A national centre for information - data integration and processing and environmental monitoring network operation was unveiled by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Hanoi on May 14.

The centre is managed and run by the Northern Centre for Environmental Monitoring under the ministry’s Pollution Control Department.

Addressing the launch, Director of the Pollution Control Department Hoang Van Thuc said the centre is built to integrate all environmental monitoring data into a common system, enable data sharing and publicise information about nationwide environmental quality.

It also looks to implement some digital transformation models to ensure comprehensive, systematic, and highly trustworthy information to help with fruitfully implementing the national master plan on environmental monitoring for the 2021 - 2030 period, with a vision to 2050.

He noted that the centre is receiving, processing, and analysing automatic monitoring data about surrounding air, surface water, wastewater, exhaust, and groundwater from nearly 2,000 monitoring stations across the 63 provinces and centrally-run cities nationwide. It helps environment authorities from central to local levels keep a close watch on the quality of water and air environment, as well as waste release by production establishments and industrial zones.

Data are also shared with the electronic information system that assists with the Government and Prime Minister’s governance activities.

In the time ahead, the centre will develop some platforms serving environmental forecasting and warning, firstly for some big cities, according to Thuc./.

Regional forum shares experience in early childhood care, education

Measures to ensure equal access to quality early childhood care and education were discussed at a Southeast Asia regional forum held in Vientiane on May 14.

At the event, leading experts across the globe shared practical experience, support policies, as well as solutions to strengthening early childhood development.

Issues on the table included enhancing the transition from preschool to primary school and financing for early childhood care and education.

Studies have highlighted the importance of early childhood education to kids’ academic performance at primary school and even at higher levels, and their lifetime financial ability. Child development hinges upon their parents and caregivers.

Specialists held that the whole world is halfway to achieving the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals while early education is an important component to realise the target.

Although more children in ASEAN member states have been able to access preschool education, there are persistent disparity and inequality in terms of access ability and education quality at both national and regional levels. The existing challenges have been even exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and environmental crisis./.

Digital applications targeting farmers should be simple, understandable: Deputy PM

The agricultural sector must continue to develop digital infrastructure, ensuring that applications for farmers are simple and easy to understand, said Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang at a May 14 specialised conference on promoting digitalisation in the area.

The hybrid event was co-organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), National Committee for Digital Transformation, and Ministry of Information and Communications.

In his remarks, Quang, who is also Vice Chairman of the national committee, noted that leading IT companies should play a pivotal role in this process based on necessary information and data provided by the sector.

He went on tasking the farming sector with collaborating with the Ministry of Public Security to expedite the registration of fishing vessels, aiding efforts to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan said the ministry has worked with other ministries and industries to integrate digital technology into agriculture, such as the remote sensing technology and digital platforms for product traceability.

Nguyen Hoai Nam, Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said digital transformation could help fishery enterprises reduce costs by between 7% and 25%.

Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the MARD’s centre for agricultural digital transformation and statistics, emphasised the need to digitise data by enhancing digital platforms, applications, and large data systems within the sector. This would enable seamless connectivity and data sharing with the national database and data centre in a unified and harmonious manner.

However, as heard at the function, the digitisation process now faces numerous challenges, including limited awareness and skills in digital technology application, and insufficient coordination and linkage among stakeholders such as state management agencies, scientists, agribusinesses, tech companies, cooperatives, and farmers.

Duong Trong Hai, a representative from the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), suggested making investment in leading agricultural enterprises that are ready for digitalisation. In turn, they will guide cooperatives and farmers, thereby creating a digital marketplace./.

Handbook seeks to enhance legal communications for minors

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) held a consultation seminar on handbook for legal communicators on prevention of minors in conflict with the law in Hanoi on May 14.

In her opening remarks, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Justice’s Law Dissemination and Education Department Ngo Quynh Hoa said that juveniles are in the mental and cognitive development process, and they have mental and physiological problems and are easily affected by both positive and negative factors in society, leading to unusual behaviour.

Statistics showed that the number of adolescents who break the law is still high every year, she added.

