Dac Phu, chief of the Department of Preventive Medicine  under the Ministry of Health; therefore passengers from Ebola-hit nations must fill medicine declaration form. Those who are experience fever have to be isolated under close observation.

In addition, the plane which carried infected passenger must be disinfected.

The Department of Preventive Medicine  said that some Vietnamese workers are living and working in Ebola-hit countries. For instance, 34 Vietnamese workers are in Sierra Leone, 60 people in Nigeria and 20 in Liberia. Therefore, medical workers have to work around the clock to check when these workers return Vietnam.

Nhat Tan-Noi Bai link to open up new urban area

Construction on the Nhat Tan - Noi Bai road is nearing completion, and once it comes into operation major opportunities are expected for developers.

In a meeting held last week in the capital, Hanoi Party Secretary Pham Quang Nghi said that the road was expected to become a driving force for the development of the city’s northern region.

Nghi also confirmed that there would be special policies to woo investors to participate in developing urban areas along the road. Those policies, Nghi said, should be simple, attractive and feasible to attract private investment.

The Hanoi Department of Planning and Investment was assigned by the local people’s committee to draw up the proposed incentives for submission this year.

Meanwhile, chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen The Thao said that the future investors who wanted to participate in sub-projects to develop those areas would have to remain engaged throughout the project’s life. This precondition was aimed at preventing investors who wanted to register in a certain project, from building houses and quitting after the houses were sold.

Nghi also stressed that the future sub-projects would need to be modern, environmentally-friendly developments. He also ruled out tall apartment blocks, favouring low-rise developments with plenty of green space.

“The people’s committee authorities must be very careful in choosing future investors that are capable of developing such projects,” Nghi said.

Nghi’s comments were set against a backdrop where Dubai Global Sphere last year proposed to build a $30 billion urban development project in this area. The so-called Hanoi Wall Street was expected to consist of 70 high-rise residential towers. However the project was not submitted because the investor failed to prove its capacity.

Both Thao and Nghi stressed that future and current constructions located along the new road must be followed by a comprehensive plan which can harmonise existing and new developments

According to an already agreed Hanoi People’s Committee plan, the urban areas located along the Nhat Tan - Noi Bai axis would cover more than 2,000 hectares over 12 kilometres of Dong Anh and Soc Son districts, which already have a total population of 140,000.

The urban areas would consist of a gateway focusing on industry, trade and agriculture, a riverside urban zone, and an ecological urban area. An ASEAN ‘cultural village’ and exhibition centre and a financial tower will be also constructed.

The Nhat Tan - Noi Bai extends from the Nam Hong intersection to National Highway 12 and the North Thang Long-Noi Bai intersection. IT is expected to become operational later this year, linking Nhat Tan Bridge and the second terminal at Noi Bai Airport.

Apples still imported from Australia, U.S.

Head of the Plant Protection Department Nguyen Xuan Hong ascertained that apples are still being imported from Australia, the U.S. and New Zealand this year, with thousands of tons imported in the past month alone.

As of last month, Vietnam had imported nearly 3,475 tons of apples from New Zealand, around 2,000 tons from Australia and 10,229 tons from the U.S., Hong said, rejecting claims that all apple imports in the country come from China. The import volume of this fruit from China amounted to some 22,500 tons.

“With such figures, Chinese apples accounted for as much as 58.3% of apple imports,” Hong said.

Earlier, there was information that fruits imported into Vietnam in the past time, mainly apples, were not from Australia and New Zealand, which had caused concerns among consumers.

An office worker identified as Thuong in HCMC’s District 1 said she dared not buy apples for fear of unclear origins. Imported fruits with clear origins despite higher prices are preferred, she added.

Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, director of HCMC-based Dai Kim Phat Co. specializing in importing fruits from Australia, also rejected the rumor, saying prices of Australian apples range between VND190,000 and VND230,000 per kilogram.

Trang also showed the Daily apple import documents like import declaration forms, documents on fruit origins and quarantine certificates as proof. The company’s fruit store on Pham Van Hai Street in Tan Binh District is still seen selling many types of apples imported from Australia such as Pink Lady and Fuji.

Similarly, Binh Thuan Fruits and Vegetables Private Enterprise has imported U.S. and New Zealand apples in bulk. Its imported apples are distributed at supermarkets and wholesale markets, according to Do Nguyen Thy Linh, head of market development at the HCMC branch.

“From March, we started importing apples from the U.S. and New Zealand. In April, we imported 17 containers of apples from these two countries, equivalent to 340 tons,” Linh said.

With false information, not all enterprises can be as calm as Dai Kim Phat or Binh Thuan Fruits and Vegetable. Many vendors at traditional wet markets in HCMC like Ba Chieu in Binh Thanh District, Pham Van Hai and Vo Thanh Trang in Tan Binh District and Phan Van Tri in Go Vap District have complained about sharp falls in sales.

A fruit trader at Phan Van Tri market said she could sell nearly 20 kilograms of U.S. apples a couple of days ago but now only ten kilograms.

To prove origins of fruits, stallholders selling imported fruits have labels certifying their origins and quarantine certificates to reassure consumers.

Linh added that many customers have called his firm to demand explanations on the fruit origins while many traders have scaled down their orders.

