VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES MAY 29
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh attended the opening ceremony of the 2022 Fruit and OCOP (One Commune One Product) Product Festival in the northern mountainous province of Son La on May 28 evening.
The festival, jointly held by the province and the Vietnam Farmers’ Association Central Committee, aims to honour fruit growers and promote Vietnam’s OCOP brand. It is one of events of the Prime Minister's 2022 Dialogue with Vietnamese farmers held in Son La.
Organisations, businesses and cooperatives from provinces and cities nationwide are showcasing their fruits and products at more than 320 stalls from May 28-31. Several seminars, exhibitions and contests are expected to take place within the framework of the festival.
Vietnam has become one of the world’s leading exporters of agro-forestry-fishery products with a value of more than 48 billion USD in 2021, including nearly 3.6 billion USD from vegetables and fruits.
The OCOP Programme was officially carried out nationwide in 2018. To date, the country has had nearly 7,500 OCOP products.
HCM City health department eyes creation of innovation eco-system
The HCM City Department of Health has signed an agreement with the Department of Science and Technology for creating a healthcare innovation eco-systems.
The partnership will help mobilise resources to create new technological solutions and innovations to improve the healthcare system and public health management.
It will develop solutions and models to also improve primary healthcare facilities.
Speaking at the signing ceremony last Friday, director of the health department, Tăng Chí Thượng, said the focus now is on strengthening the grassroots system.
COVID-19 exacerbated the limitations of grassroots health care, and since the pandemic is now under control the healthcare sector needs to address specific weaknesses in the system, he said.
The key tasks for improving the capacity of the healthcare system are putting in more investment in infrastructure, medical equipment and training, creating policies to attract and retain personnel, and adopting technological solutions and innovation, he said.
Grassroots-level health stations and the HCM City Centre for Disease Control would be given priority, he said.
District-level hospitals, which are the first to receive patients transferred from primary healthcare facilities, specialised medical care centres, and emergency medical systems would also be strengthened by adopting new technological solutions, he added.
VN continues to strengthen cooperation to fight against LGBTQ+ discrimination
"At the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Việt Nam accepted and enacted many recommendations to protect vulnerable groups," Lê Thị Thu Hằng, Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and spokesperson for the ministry, told an international workshop on Friday.
The event titled "Protection against Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: International and Việt Nam's Experiences" was jointly organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Hà Nội.
"Legal frameworks and policies to counteract against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity are being built and public awareness of sexual orientation and gender identity are also more open. LGBTQ+ groups' roles in society are recognised and their activities are not restricted in any way," said Hằng.
"We welcome the actions and efforts of Việt Nam in solving these issues, especially the role of the Government and the collaboration with NGOs in promoting the rights of LGBTIs in Việt Nam," said Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Head Representative in Việt Nam. "Việt Nam's efforts in legal reform to enable better protection of LGBTI rights are greatly appreciated, and we want to see more LGBTI representation in contributing to this process."
Speakers at the workshop shared many experiences from their countries regarding anti-discrimination toward sexual orientation and gender identity. The delegates also shared a will to continue to collaborate with Việt Nam on raising the common public awareness of these issues.
Delegates of the Institute for Human Rights of the Hồ Chí Minh National Academy of Politics also introduced updated progress on policies and efforts of Việt Nam in LGBTQ+ rights. The speakers called for Việt Nam to continue effectively updating and executing legal and policy documents, as well as development plans and education on human rights, especially on anti-discrimination.
The workshop witnessed the attendance of many delegates from government agencies, international organisations and ambassadors from Cuba, Argentina and South Africa.
Traffic accidents claim over 2,760 lives in five months
From December 15 last year to May 14 this year, 2,761 people were killed in traffic accidents - the equivalent of 18 each day.
In the same period, 3,078 people were injured on the roads and there were a total of 4,733 accidents, the Office of the National Traffic Safety Committee has reported.