The dissemination and education of the law for minors is very important, contributing to preventing crime in society, Hoa said. With their unique psychological and physiological characteristics, the provision of information on the law for minors requires appropriate methods and forms. Thus, the ministry coordinated with UNICEF to develop a handbook for legal communicators, aimed at preventing minors in conflict with the law.

The handbook comprises five topics, namely current laws on preventing and combating violations of the law by minors, minors and drugs, reproductive health, basic life skills for adolescents, and effective dissemination and legal education skills for minors.

Participants at the seminar agreed that minors want to learn practical skills they can apply to make the right decisions and how to respond when being manipulated by friends or others, thus staying away from conflict with the law. They hope to exchange and join discussions to find their own solutions with the support of legal communicators, the participants added.

To meet requirements, it is necessary to apply legal dissemination and education methods in an interdisciplinary approach, with the integration of relevant topics such as narcotics and reproductive health into the content.

Interactive communication methods to suit the audience is a must, the participants said, noting that the compiling the handbook to promote the effectiveness of legal dissemination and education is very necessary./.

Prime Minister directs resolution of mine incident in Quang Ninh

A dispatch from the Prime Minister was signed and issued on May 14, directing the resolution of a mine incident at the Quang Hanh - TKV coal company, a subsidiary of the Vietnam National Coal - Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited (Vinacomin) in Cam Pha city, the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh.

According to information from the provincial People's Committee, at approximately 3 PM on May 13, a serious incident occurred at one of Vinacomin's mines, resulting in the death of three workers and injuring one.

To promptly address the aftermath and prevent similar incidents, the PM, in the dispatch, asked the Quang Ninh authorities to direct relevant forces to urgently clarify the cause, remedy the consequences, stabilise production, and strictly handle any violations according to legal regulations. The province should also enhance inspection and supervision to promptly detect and address violations of labour safety regulations in production and business activities, especially coal mining operations, to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade, in coordination with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises should direct Vinacomin to thoroughly review regulations and safety protocols for underground coal mining, promptly address any shortcomings, and ensure absolute safety for workers.

The chairman of Vinacomin, meanwhile, has been tasked to urgently address the aftermath of the incident, provide timely material and spiritual assistance to the families of the affected workers, and fully implement the policies for the victims as per regulations./.

Wildlife conservation film calls on public to report crimes against animals

The Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV), a Vietnamese non-governmental organisation dedicated to the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking and consumption, has released a film calling on the public to join in wildlife protection by reporting crimes to its hotline 1800-1522.

The film was produced with the fund from the US Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Saving Threatened Wildlife project and the Humane Society International Australia.

The film features a regular workday of staff at the ENV’s Wildlife Protection Department. They receive information provided by people across the country about suspected cases of wildlife crime and then transfer the information to relevant authorities.

The staff are busy with working, which helps reflect the close coordination between the ENV and law enforcement agencies in joint efforts to curb wildlife crimes.

In the last scene of the film, the staff at the Wildlife Protection Department are happy to know that wildlife violators are arrested with exhibits seized. They call on the public to continue providing them with information via the hotline 1800-1522.

The film has aired on 54 local television channels across the country and is set to be available on the social network pages of the ENV and its partners.

Operating for nearly 20 years, the ENV’s Wildlife Protection Department has seen significant changes in public awareness of wildlife protection.

It now receives information about nine cases of wildlife crime a day. Last year, it received 2,199 notifications which helped authorities to rescue 2,514 wild animals./.

Kazakh tourists keen to visit Vietnam

The number of Kazakhs traveling abroad reached 10.5 million last year, with Kazakh tourists heading to Vietnam and Thailand increasing significantly.

According to tourism businesses based in the Central Asian nation, the reopening of borders in Southeast Asian countries following the COVID-19 pandemic has caused tourism demand to skyrocket.

This sharp rise can also be attributed to Kazakh travelers’ keen desire to visit popular destinations such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Bali, as well as the reasonable living costs in Southeast Asia in general.

