VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES AUGUST 15
National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on August 12 signed a resolution on approving VND1.155 trillion (over US$49 million) from the Unemployment Insurance Fund to support laborers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The allocation should be carried out prior to September 10, 2022.
So far, nearly 13 million pandemic-affected laborers have received financial support worth more than VND30.8 trillion (over US$1.3 billion) from the Unemployment Insurance Fund while the unemployment insurance premiums worth of VND7,559 billion (US$323 million) have been reduced for employers.
According to the General Statistics Office, in the second quarter of 2022, Viet Nam recorded over eight million people aged 15 and older who were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, down more than half compared to the previous quarter and a decrease of 4.8 million people over the same period last year.
In the first six months of 2022, the labor force aged 15 and over reached 51.4 million people, an increase of 0.4 million ones more than the same period last year.
NA Standing Committee convenes law-making session
The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee opened a four-day law-making session in Hanoi on August 15, with 11 draft laws, ordinances and resolutions to be tabled for discussion.
The draft laws include the Law on Petroleum (amended), the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control (revised), the Law on Inspection (amended), the Law on Implementation of Democracy at Grassroots Level, and the law amending and supplementing some articles of the Law on Radio Frequencies.
They were scrutinised at the third sitting of the legislature which took place last May and June, and are expected to be adopted in the next meeting, slated for October, said NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue in his opening remarks.
All of the five bills gained high consensus of legislators at the previous meetings of the NA Standing Committee as well as the third sitting of the legislature, he said, asking the participants to look into the remaining contentious contents to perfect the documents.
The full-time legislators will also opine over the other draft laws to be submitted to the NA for the first time during the fourth meeting, namely the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights (amended), the Law on Civil Defence and the Law on Anti-Money Laundering (revised).
The ordinance on the handling of administrative violations obstructing procedural activities, along with a resolution guiding supervision activities of People’s Councils and another on regulations for NA sessions (revised) will also be deliberated.
Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange
The embassies of Vietnam and Laos in China held a friendship exchange in Beijing on August 13 in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (September 5) and 45 years since of signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation (July 18).
In his opening speech, Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Sao Mai said over the last 60 years, the traditional and close relations between Vietnam and Laos, founded by late Presidents Ho Chi Minh, Kaysone Phomvihane and Souphanouvong and nurtured by generations of the two countries’ leaders and people, have surmounted countless difficulties and challenges to become an exemplary, faithful and rare relationship.
The upgrade of the “traditional friendship” to the “great friendship” during Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s official visit to Laos in February 2019 was a historic milestone creating a breakthrough for bilateral cooperation, he noted.
Consolidating and developing the special relationship with Laos is the top priority of Vietnam’s foreign policy, he went on, adding that for many years, the two countries’ embassies have maintained cooperation and mutual support at forums and activities in China, greatly helping fulfill their diplomatic tasks, build a united and strong ASEAN Community, and contribute to activities of the diplomatic corps in Beijing.
For her part, Lao Ambassador Khamphao Ernthavanh highlighted the two countries’ constant support and assistance, describing their special solidarity and friendship as unique and incomparable.
Vietnam team claim four medals at Int’l Informatics Olympiad
All four students in the Vietnamese team have brought home a medal at the 34th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI 2022) hosted by Indonesia.
Tran Xuan Bach, a 11th grader at the HUS High School for Gifted Students, Vietnam National University, won a gold medal at the competition.
The three silver medalists are all 12th grade students, including Duong Minh Khoi also from HUS High School for Gifted Students, Le Huu Nghia from Binh Long High School for Gifted Students in Binh Phuoc, and Truong Van Quoc Bao from Nghe An’s Phan Boi Chau High School for Gifted Students.
The IOI 2022 was held both in-person and virtually from August 7 – 14. The Vietnamese contestants took part in the competition remotely from Vietnam. This year, it gathered 349 contestants from 89 countries and territories. It presented 30 gold, 58 silver and 88 bronze medals.
With a gold and three silvers, Vietnam ranked ninth in the medal table, after China, Japan, the US, the Republic of Korea, Iran, Ukraine, Croatia and Taiwan (China).