Compared to the same time the previous year, the number of accidents dropped by 800, or 14.46 per cent while the number of deaths and the injured decreased by 30 and 875, equivalent to 1.07 per cent and 22.14 per cent, respectively, from the same period last year.
Of the accidents, 4,683 cases happened on the road, claiming 2,699 lives and injuring 3,068 others, falling by 14.42 per cent, 1.57 per cent and 22.19 per cent, respectively.
Thirty railway accidents claimed 20 lives, down 9.09 per cent and 23.08 per cent, respectively. Nine people were injured in the accidents, unchanged from the same period last year.
Accidents on the water were down 30.43 per cent to 16 cases, injuring one but killing 30 people, doubling the figure recorded in the same period last year. Meanwhile, four maritime accidents left 12 dead and missing.
During one month from April 15 to May 14, there were 925 accidents killing 485 people and leaving 647 wounded.
The figures represented year-on-year declines of 10.28 per cent, 6.91 per cent and 10.26 per cent, respectively.
HCM City strengthens monkeypox watch
HCM City is upped its guard against monkeypox by strengthening surveillance at border gates to monitor suspect cases, especially among those returning from countries where the disease is circulating.
The municipal Department of Health asked public and private medical facilities in districts and Thủ Đức City to inform the Centre for Disease Control (HCDC) if suspect cases are discovered.
The cases will be tested for confirmed patients will be sent to medical facilities for treatment.
The department also instructed local authorities to communicate and raise people’s awareness about monkeypox as well as measures to prevent and control the disease.
The World Health Organization on Thursday said the cases of monkeypox virus infection have so far been reported in more than 20 countries, including North American and Europe, urging nations to increase surveillance of the infectious disease as outbreaks grow.
No deaths from this virus were recorded to date, and patients usually recover in a few weeks.
HCMC’s Thu Duc City to use smart city connection technology standards
Vietnam-Laos cooperation in education a symbol of special relations
Cooperation in education is one of the symbols of the special relations between Vietnam and Laos, said Lao Minister of Education and Sports Phout Simmalavong.
The parties and governments of Laos and Vietnam always consider education a sector of strategic cooperation, the minister said at a talk at Laos National University in Vientiane capital on May 27 on the occasion of Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year 2022.
During the struggle for national liberation, Vietnam not only helped Laos to develop education in the liberated areas of Laos, but also established schools in Vietnam to receive Lao students, he added.
Over the past six decades, Vietnam has helped Laos train tens of thousands of officials in all fields from politics, administration, security and defense to research, the minister said, adding that many of them became key officials in different periods of national safeguarding and construction.
In return, the Lao government is assisting Vietnam in training a total of 4,850 officials and students in the 1982-2022 period.
The Lao education sector will organise a series of activities such as gatherings, exhibitions, book publishing and documentary film making on the special relations between the two countries and in education in particular to mark the Vietnam – Laos and Laos – Vietnam Solidary and Friendship Year 2022, according to Minister Phout Simmalavong.
Workers in need of affordable social housing
Nguyễn Thị Huệ Lan wants to buy an affordable social house, but she has been unable to access the market.
Lan is from the southern province of Bình Phước but has lived and worked for many years in Thủ Dầu Một City, Bình Dương Province.
After saving for a long time, Lan is looking to buy a social house this month as her long-time residence. But she has found that many of them already have owners and new projects are not yet ready.
Hữu Phước, from Bến Tre Province though now in Bình Dương Province, said that he has recently moved into a new 30-sq.m social house, which he bought for VNĐ200 million (US$8,500).
In order to buy the house, Phước had to sign up a year ago. Workers cannot buy houses without waiting as the demand for social houses was very high. All social houses are sold right after being built.
Phước said that social houses used to be sold at VNĐ100 million ($4,200), which is suitable for low-income workers, but prices have risen since. The reason for house price increases is that construction materials have increased, pushing up social house prices and making it more difficult for low-income workers to access the market.
Bùi Minh Trí, the head of the Bình Dương Management Board of Industrial Zones, told Vietnam News Agency that the province had 28 industrial zones attracting more than 1.5 million workers, mainly from other provinces. Therefore, housing demand is very high.