Anna Zagoruyko, director of Kompas Travel Company, pointed out that popular Vietnamese destinations and Thailand’s Koh Samui island are increasingly renowned among travelers.

Zagoruyko explained that the demands of Kazakh tourists have been constantly rising as they are changing their mindset and prioritising quality vacations.

A representative of ANEX Tour Kazakhstan revealed that Vietnam has recently emerged as an attractive destination for Kazakh tourists due to its reasonable costs, good service quality, and huge discounts, especially discounts on luxury hotels.

These factors have turned the country into an affordable alternative to traditional destinations for Kazakh visitors.

Kazakhstan is currently considered to be a source of high-quality tourists, offering a wealth of opportunities for tourist destinations throughout both Europe and Asia.

Kazakh tourists often choose visa-free destinations for their holidays, with a preference for warm-weather destinations.

Photo exhibition to highlight colours of Vietnamese ethnic groups

A photo exhibition spotlighting colours of 54 ethnic groups is scheduled to take place from November 22 to November 26 at Dak Lak province’s museum and the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Son Tay town's Dong Mo tourism area on the outskirts of Hanoi.

As many as 160 pieces snapped by both amateur and professional photographers, journalists, and researchers from across the country will be put on display at the event.

The photos showcase the culture of ethnic groups, focusing on their traditions, religions, lifestyles, costumes, and festivals, among many other aspects.

The exhibition will therefore serve to introduce mountainous markets, traditional cuisine and specialties, arts, and folk games.

The event can be attended virtually at http://ape.gov.vn.

Vietnam and Iran beef up cooperation in law enforcement

Minister of Public Security General To Lam chaired an official welcome ceremony on May 14 in Hanoi for a high-ranking delegation of the Iranian Law Enforcement Command led by Brigadier General and Commander Ahmad Reza Radan, who is on a working visit to Vietnam from May 13 to May 16.

Following the welcome ceremony, Minister To Lam and Commander Radan held talks, during which the Minister highlighted the important significance of the visit which contributes to consolidating the sound friendship that has existed between both sides over the past half century, while also strengthening the joint relationship between the Vietnam Ministry of Public Security and Iran's Law Enforcement Command.

Minister To Lam hailed the achievements that the Government and people of Iran have recorded in recent times, sharing the difficulties that Iran is facing, especially those in the socio-economic field due to complex fluctuations occurring in the global economy.

During the course of talks, the two sides agreed to intensify delegation exchanges at all levels, especially high-level ones as part of efforts to explore the needs and potential of co-operation between the two countries in the field of security and order. This is along with promoting information exchanges and professional co-ordination, especially information about world and regional situations of mutual interest; and co-ordinating efforts to handle all types of transnational crimes and crimes involving citizens of the two countries.

They consented not to allow any organisation or individual to take advantage of one country's territory to operate against the other; co-ordinate to absolutely protect the safety of visits by senior leaders; ensure security and safety for the headquarters of representative agencies and citizens of this country to study, work, visit, travel, and implement investment links in the other country's territory; and boost co-operation in the field of training to improve professional capacity and foreign languages, in both Persian and Vietnamese.

At the end of talks, Minister To Lam and Commander Ahmad Reza Radan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Vietnam Ministry of Public Security and the Iranian Law Enforcement Command.

Thanh Hoa works to conserve northern white-cheeked gibbons

The Management Board of the Xuan Lien Nature Reserve in the central province of Thanh Hoa is carrying out a project to monitor northern white-cheeked gibbons (Nomascus leucogenys) at the nature reserve in the 2024-2026 period.

This move aims to assess changes in populations, habitats, and factors affecting populations and species to develop sustainable biodiversity preservation solutions associated with the conservation of white-cheeked gibbons in Xuan Lien forests.

Pham Anh Tam, director of the management board, said that during the three-year implementation of the project, rangers will investigate and identify threats from communities in buffer zone villages, as well as the current status of populations and habitats where they are distributed, and factors that affect the habitat of white-cheeked gibbons in the reserve.