According to Linh, with the naked eyes, consumers can still tell Fuji apples of the U.S. and New Zealand from Chinese ones. The Fuji apple from China has a pink color, while the fruit from the U.S. normally has red peel with pink and dark red dots, and New Zealand’s is creamy yellow and dark red with striations.

Crowds pay tribute to General Vo Nguyen Giap on his birthday

Thousands of people from across the country flocked to pay tribute to General Vo Nguyen Giap on what would have been his 104th birthday on August 25.

Crowds of people visited General Giap’s tomb in Quang Binh Province. Despite the hot weather, people, including many veterans and students, queued up to pay tribute.

Captain Le Van Hai, a member of the team in charge of protecting the tomb, said that since he passed away, nearly 1.2 million people have come to pay tribute, including 1,600 just on August 25.

General Vo Nguyen Giap, former commander-in-chief of the Vietnam People’s Army, passed away in Hanoi on October 4, 2013 at the age of 103.

Giap, the first general in Vietnam, was born on August 25, 1911 in An Xa village, Loc Thuy Commune, Le Thuy District, Quang Binh Province. General Giap directly led large campaigns during the Vietnamese wars against the French and the US.

His name is closely linked to the historic victory at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, which led to the French leaving. He was also instrumental in fighting the Americans who replaced French troops.

Quang Nam strives to lure domestic tourists

The tourism industry of central Quang Nam province is stepping up its efforts to attract visitors, particularly Vietnamese nationals.

According to Chairman the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Dinh Hai, the province aims to develop sustainable tourism through the creation of favourable conditions for enterprises and localities to diversity and improve the quality of their products.

To encourage visitors to extend their stay in Quang Nam, a range of activities are on offer, from trips to sea, islands and handicraft villages to homestays and nature experiences. Promotions will run all year round, not just over traditional holiday periods such as New Year, with many attractive packages.

Quang Nam has so far this year welcomed over 2.6 million tourists, representing a year-on-year increase of 5 percent. Among those who visited the province’s two world heritage sites of My Son Sanctuary and the ancient town of Hoi An, 1.5 million were domestic tourists, up 26 percent compared to the same period last year.

Thanks to numerous measures to stimulate demands, create a friendly tourism environment and improve the quality of products and services, the number of tourists who stayed in the province has remarkably increased, with more than 702,000 holidaymakers in the first eight months of this year, a year-on-year rise of 12 percent.

The province earned approximately 3.3 trillion VND (115 million USD) from tourism during the the Jan-August period.

New schools built in poor areas in Quang Binh

The Cam Ly-Cua Mec school in Ngan Thuy commune, Le Thuy district, Quang Tri province was opened on August 26 by the Prudential Group’s charitable organisation, the Prudence Fund, together with Plan Vietnam and The People’s Committee of Quang Tri.

Construction on the school began in May 2014, marking the 4th school to be opened as part of the project “Built a future together” in the province this year.

The school cost 80.033 USD, with a 75.193 USD donation put forward by the UK’s Prudential Group, and the rest covered by Plan Vietnam, a non-governmental organisation active in the region.

The school has 2 classrooms, a library, a playground, a sterilized water supply system, and a kitchen, as well as providing all the necessary teaching facilities for staff. All in all, the school will be able to take in 60 children from the locality.

The mountainous commune of Ngan Thuy is one of the poorest of the district’s 26 communes with 60 percent of households in the locality living under the poverty line. The commune has one central kindergarten and five schools, with schools often having to pack 70 children into only 2 classrooms. Many children therefore cannot be accommodated by schools due to a shortage of classrooms.

On this occasion, the school’s staff and students received gifts from the donors and local educational authorities. The commune’s poorest households will additionally receive bicycles, desks, school supplies and any other commodities required to support the children’s education.-

Telecoms workers enjoy protected legislative rights

Trade union leaders from the Asia-Pacific region came together in a meeting in Hanoi on August 26 to share their experience in protecting the legitimate rights and interests of workers in the telecommunications sector, particularly during processes of restructuring.

The event also aimed to enhance working styles and equip staff with the necessary skills and knowledge for playing an active role in trade unions.

Chairman of the Vietnam Post Trade Union Bui Van Hoan said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has agreed on the restructuring plan of Vietnam Post and Telecommunications (VNPT) between 2014 and 2015, with the aim of improving operational efficiency and competitiveness, and developing the market in a sustainable manner.

In particular, trade unions need to put forward concrete measures to help telecoms workers benefit fully from the group’s incentives, he added.

Participants shared effective operational models and developed initiatives to enhance the quality of customer service and telecoms activities in the region.

The event was jointly organised by the VNPT and the UNI Global Union Asia-Pacific Regional Organisation (UNI Apro).

772 tonnes of rice to be provided for Ninh Thuan drought victims

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh on August 26 signed a decision to allocate 772 tonnes of rice from the national reserves for the central province of Ninh Thuan .

The rice will be provided for local people who were affected by recent droughts.

The provincial People’s Committee was entrusted to deliver the aid to those needed.

If locals continue facing difficulties, the committee is responsible for reporting the situation to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs so that they will propose further assistance to the Prime Minister.-