The province has implemented many policies to build thousands of social houses at reasonable prices for employees, to create favourable conditions to live and work in the province.
Bình Dương Province has invested in 86 social house projects over nearly 200ha. However, this is not enough to meet demand.
Phạm Ngọc Thuận, general director of the Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (often called Becamex IDC) said that the province had completed 47,500 social houses for workers and low-income people. However, as demand is still very high, the project could not keep up with the people’s needs.
Bình Dương Province is striving to build one million social houses for workers in the period 2021-25, with a vision to 2030.
Director of the provincial Department of Construction Võ Hoàng Ngân said that the province plans to have one million social houses for workers to create better living conditions for them.
In the northern province of Thái Nguyên, where around 200,000 workers live in industrial zones, more than 60 per cent of workers come from other provinces, meaning the demand for social houses is always high.
Trịnh Việt Hùng, chairman of the Thái Nguyên People’s Committee, said that the province now had 50 places approved to build social houses.
However, he said, it was difficult to implement the project because capital from the State budget was limited.
The province has called for investors to join the work of building social houses for workers.
On the other hand, the province will also have supportive policies for workers to buy social houses with preferential interest rates from banks.
It is scheduled that in August this year, the province will have started two social housing projects of more than 1,600 houses.
By the end of last year, Việt Nam completed 266 social house projects with more than 142,000 houses, with a total area of more than 7.1 million square metres.
Russian newspaper honours President Ho Chi Minh
A Russian newspaper named “Primorye Truth” has dedicated a page in its May 2022 issue to recounting major milestones in President Ho Chi Minh’s revolutionary life and highlighting Vietnam-Russia ties.
In its article, Primorye Truth praised President Ho Chi Minh as an outstanding representative of the international communist movement and the national liberation movement in Vietnam.
The newspaper recounted his life from childhood until he left Vietnam in 1911 to find a way to salvage the nation. Later he founded the Communist Party of Vietnam and led the nation to end colonial rule in 1945, opening a new era in Vietnamese history.
The article highlighted President Ho Chi Minh’s close link with Vladivostok in the Russian Far East, which he visited three times in 1924, 1927 and 1934.
Today a statue of President Ho Chi Minh stands in a park on Borisenko Street as an initiative of the Society of Vietnamese people in the Primorye region.
The statue has become a tourist site and symbol of Vietnam-Russia friendship.
In its article, the newspaper also told the story about the statue of Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov on an island named after him in Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay.
“Primorye Truth” is the organ of the branch of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in the Primorye region.
Vietnam see great chance to win at AFF Women’s Championship 2022
The Vietnamese women’s football team will meet their opponents from Myanmar, Timor Leste, Laos and Cambodia in Group B of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championship 2022, according to the results of a draw held on May 28.
Coach Mai Duc Chung breathed a sigh of relief after the draw as his students will only play underdogs, except for Myanmar - the main challenge for Vietnam to vie for the top position in Group B.
In the most recent international tournament, Huynh Nhu scored the only goal to help Vietnam trounce Myanmar in the semi-final match at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31).
Meanwhile, Group A is considered the group of death as Thailand will play the hosts Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia. Thailand won a silver medal at the recent 31st SEA Games while the Philippines secured a ticket to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Australia, 12th in the FIFA women’s football rankings, are set to progress out of the group stage.
The AFF Women’s Championship 2022 will take place in the Philippines from July 4-17, with the participation of a record 11 teams.
Vietnam are current champions after defeating Thailand in the finals of the AFF Cup 2019./.
Rare primates turn up in Thanh Hoa nature reserve
Five rare primate species were discovered in the Pu Hu Nature Reserve in the central province of Thanh Hoa.
The discovery of the primates, which belong to one order and two families, was the result of a scientific project on evaluating and preserving primates in the region from 2019-2021.