They will also review and develop a monitoring programme for this animal’s populations associated with the use of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) in the area.

According to the Management Board of the Xuan Lien Nature Reserve, northern white-cheeked gibbon is a rare primate listed in the Vietnam Red Book, as the number of this species has suffered a serious decline due to habitat loss and hunting.

In Vietnam, this species is only distributed in national parks and reserves in the northern central provinces of Ha Tinh, Nghe An and Thanh Hoa, and the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau./.

Vietnamese professionals to attend Cannes Film Market 2024

Held from May 14 to 22, the "Fast Track to Cannes Market" program supports Vietnamese film industry professionals participating in the Marché du Film de Cannes film market at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival.

By participating in the Marché du Film at the Cannes Film Festival, Vietnam's young generation of cinematographers have the opportunity to gain experience and interact with commercial activities in the world of cinema.

The beneficiaries of the 2024 edition of “Fast Track to Cannes Market” are Alice Nguyen from Ho Chi Minh City, Head of Distribution at Skyline Media, and Tran Dac Phuc from Hanoi, Founder and Director of Complex 01.

Founded in 2014, Skyline Media is active in domestic distribution and international sales, representing more than 70 Vietnamese titles on international markets. With the distribution of the 2023 Palme d'Or winner Anatomy of a Fall, the company has opened new horizons for art house cinema in the Vietnamese market.

Complex 01, which will open in 2019, is a space for interdisciplinary connections that promotes artistic exchange, especially in the visual arts and contemporary music, as well as the development of the creative economy. It is now working to extend its activities to cinema.

This is the third time that Vietnam has sent representatives to the Cannes Film Market. At the event, they will have the opportunity to discuss with French and foreign professionals to understand the practices and strategies related to the export, distribution, and international promotion of cinema in the prestigious framework of the Cannes Festival.

At the end of their stay, they will be hosted by Guillaume Esmiol, director of the Marché du Film, to discuss their experiences and the film industry in Vietnam.

This year's Marché du Film de Cannes attracted more than 14,000 attendees from 140 countries, making it the world's leading business meeting place for the film industry.

Olivier Brochet, French Ambassador to Vietnam, shares his delight at the strong presence of professionals from Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, at the 2024 Film Market.

"At a time when Vietnamese cinema is in full artistic bloom, when the dynamism of its market is arousing growing interest, and when the range of films on offer in multiplexes is diversifying, we feel it is essential to make it easier for young professionals to attend Cannes so that they can familiarize themselves with the world's greatest film event," he said.

“At Cannes, they will be able to expand their network of professional contacts and contribute to the international development of Vietnamese cinema,” he added.

Sponsored by the Institut Français in Paris, the annual "Fast Track to Cannes Market" provides an unprecedented opportunity for young Vietnamese professionals to gain experience and exposure to the commercial and promotional practices of the world's film industry in the context of the Marché du Film and the Cannes Film Festival.

MIC proposes pilot of digital university to facilitate life-long learning

A virtual national conference on digital transformation in open education to encourage life-long learning and establish a learning society was held yesterday at 150 locations in Vietnam.

In his speech, Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son stressed that digital transformation is enthusiastically being carried out in education in hope of applying advanced technologies in the learning-teaching process as well as educational research so that the quality of these processes is improved. The ultimate aim of this digital transformation is to help all people access education and to form an open education foundation on digital platforms.

He commented that it is high time to effectively implement the general education system of the country via diversifying training methods based on open education, developing a network of educational institutes to answer the public’s demands of life-long learning and to create a learning society, preparing capable human resources for the establishment of a digital government, economy, society with digital citizens.

The Minister concluded that there are still various challenges during the digital transformation of the education sector. Particularly, it is necessary to clarify such issues as criteria and standards to recognize a smart university and digital university; mechanisms to build, integrate, and ensure the quality of shared educational resources, including materials, online courses created by educational institutes, organizations, and individuals inside and outside the country; policies to recognize and certify self-learning results of people from digital platforms.