Vietnam train in Japan ahead of 2023 AFC U20 Asian Cup qualifiers
The Vietnam U20 side players arrived in Japan on August 14 after a night flight for a training camp ahead of their Group F qualifying clashes of the 2023 AFC U20 Asian Cup.
Coach Dinh The Nam is expected to give his students physical and technical exercises during their two-week training there.
The Vietnam U20 side are scheduled to play three friendlies against the Japan U19 side on August 17, the Cezero Osaka U18 FC on August 22 and the Osaka Sangyo University FC on August 25.
They will fly back to Vietnam on August 28 and coach Dinh The Nam will make a shortlist of players for the national line up to compete at the qualifying round of the 2023 AFC U20 Asian Cup.
Vietnam play in Group F alongside Indonesia, Hong Kong (China) and Timor Leste.
All group matches will take place in Indonesia from September 14-19.
Building material pricing needs to be realistic: expressway contractors
Amid price surges and increasing costs for building materials, contractors of the North-South Expressway are reporting losses but are unable to halt construction due to contractual obligations. They are calling upon authorities to make price adjustments and provide an urgent solution.
Lê Đức Thọ, deputy director of Cienco4 Group, one of the contractors for the North-South Expressway, said that the pandemic and fuel price surges have had a major impact for businesses. These challenges have been depleting their resources and placing them at the risk of not being able to re-invest in personnel and equipment. According to Thọ, the price indexes issued by local authorities are not sufficient in addressing the current situation, as their formula for adjustment is based on the aggregate index and several constructions in the localities. However, expressway projects require a different source of building materials, he said.
Nguyễn Lê Bách, deputy head of the Planning and Technical Department of Đèo Cả Group said that not only steel but also fuel, cement, and backfill soil have been getting more expensive. This resulted in a 18 to 30 per cent price slippage compared to the original contracts.
Lê Quyết Tiến, deputy head of the Transport Engineering Construction and Quality Management Bureau (under the Ministry of Transport) agreed that at the beginning of the price surge, price index adjustments were not sufficient and realistic, compared to fluctuations. However, solutions have been put forward thanks to the efforts by the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and Ministry of Construction (MoC). Right now, 44 localities announce building material prices index every month, while 19 others do so every quarter. Tiến said: “It is crucial to have the price index reflecting the actual situation."
The MoT also shares the same perspectives, he added, suggesting separate formulas to adjust prices for key building materials that witness major cost changes.
Tiến added that in the 2008 - 2009 price surges, the MoC issued two circulars that adjust the pricing of 13 key building materials, which were a significant support for businesses and contractors.
From the MoC, deputy head of the Construction Economics Department Hoàng Anh Tuấn said that there are currently two groups of construction price index: one announced by the locality or one calculated according to costs or the type of material. The second group is specified in law, and is created to be compatible with the construction work or the bid package. He said that localities should continue conducting assessment of the market, and quickly announce the price index of building materials in order to share the burden with investors.
They also need to pay close attention to local supplies to adjust the categories accordingly.
The MoC also suggested investors report the difficulties they are encountering and the causes, identifying the responsibilities and legal frameworks in adjusting contracts (including build-operate-transfer - BOT contracts). Authorities are asked to proactively propose solutions under their management scope.
Kien Giang detects many new Omicron sub-variant cases
The southern province of Kien Giang has reported 338 Covid-19 patients over the past month, including 35 new Omicron sub-variants cases.
According to the provincial Department of Department, among the new sub-variant cases, 29 were BA.2 and six BA.5, mostly found in the districts of An Bien, Tan Hiep, Giong Rieng and Kien Hai District and Phu Quoc Town.
The majority of the patients display mild symptoms and have been treated at home.
At present, local Covid-19 treatment facilities are serving 53 patients. However, No one has used a ventilator.
Doctors timely save four-year-old boy being abused, locked inside freezer
The National Children's Hospital, on the afternoon of August 14, said that doctors had recently given emergency aid and promptly saved a boy in Nhan Chinh Commune of Ly Nhan District in Ha Nam Province who was previously abused by an adult with many injuries. More dangerously, the boy was put in a carton and locked in the freezer.