Hunting and illegal deforestation have adversely impacted primate numbers in recent times. The project aims to preserve biodiversity and enhance animal protection by curbing illegal hunting.
Vietnam’s primates are mainly found in Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang and Thanh Hoa provinces, with many species listed in the Red Book of Vietnam.
Nguyen Phuong Dong, Director of the Management Board of the Pu Hu Nature Reserve, said that during the three-year project implementation, the management board conducted 10 investigations and six observations on primates in Pu Hu forests.
Thirty-three conferences on the topic were organised, 11 clubs on primate preservation were set up at schools, and 2,650 locals signed up commitments to protect primates, he stated.
Among the five primate species detected, the money family has four, namely Stump-Tailed macaque, Rhesus monkey, Assam macaque, and Gray langur; and the Loris family has one: the Pygmy Slow Loris. In addition, 41 individuals of five species were observed.
The Pu Hu Nature Reserve is home to many rare animals, with up to 30 listed in the Red Books of Vietnam and of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, including Tibetan bears, Malayan bears, Gayals and Delacour’s langur.
Quang Nam tourism businesses seek support amid woes
Enterprises in Quang Nam Province have proposed the local government give them support to cope with woes.
They proposed increasing the land rent reduction ratio from 30% (applicable from 2021) to 70% for enterprises operating in the tourism industry. Another proposal includes extending the land rent, VAT, and corporate income tax reduction until the end of 2023.
According to the Quang Nam Tourism Association (QTA), such proposals, if approved, will partly help businesses overcome challenges to ensure sustainability.
Specifically, apart from armed conflicts in some areas of the world affecting travel, Vietnam’s traditional markets are not prepared to completely reopen for tourism. Some countries are still applying the “zero Covid” policy, such as China, or the quarantine policy, such as South Korea.
The visa policies are limited, can’t keep up with the post-pandemic tourism trends and are not competitive with other markets, in addition to the shortage of human resources.
Responding to these proposals, the People’s Committee of Quang Nam Province said the land rent reduction ratio of 70% in 2021 was not appropriate.
Meanwhile, as for reducing the land rent in 2022, the Ministry of Finance is coordinating with relevant agencies to develop a policy to reduce land rent and water surface rent in 2022 and will submit it to the competent authorities for consideration.
However, some tourism businesses said they had not benefited much from the current 30% income tax reduction policy because they were forced to shut down or temporarily shut down. Thus, the companies have not earned revenue to enjoy tax deductions.
As for the policy of reducing electricity prices for a period of three months, tourism businesses have hardly benefited from it as it was applied during the pandemic outbreak when businesses were shut.
With regard to the policy of lending to pay the wages of laborers who had their contracts suspended and pay wages to restore production according to Resolution 68/NQ-CP, the majority of tourism businesses have not met the above regulations as the employees who quit their jobs do not meet the requirements mentioned in the resolution.
Cu Chi District launches new tour to attract visitors back to HCMC
The People’s Committee of Cu Chi District of HCMC on May 28 has launched a tour called “Cu Chi- the peaceful and friendly place with sentimental attachment” in response to the city’s tourist program themed “Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City” to invite visitors back after a two-year hiatus due to the epidemic.
The trip will take tourists to visit the district’s attractions of Ben Duoc Tunnel, Ben Duoc Memorial Temple, and fruit gardens in Trung An commune. Visitors can travel by bicycle or horse-drawn carriage.
Travelers can try fresh seasonal fruits from the gardens, such as mangosteen, and rambutan; and enjoy performances of Cai Luong (southern traditional amateur music).
Ms. Nguyen Hoang, a visitor from Thu Duc City said that she and her family visited Chin Quen fruit garden in Trung An Commune, freely picked and enjoyed rambutan, folk music and tried delicious dishes of steamed cassava with coconut milk, taro eel porridge.
Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Cu Chi District Le Dinh Duc said that tourism recovery is one of the district’s main goals this year, focusing on developing agricultural tourism to enhance the values of agricultural products, creating jobs and contributing to the socioeconomic development of the locality.