Participants in the conference then discussed and clarify concepts as well as theoretical bases about ‘digital transformation in education and in open education’, ‘digital skills and capability of society’, ‘digital society – digital citizens’, ‘smart university – digital university’, ‘models of shared educational resources, shared learning materials, and public online courses’.

They also talked about suitable mechanisms to control and ensure security, safety, quality, and intellectual property rights of shared educational resources and online courses while in operation.

In his speech, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Phan Tam called upon the support and cooperation of the Education and Training Ministry in the former’s proposal that the Government greenlight the pilot of digital universities.

Deputy Minister Phan Tam stressed the importance of perfecting the institution so that the society recognizes the true values of open education, open universities, and digital education. A complete institution is the first step for open education and digital universities come into real life, creating more space for development in the future.

Vietnamese firms join charity fair in Canada

Vietnamese businesses brought their products to a charity fair held recently by the Heads of Mission Spouses Association (HOMSA) in Canada in support of local women on the occasion of Mother’s Day (May 12).

Apart from tea and coffee of Cactus Café and Song Hy Tra, Vietnam also displayed its ceramic products, said Tran Thu Quynh, Trade Counselor at the Vietnamese Embassy in Canada, noting that through the event, the Southeast Asian nation hopes to promote its tea culture and traditional products to international friends.

The fair attracted the participation of more than 30 foreign offices in Canada, with its proceeds to be contributed to the fund for local women.

The HOMSA is set to create opportunities for spouses of diplomats in Canada to meet, interact, and learn about the host country./.

Central Highlands Đà Lạt displays sculptures and paintings by artist couple

Paintings and sculptures by artist couple Lê Công Thành and Nguyễn Thị Kim Thái are on display for the first time in Đà Lạt City, the Central Highlands province of Lâm Đồng.

The exhibition entitled Nguồn Cội (The Root) at the Mimosa Gallery introduces 40 paintings by the artist Thái and her late husband who has three of his sculptures on display.

"This is the first time the paintings and the sculptures by the two artists Thành and Thái have come to Đà Lạt public," said the gallery's representative at the exhibition opening ceremony. "This is not really an arrival but a return to the roots of art and the primary love of being creative."

Thành graduated from the Việt Nam College of Fine Arts in Hà Nội in 1962 and later the Surikov Art Institute in Moscow in 1970.

He is still considered one of the most pre-eminent sculptors of Việt Nam, embracing all the conflicts of culture and the fight between tradition and modern.

His best known work is a 30-metre high monument, Victory, made to commemorate the end of the war in his homeland Đà Nẵng. Smaller works are highly symbolic and dominated by the human figure, the pristine beauty, purity and charm of a woman.

The exhibition is also showing 19 of his oil paintings, which Thành created on different materials such as fabric, wood and paper. According to Thái, her husband would start painting as a way of relaxing after hours of hard work with sculpting.

Thành was one of the first artists to receive the State Award for Literature and Art in 2001.

"Artworks by Thành would be suitable for the open spaces of Đà Lạt City which is Creative Music City recognised by UNESCO. If Thành's sculptures were enlarged and put in public spaces, it would make the city even more beautiful," Nguyễn Cao Cường, director of Mimosa Gallery, said.

Thái's 21 paintings in the gallery, predominantly in oil, focus on maternal and woman's beauty.

Thái was born in 1943 in Hà Nội and graduated from the Hà Nội School of Industrial Fine Arts, which is where she met and got married to Thành.

Thái's paintings, often on a nude theme, often focus on beauty.

On her artistic journey, over more than half a century, she has carved out a space with her outstanding female natural paintings, in a realistic style, reflecting the original beauty of women.

The exhibition runs until May 27 at the Mimosa Gallery, 17 Phù Đổng Thiên Vương, Đà Lạt City. 

Việt Nam to scale up to become a sustainable and modern fishing nation

Việt Nam is aiming to have a modern, sustainable fishing industry, in line with those countries who already have a developed fishing sector across the region and to make it align with world fishing operations by 2050.