A hospital representative said that this child patient was transferred from Ha Nam Province's Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital at about 11 p.m. on August 13 with a diagnosis of respiratory failure, hypothermia, and head and neck trauma. Especially, when being transferred to a higher level hospital, besides relatives, this patient was accompanied by police officers.
After receiving the boy, doctors immediately performed emergency aid and additional tests to determine the damage to the skull and cervical spine and held inter-departmental consultations.
Thereby, doctors determined that the current physical injuries of this boy were not severe, but there was still swelling in the head area, bleeding, and scratches on the head and neck areas. His tongue was also swollen and edematous, causing difficulties in eating.
According to his relatives, the boy was put in a cardboard box, then locked in the freezer by a neighbor. Through initial verification, the boy went to a neighbor's house around 3 p.m. on August 13 but did not return home until 5 p.m., so his family rushed to look for him.
After checking the security camera, his relatives found him inside a freezer and immediately took him to the hospital for emergency aid. After receiving the news, Nhan Chinh Commune police were present at the scene to direct the investigation and search for the person who caused that incident and coordinated with the victim’s family to take the boy to the hospital.
Initially, the police identified the person who caused the incident as a tenant selling beverages near the boy’s house. Right on the night of August 13, Ly Nhan District police arrested the person who caused the incident to investigate further for strict punishment.
Thousands of wild orchid plants brought back to nature
Thousands of wild orchid plants have been brought back to nature by orchid-loving associations and organizations to preserve and retain the purest beauty of this type of flower.
The Vietnam Association for the Conservation of Wild Orchids, the Institute of Biotechnology and Environment under Tay Nguyen University, Orchid Lovers 47, Dak Lak Urban and Environment Joint Stock Company, and Dak Lak Orchid Association, in collaboration with Dak Lak Provincial Museum, organized the program ‘Bringing wild orchids back to nature’ on August 14.
Accordingly, tens of thousands of wild orchids have been sent there by orchid lovers across the country to be grafted onto the trees in the courtyard of Dak Lak Provincial Museum and Bao Dai Summer Palace.
The courtyard of Dak Lak Provincial Museum and Bao Dai Summer Palace has an area of more than 6 hectares, considered a biodiversity area in the center of Buon Ma Thuot City with many rare species of trees. It is a suitable place to transplant orchids, thereby contributing to preserving and conserving rare orchid varieties in nature, as well as helping visitors to have the opportunity to admire the unique beauty of the Central Highlands. It is also the only place in the city that preserves many old-growth trees and hundred-year-old trees.
Vietnam accelerating digital transformation in new-style rural building
The Government has approved a national program on digital transformation in building new-style rural areas, towards smart rural development, for the 2021 – 2025 period.
The programme will be implemented in all rural areas across Vietnam by the end of 2025, including extremely disadvantaged communes in ethnic minority and mountainous and coastal regions.
It aims to accelerate digital transformation to enhance the effectiveness of the national target programme on new-style rural building, contributing to boosting rural economy, improving rural living standards, and bridging gap in service quality between rural and urban areas.
A goal by 2025 is to have at least 90% of central, 80% of district-level and 60% communal public documents handled online and at least 97% of communes meeting the new-style rural criteria on information and telecommunications.
It also plans to promote digital economy in an effort to better develop the rural economy. Accordingly, at least 70% of communes will have cooperatives and 70% of districts will have agricultural business models which connect production and distribution of key farming product, which apply digital technology.
In addition, at least 40% of communes and districts should be able to provide at least one essential public service in healthcare, education, community surveillance, security, environment and culture) and collect feedback on people’s satisfaction regarding rural development on a virtual platform. Each and every centrally-run city and province should have at least one trial smart rural commune model in the field which it holds advantages of, for example economy, rural tourism, environment, and culture.
The models will serve as reference for the development of a new set of criteria for new-style rural building for the 2026 – 2030 period.
HCMC surveys waterway tourism route to provinces of Tien Giang, Ben Tre
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport collaborated with the Municipal Department of Tourism along with relevant departments, sectors, agencies of two Mekong Delta provinces of Tien Giang, Ben Tre, travel agents, tourism and transport businesses to perform the survey of waterway tourism from Bach Dang Wharf in Ho Chi Minh City to the provinces of Tien Giang and Ben Tre.
Through the survey, the waterway route was assessed to be clear, ensuring smooth transport for seagoing maritime vehicles; the reinforced concrete wharves met the requirements of picking up and dropping off passengers which connected with tourism sites; the road transport connected with the wharves easily which would create favorable conditions to exploit passengers and tourism.
It was said that the HCMC Department of Tourism is collaborating with the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Tien Giang Province, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Ben Tre Province, enterprises and companies operating in waterway tourism to exploit the tourism products in this route.
Association of Vietnamese in Malta established
The Association of Vietnamese in Malta has freshly been set up, representing the community of about 400 people.
The establishment ceremony took place in Malta on August 14, debuting its executive committee.
Chairman Nguyen Hoai Nam and Secretary Nguyen Thi Nhan said the association aims to promote mutual support within the growing community.
The number of Vietnamese in Malta is increasing, as the European country boasts potential for investment, employment and learning.
Over 177,989 Hanoi labourers benefit from housing rent support policy
As of August 8, more than 177,989 labourers in Hanoi have received housing rent support under the Prime Minister’s decision with a total amount of over 92.8 billion USD (3.966 million USD), equivalent to 63.6% and 51% of the set plan, respectively.
According to the municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, 170,338 labourers working for businesses in the capital city, have received aid worth 85.1 billion VND, and 6,796 of those back to work have got a total of 7.65 billion VND.
The department has proposed the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to extend the application deadline for another month to maximise support for workers facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Decision No.08/QD-TTg dated March 28, 2022 aims to assist workers who face housing difficulties and to help enterprises maintain production and attract back employees who left the country's largest economic hub for their hometowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the decision, labourers working in enterprises will receive 500,000 VND (22 USD) per person each month and those returning to the labour market 1,000,000 VND. The policy targets some 3.4 million labourers.
Mausoleum of President Ho Chi Minh reopens from August 16
The Mausoleum of President Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi will reopen to the public from August 16 after an annual maintenance since June 13.
According to the management board of the mausoleum, respect-paying activities for the late President will resume on the day.
President Ho Chi Minh passed away on September 2, 1969. His body was embalmed and placed in a glass coffin inside the granite mausoleum.
The mausoleum has become an important landmark of the capital city and is integral to the political and social history of Vietnam.
Qatari Deputy PM and FM visits Vietnam
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani began a two-day visit to Vietnam on August 14 at the invitation of Foreign Minister of Vietnam Bui Thanh Son.
The Qatari official is expected to hold talks with FM Bui Thanh Son, and meet with high-ranking Vietnamese officials and businesspeople.
The Vietnam visit is part of the Qatari official’s Asian tour that also includes Singapore, Malaysia and the Republic of Korea.
Exhibition shows artist's tour de force in self-development
Artist Vũ Tuấn Việt, a member of the Việt Nam Fine Arts Association, has launched his first solo oil on canvas exhibition in HCM City at the Toong Coworking Space at District 3, HCM City.
The exhibition themed, “Transference: Get into the shell to feel safe, or is the shell itself the most unsafe place”, features more than 30 works which gradually demonstrate the experience and personal growth of Việt over the course of six years.
The cubism artworks depict the life and important events of the Nam Định settler, and are comprised of sharp shapes and colours ranging from cold dark colours to clear, balanced drawing with bright and warm colours, which aim to show the “transference” of emotion and thought in Vũ Tuấn Việt.
Graduating from the Việt Nam University of Fine Arts in 2016, Việt became a member of the Nam Định Provincial Literature and Arts Association in 2016, and has won numerous prizes from art competitions. The exhibition lasts until August 27.
Music contest highlights southern culture
Songs based on Vietnamese folk tunes by late musician and author Bắc Sơn, one of the region’s leading artists in music, theatre and movies in the 1980s and 90s, will be highlighted in a music contest in the southern province of Long An next week.
The contest, Tiếng Hát Tình Ca Bắc Sơn (Love Songs by Bắc Sơn), encourages locals in southern provinces who love singing folk tunes to show off their skills.
The participants will perform from a collection of 500 songs, most of them in praise of southern people and their culture, written and composed by Sơn.
Sơn’s songs include Về Thăm Quê Ngoại (Come Back Home), Điệu Ru Mòn Mỏi (Lullaby) and Qua Nhịp Cầu Tre (Walking on the Bamboo Bridge) -- all of which portray southern people and culture.
The contest’s semifinal and final rounds will be aired on a YouTube channel managed by the organiser, An Nông Group, in December.
Winners’ performances will be aired on the Long An Province Radio & Television and television stations of Bình Phước and Tiền Giang provinces.
Cultural exchange held for children from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia
The Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union held a cultural exchange from children from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in Ho Chi Minh City on August 13.
The event was part of activities held by young people of the three countries to mark the Vietnam-Laos and Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Years and the 60th and 55th anniversaries of Vietnam-Laos and Vietnam-Cambodia diplomatic relations respectively.
The festival for children from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia began on August 10 in Ho Chi Minh City, hosted by the Central Committee of Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCMYU).
The five-day event, held after a two-year suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has drawn the participation of 185 children and 34 officials from the three countries.
Army Games 2022: Vietnam’s first tank crew begin competition
Crew No.1 of the Vietnamese tank team competed in the qualifying round in Group 1 of the “Tank biathlon” event in the framework of the Army Games 2022 in Russia on August 13.
This year’s “Tank biathlon” event attracts the participation of 61 crews of 21 teams, divided into two groups. The first group consists of teams from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Venezuela, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, China, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia, while the second group draws Abkhazia, Armenia, Zimbabwe, Iran, Laos, Mali, Myanmar, Syria, Sudan, Tajikistan, and South Ossetia.
Teams in Group 1 will compete in the qualifying round to select the top eight to enter the semi-final round and then the best four for the final round. Meanwhile, those in Group 2 should only join a round-robin format for the next.
The Vietnamese tank crew completed their task, destroying four targets out of five and finishing the race after 34 minutes 53 seconds. Meanwhile, crews from the Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan destroyed all five targets and finished the race after 25 minutes 57 seconds, and 25 minutes and 18 seconds, respectively. The Venezuela rivals destroyed only one target and finished their competition after 47 minutes 5 seconds.
Crews No. 2 and 3 of the Vietnamese tank team will compete on August 16 and 20.
Vietnamese blue-beret doctors support South Sudan people amid flooding
Doctors of the Level-2 Field Hospital No. 4 of Vietnam in South Sudan have provided free health checkups to locals and supported the Bentiu General Hospital in overcoming consequences of flooding.
Recently, heavy rains have caused widespread flooding in South Sudan, forcing many people to evacuate and causing the outbreaks of many diseases.
In that context, the Vietnamese blue-beret doctors, led by Major Le Viet Anh, presented medicines, cleaning chemicals and medical equipment to the Bentiu General Hospital. They also offered free medical examination and treatment as well as medicines to more than 200 people hardest hit by floods, focusing on women and the elderly.
The Director of Bentiu General Hospital thanked the delegation and Vietnamese people for their helpful support.
Along with the charity activities, Vietnamese doctors have shown strong professional performance. Recently, they have successfully treated a Mongolian patient who suffered acute pancreatitis.
Da Nang art exhibition spreads love for the homeland
The 27th South-Central and Central Highlands Fine Art Exhibition kicked off in Da Nang city on August 12 as part of activities to celebrate the 77th anniversary of the August Revolution (August 19) and National Day (September 2).
This is a major annual cultural activity of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association (VFAA) and visual artists from provinces and cities in the regions.
On display are 167 fine art works spotlighting the love for the homeland, the daily life, festivals, customs and natural landscapes across the country.
These are new works created from August 2021 to the present by 156 authors who are members of the VFAA and members and collaborators of the literature and arts associations of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Da Nang.
The exhibition will last until September 5.