It is one of the targets set in a plan for aquatic resources protection and exploitation for the period 2021-30, which has been approved by Deputy Prime Minister Trần Lưu Quang.

Under that plan, marine biodiversity and inland waterways will be preserved and developed to safeguard all material and spiritual improvements; ensure social security; protect sovereignty, security and to protect the national interests across Việt Nam's rivers and seas.

The target is a sustainable and responsible fishery sector in keeping with international integration requirements.

Fisheries exploitation will unite to protect the environment, adapting to climate change and proactively prevent and combat natural disasters.

The goal is for 27 marine protected areas to be set and operated over a total area of about 463,587ha, accounting for about 0.463 per cent of the nation's waterways.

As many as 149 sea areas and 19 inland areas will be zoned to protect aquatic resources and young aquatic animals, while Việt Nam aims to set a maximum total number of fishing vessels to about 83,600.

There will also be a strong focus on recovering aquatic resources, especially economically valuable species; endangered, precious and rare ones.

The country will strengthen the management, assessment, conservation, protection and regeneration across all types of water in inland and coastal areas.

Also under the plan, Việt Nam will increase the scale and space of protected marine areas alongside creating new ones. It will link marine conservation with ecological tourism and marine economy development.

The country will set specific areas where fishing will be prohibited for a limited period of time, the areas for young aquatic animals and create artificial habitats for endangered, precious and rare aquatic species.

Specific zones will also be defined for aquatic species with economic and scientific value, native aquatic species, and endemic aquatic ones.

Another target of the plan is to gradually reduce exploited aquatic product output, adjust the proportion of exploited output between sea areas to create aquatic resource reserves and selectively exploit aquatic species with high economic value.

One important work is to adjust the number of fishing vessels working in the seas and rivers and transform the structure of fishing occupations in inland water and sea areas based on the allowable exploitation capacity of aquatic resources.

Việt Nam wants to strengthen ties between livelihoods of the fishing community with the aquaculture growth, eco-tourism and recreational fisheries.

In addition, it will reinforce and innovate fishing groups, cooperatives and unions to reorganise aquatic production focused on value and increasing that production value.

By 2030, the country expects to see around 80 per cent of fishing vessels in coastal and offshore participating in production chains. 

About $385 million needed to upgrade three national highways in Mekong Delta

The Department for Roads of Vietnam has proposed a project worth nearly VNĐ9.3 trillion ($385 million) to upgrade and innovate parts of three national highways – No 53, No 62 ,and No 91B – in the Mekong Delta.

Of the sum, over VNĐ6.25 trillion will be sourced from the World Bank’s loans and over VNĐ3 trillion from Việt Nam’s counterpart capital, according to a proposal submitted to the Ministry of Transport.

The project will upgrade about 69km of National Highway No 62 in Long An province, Ngã Tư bridge and a 41km section of National Highway No 53 in Vĩnh Long and Trà Vinh provinces, and a 141km section of National Highway No 91B in Cần Thơ city and the provinces of Hậu Giang, Sóc Trăng, and Bạc Liêu.

Once upgraded, the roads will have four lanes, a designed maximum speed of 80km per hour, 11m-wide road surfaces, and 0.5m-wide roadsides.

The project will be implemented in five years after the funding agreement takes effect, the department said.

Nghe An cracks down on unlicensed fishing practices

The central province of Nghe An is taking steps to address problems in its fishing industry, aiming to have the "yellow card" warning by the European Commission lifted.

As of April 30, Nghe An successfully registered 2,318 out of its 3,462 fishing vessels, achieving 90.37%. Additionally, all of them are now included in the Vnfishbase database.

A total of 935 fishing vessels, representing 86.18% of those required to be certified, obtained valid food safety certificates. Notably, all active fishing vessels are now certified.

The province boasts a 96.95% success rate in equipping fishing vessels with voyage monitoring systems, with 1,052 out of the 1,085 vessels now compliant.

The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is working closely with the Border Guard, authorities of coastal districts and townships to educate fishermen and fishing companies on the proper use of the electronic catch documentation and traceability (eCDT) system, and intensify inspection on fishing vessels entering and exiting estuaries.

Vessels that have lost their voyage monitoring system connection since January 25, along with unregistered, unlicensed, and unauthorised vessels, will face strict fines.

Nghe An boasts a coastline of over 82km, granting it significant potential for seafood production. Its annual seafood exploitation output nears 200,000 tonnes, with nearly 17,000 workers employed in the fishing sector during peak seasons./.

HCMC-Con Dao express ferry service launched

A high-speed ferry service was launched this morning by Phu Quoc Express Boats Company and the HCMC Department of Transport, connecting HCMC and Con Dao Island off Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

The ferry can accommodate 1,017 passengers. Ticket prices range from VND615,000 to VND1.1 million per trip.

There are three weekly trips. The ferry departs from Saigon-Hiep Phuoc Port in HCMC at 7:00 a.m. and leave Ben Dam Wharf of Con Dao at 1:00 p.m.

Passengers from downtown HCMC will be shuttled to Saigon-Hiep Phuoc Port in Nha Be District either by bus from September 23 Park or by express boat at Bach Dang Wharf in District 1.

Previously, HCMC visitors to Con Dao Island could fly directly from Tan Son Nhat International Airport or drive to Vung Tau City where they take a ferry ride to Con Dao.

Subscriber identification used to eliminate junk SIM cards, spamming calls

The Telecoms Authority yesterday discussed possible measures to handle junk SIM cards and spamming calls in MIC’s regular press conference.

Deputy Director Nguyen Phong Nha of the Telecoms Authority (under the Ministry of Information and Communications – MIC) informed that from April 15, 2024, all telecoms businesses take full responsibility if the number of new SIM cards under their charge are developed not in compliance with current regulations.

When a violation is detected, MIC’s Inspectorate is going to apply suitable punishments to the highest level of forbidding the related business from having new subscribers. Meanwhile, a written warning will be sent to that enterprise, along with a corresponding report sent to the Prime Minister.

Deputy Director Nha further stated that after receiving feedback from the public lately, MIC has directed its units (the Telecoms Authority, the Inspectorate) to verify the reported cases. Preliminary verification results show that these cases all have necessary subscriber information.

At present, concerned telecoms businesses are asked to explain certain content in those cases and review the status of existing subscribers. It has been discovered that about 6 million subscribers own 4-9 SIM cards.

Besides actively trying to handle SIM cards with imprecise subscription information and to raise the public’s awareness via propaganda programs, MIC is simultaneously adopting various administrative and technical measures to stop spamming calls from fixed-line numbers.

It is considering launching Voice Brandname and hotlines for state agencies like the police, the court, and the People's Procuracy to use in communication with the community.

Right now, MIC is working with the Public Security Ministry to issue an identification for police units. MIC has also directed telecoms enterprises to do the same to their official hotlines for customer care. These businesses are asked to cooperate to stop spamming calls from fixed-line numbers.

In the upcoming time, MIC is going to review and supplement legal regulations while instructing network carriers to apply suitable technological methods to minimize the spread of spamming calls from fixed-line numbers.

Bottlenecks need to be removed for development of cultural, sports institutions

A seminar on policies and resources for the development of cultural and sports institutions was held in the northern province of Quang Ninh on May 12.

The seminar was co-organized by the National Assembly (NA) Committee for Culture and Education, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, the Central Propaganda and Education Committee, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh Province.

Nguyen Xuan Thang, Politburo member, President of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA), and Chairman of the Central Theory Council said that the system of cultural and sports institutions at all levels has been implemented fundamentally. However, the planning and the operation of the system of cultural and sports institutions still have several limitations. The surpluses and shortages in cultural and sports institutions occur in many localities.

According to Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung, after nearly 20 years of implementing the master plan for the system of Vietnam's museums until 2020, only Vietnam Museum of Ethnology was invested in 2006 while other construction projects of national-level museums have not been carried out yet in accordance with the proposed schedule because investment capital had not been allocated for projects.

Performing arts facilities have not been systematically invested, including the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB), Vietnam Cai Luong Theater, Vietnam National Drama Theater and Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra (VNSO).

Regarding sports, the National Sports Complex in Hanoi meets 50 percent of the training needs of athletes, and the National Sports Complex in HCMC is even lower, at only 30 percent.

Vice Chairman of the HCMC People's Committee, Duong Anh Duc said that HCMC leads the country in mobilizing social resources for cultural and sports facilities with the most developed system of cultural and sports institutions. However, the development of cultural and sports institutions still does not correspond to the socio-economic development, goals and expectations of the city.

Resolution 98/2023/QH15 on the pilot implementation of specific mechanisms and policies for the development of HCMC was approved by the National Assembly (NA) on June 24. The resolution allows HCMC to apply PPP investment in the fields of sports and culture. However, the competent ministries and units have not issued legal frameworks for some provisions of Resolution 98 yet. Therefore, the city does not have a basis for the implementation.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc noted that the PPP model has not been widely applied in the fields of culture and sports. It has only been piloted in HCMC and Hanoi. HCMC needs to carefully study to select the most suitable projects with high-profit potential to attract investment.

The representative of the Ministry of Planning and Investment committed to accompanying HCMC in the implementation of policies and suggested the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism to clarify the criteria for selecting suitable PPP methods for each specific project.

In his conclusion, Standing Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Tran Thanh Man requested relevant agencies to study and complete investment policies for the development and operation of cultural and sports institutions system, complete the planning, and prioritize centralized budget allocation.

To remove policy bottlenecks and problems in the mobilization of social resources for the development of cultural and sports institutions, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Nguyen Van Hung proposed creating the Performing Arts Law, a comprehensive amendment to the Cultural Heritage Law, revision of related laws to ensure coherence with cultural and sports laws to create a driving force for building and promoting the cultural and sports institutions system.

He also talked about the consideration of an approval of the National Target Program on Cultural Development for the 2025 - 2035 period, the state budget allocation for culture and sports according to the target outlined in the Cultural Development Strategy until 2030.

NA Standing Committee discusses target programme on cultural development

The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on May 14 gave opinions on the national target programme on cultural development for the 2025-2035 period at its ongoing 33rd session.

According to the proposal presented by Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung, the programme will be carried out nationwide and have long-term cultural ties and contact with Vietnam. It aims at creating comprehensive changes in cultural development, completion of Vietnamese people’s ethical standards, mettle and values, and improving spiritual life and local people's access to culture. It will also preserve and promote the values of Vietnam's outstanding cultural heritage and raise the country’s position in the international arena by harnessing the Vietnamese culture’s soft power.

The programme, outlined in accordance with the Party General Secretary’s direction at the National Cultural Conference in 2021 and the NA Chairman’s conclusion on policies and missions to develop culture at a conference in 2022, was designed with 42 specific tasks and 186 detailed activities.

Chairman of the NA’s Committee for Culture and Education Nguyen Dac Vinh held that criteria set out in the programme need to bear special characteristics of each region and locality while the missions must be made more detailed.

He went on to say that the Government should concretise the missions and progress on the completion of institutions and identify solutions to mobilising resources for cultural development.

NA General Secretary and Chairman of the NA’s Office Bui Van Cuong stressed that the national target programme is to spread national culture, on par with the economic development to contribute to building progressive Vietnamese people imbued with national identity.

Sharing this view, NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Khac Dinh said key targets, criteria and missions must be sketched out for the programme so as to create breakthroughs that could promote economic benefits from the sector, contributing to the nation’s GDP.

“If we develop the cultural industry, we will earn investment and renovation of cultural entities”, he stressed.

Concluding the sitting, NA Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man said that the programme is important to realising targets, criteria, missions and solutions to cultural development outlined in the Party’s resolution and Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s direction at the national cultural congress.

Implementing the programme will affirm the role and significance of culture to national construction and protection as well as sustainable development, he added.

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes