HCM City to suffer road excavation for 3 years for canal cleanup
Nearly 35 kilometers of roads in Ho Chi Minh City will be dug up starting this month as part of a canal cleanup project.
According to the plan announced by the city’s Urban Civil Works Construction Investment Management Authority (UCCI), travelers in the already usually jammed city should be prepared for street fences to come up again on 25 streets in Districts 4, 5 and 8.
Hong Nguyen Phi Anh, in charge of water environment management at UCCI, told Tuoi Tre newspaper the construction is to connect all drains to one main pipe that runs to a wastewater treatment plant in Binh Chanh District to the west of the city.
HCM City has been spending big money cleaning up its canal system
Anh said the work will help clean four canals Ben Nghe, Tau Hu, Doi and Te.
The US$500-million cleanup project, which uses the city budget and loans from Japan Bank for International Cooperation, started in 2004.
Anh said the street digging will take three years and two contractors from Japan and the Republic of Korea will be in charge.
He said the contractors are going to use modern technologies at some streets including Nguyen Tat Thanh and Ben Van Don to minimize the digging area to avoid severe traffic jams.
The digging will take turns between the 25 roads and will not be carried out all at once, he said.
Ho Chi Minh City has spent a decade reviving its downtown canal Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe in 2012 using US$248 million worth of loans from the World Bank and US$68 million from local budget.
The eight-kilometer canal now no longer smells or looks so bad and is even hosting a popular boat tour.
In December 2014, the international lender approved another US$450 million worth of loans for the second phase of the project, which will reroute untreated wastewater currently flowing into the Saigon River to a treatment plant in District 2.
Massive wartime bomb found in central Vietnam
A 250 kilogram general-purpose bomb from the Vietnam War was unearthed in the central province of Quang Tri on March 2 when local workers were digging a well.
Some workers found the bomb, which has been identified as an MK82, at around three meters underground. They informed members of PeaceTrees Vietnam, a US-based non-profit organization, of the bomb.
Members of PeaceTrees, tasked with unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Vietnam, said the 1.5-meter bomb is highly destructive. They believed it might have been dropped in 1968, the peak year of the Vietnam War during which Quang Tri was a principle battleground.
A bomb is found three meters deep in the ground in Quang Tri Province March 2, 2016.
The province is still dealing with the deadly aftermaths of the war.
Around 400,000 pieces of UXO are believed to remain buried across 480,000 hectares of land in Quang Tri. They can be found almost everywhere, from residential areas to gardens and even under local houses.
Official statistics listed more than 7,000 people including children as victims of UXO accidents in the province between 1975 and 2011.
So far, 40,000 people have been killed nationwide and 60,000 injured by UXO, nearly half of them children below 16.
Vietnam will have 2 long weekends in April, May
The labor ministry has confirmed that everyone in Vietnam will have seven days off in April and May.
The first long weekend to celebrate the Hung Kings’ death anniversary will be from April 16-18.
The main event will be on Saturday, which is the 10th day of the third lunar month. Offices and schools will stay closed for an extra day on Monday.
Less than two weeks later, there will be another long weekend, from April 30 to May 3, to celebrate the Reunification Day (April 30) and then the Labor Day (May 1).
The labor ministry said companies and offices that normally open on Saturday should follow its holiday schedule strictly and let their employees make up for the lost hours later.
Truong Sa Town Clinic-the support center for fishermen
Truong Sa Town Clinic in Truong Sa archipelago, Khanh Hoa province, provides healthcare to soldiers, islanders, and fishermen who go offshore fishing in the Truong Sa fishing ground.
The island’s military doctors support soldiers, locals, and fishermen in defending Vietnam’s territorial waters.
In addition to three patient rooms, Truong Sa Town Clinic also has an operating room, modern medical diagnosis and treatment equipment, and a video system connected with the mainland for emergency assistance.
The clinic’s doctors and nurses are permanent members of Military Hospital 175. Most of them are very young.
The volume of work on the island is huge and more diverse than on the mainland. Doctors and nurses in Truong Sa must deal with all kinds of diseases and traumas, so they are always working to upgrade their skills.
In serious cases they seek help from mainland doctors via telephone or email.
Bui Dinh Duong, a member of Truong Sa district’s People’s Committee, said, “The army medical corps on Truong Sa Island is on the national front line and far from the mainland. Fishermen on offshore fishing voyages often meet with accidents and need first aid until they can be moved to a central hospital.”
“So the doctors and nurses at the clinic have been carefully selected for their high professional qualifications and experience. Some of them have worked on Truong Sa Island many times. Truong Sa Town Clinic has sufficient medicine to treat fishermen, the army, and island residents,” he added.
After a two-hour surgery on a Quang Ngai fisherman who suffered an appendicitis attack while fishing in the Truong Sa fishing ground, Doctor Thai Ngoc Binh, head of the clinic, declared the operation a success.
“We held a consultation with mainland doctors immediately after examining him. We performed the surgery that same night. This was a complicated operation which took 2 hours. But now the patient’s condition is good,” Binh explained.
He said that although the clinic’s equipment wasn’t as modern as in mainland hospitals, he and his colleagues did their best to meet the needs of the army and other people on the island.
Binh said they had successfully treated bone fractures, appendicitis, urinary tract infections, and chest and abdominal pains.
“Last year, the clinic provided treatment for more than 2,600 people, 600 of them were emergency cases. The clinic also performed some successful operations,” he added.
Nguyen Van Tuan, the town’s leader, said the clinic receives hundreds of fishermen each year who have gotten sick or been injured while on a fishing voyage.
“Last year we saved many people with life-threatening injuries or illnesses,” Tuan said.
YouTube terminates VTV over copyright infringement
The YouTube channel of the state-run Vietnam Television (VTV) has been suddenly suspended, with the national broadcaster admitting later the same day that the termination was due to copyright infringement regarding its content.
On March 1, the channel, titled VTV, remained inaccessible, with a message saying it has been terminated because YouTube had “received multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement regarding material the user posted.”
VTV began reaching viewers via YouTube in June 2014, and the channel had attracted some 95,000 subscribers with nearly 10,000 videos posted before it was terminated.
The state TV channel said in a press release around 10:00 pm on February 29 that it did use copyrighted content without permission in some programs.
VTV said it was notified by YouTube of the channel termination over third-party claims of copyright infringement on February 28.
“The claims came after some VTV editors used online content in their programs without the permission of the copyright holders, which violated our production procedures,” the broadcaster said.
“VTV has been enacting strict measures with respect to authorship and copyright protection.”
The national broadcaster also said it is actively working with relevant parties to resolve the copyright issues in order to reactivate its YouTube channel.
“Our content and programs can still be accessed online via the website of VTV and the mobile app VTVGo,” the television firm noted.
VTV has been accused of using videos filmed by others in their programs without their permission, according to tech website ICTNews.
In September 2015, Bui Minh Tuan, who runs a YouTube channel showcasing a number of drone videos, lodged a complaint to the VTV managerial board, saying the broadcaster had used seven of his videos without prior consent.
His aerial footage of natural beauties in the northern province of Ha Giang was used in a morning show aired on September 2, 2015, without proper credit being given to their true author, according to Tuan.
Tuan said VTV had infringed the copyright of his videos five times, and only “phoned me to apologize when the programs had already been broadcast.”
Tuan said he always declares copyright on his You Tube channel, and also provides detailed contact information.
“If VTV had called me to ask for permission and fully credited me in their programs, I would have let them use my videos free of charge,” he told ICTNews.
“But I do not know why they could not even make a phone call, instead of openly stealing my footage time after time, despite my repeated complaints.”
Authorities in a district of Ho Chi Minh City have been piloting a scheme in which residents can pay their traffic fines via the post office, taking less time and at relatively low cost.
The government has also approved the proposal of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group to carry out payment of traffic fines through their post offices, the Ministry of Information and Communications said.
According to the new procedure, residents will first go to local police stations to receive the sanction from police officers, then pay their fines to post office employees working at the stations, before coming back to the desk of the sanctioning officers to retrieve their suspended driver’s license and related documents.
In accordance with the old regulation, violators of traffic laws are required to pay financial penalties at a local bank or a branch of the Vietnam State Treasury after receiving the sanction decision, and then head back to police stations to receive their documents.
This process usually took quite a while to finish due to long queues at local banks or state treasury branches, P., a citizen residing in Cu Chi District, said.
“I had to spend an entire morning to complete my payment and was forced to wait until the afternoon shift at the police station had started in order to complete the process and have my driver’s license returned,” P. recalled.
The new procedure, however, took him only 10 minutes to finish and the cost of service is cheap, at only VND15,000 (US$0.67), the man explained.
The new process was piloted in Cu Chi in December 2015, with the local post office receiving payment of over 720 traffic violations with fines worth a total of about VND500 million (US$22,405), said a representative of the Cu Chi Post Office.
Almost 100% of the fines were related to traffic offenses in the district and were paid via the service at the local post office in January 2016, the representative added.
It is not mandatory for citizens to follow the new procedure, Colonel Nguyen Van Cuong, deputy chief of the local police department, said, adding that they could still pay their traffic fines the old-fashioned way.
The new payment method is recommended as it overcomes the shortcomings of the previous regulation; traveling between police stations and local banks, treasury and long waiting lines at each facility, Col. Cuong elaborated.
“Since the implementation of the new service, locals have also stopped complaining about having to pay extra money to some intermediaries in order for their payment to be processed quickly,” the colonel added.
In addition, people in poor living conditions will not have to pay the service charge to the post office, he said.
Tran Ngoc Kim, an official at the Ho Chi Minh City Post Office, stated that he would review the results of the pilot phase and discuss with authorities how to execute the new procedure in other districts of the city.
The new procedure is expected to be implemented in District 10 this month by the Ho Chi Minh City Post Office and Department of Transport, Kim added.
Three men arrested for smuggling cigarettes
HCM City’s Binh Chanh District police have captured three cigarette smugglers, who were part of a large smuggling ring, and seized 23,000 cigarette packs.
The three men who have been arrested are Le Thanh Tam, 36, a resident of the city’s District 6; Nguyen Hoang Viet Cuong, 31, from the city’s Tan Phu District; and Ho Long Hai, 23, a resident of the southern Long An Province.
Local police said several policemen caught the three men from a house in Tan Tao 2 resettlement zone, where they were packaging smuggled cigarettes to sell in the city market.
The seized cigarette packs were of Jet, 555 and Hero brands.
The smugglers said the cigarettes, smuggled from Cambodia, were kept at the house before being delivered by lorries to the retail areas.
Further investigation showed the smuggling ring was led by Nguyen Luong Duy, 35, and Duong Van Minh, 28, who are absconding. The local police are hunting for the two men and will deal with them as per the law.
Three children rescued from fire
Local people in Truong Chinh Alley, Pleiku City, in Gia Lai Province yesterday rescued three children from a fire.
The blaze broke out at at noon in the house of Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, a scrap buyer.
Hien was not at home at the time of the fire. She had locked the door and left her three children to play inside her house. She had also switched off the circuit breaker in case an accident happened.
However, her children played with fire, causing it to spread to the scrap heaps in the house.
The children screamed and called for help. Their neighbours broke down the house’s door to rescue the three children.
Two fire engines were sent to the site, and the fire was extinguished.
Fires in Nghe An, Gia Lai
Meanwhile, another fire broke out early this morning, destroying dozens of kiosks at Hieu Market in Thai Hoa Town in the central Nghe An Province.
The fire started at a kiosk in the southern part of the market and quickly spread to surrounding kiosks.
Eight fire engines and about 100 firemen were sent to the site.
The flame was brought under control after nearly one hour.
All goods in more than 10 kiosks were destroyed, causing a loss of about VND2 billion (US$89,200).
Hieu Market covers thousands of square metres of land and has about 700 kiosks that are in poor condition and overloaded. The fire extinguishing system is also primitive in nature.
In 2010, a fire had destroyed 170 kiosks in the market.
In another incident, a fire destroyed a furniture showroom, a corrugated iron store and a seven-storey building at No.634, Hung Vuong Street, Chu Se Town, in the central highland province of Gia Lai yesterday.
The fire started at 3.30pm in the seven-story building owned by Nguyen Tuong Khanh, and quickly spread to his 1000sq.m furniture showroom and store.
The fire was extinguished by 7.30pm, following intensive efforts by five fire engines and 50 firefighters.
The damage is estimated to be worth more than VND10 billion ($446,000).
All cases are being investigated further.
Poor physical fitness, excessive smoking, drinking named problems among Vietnamese youths
Young Vietnamese are unfit, smoke a lot, and consume loads of alcohol, according a national report on the young released on Wednesday at a conference in Hanoi.
The conference on sharing international experience in making youth development policies was co-hosted by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the United Nations Population Fund in Vietnam (UNFPA).
The UNFPA is a UN organization formed in 1969, whose work involves the improvement of reproductive health, including the creation of national strategies and protocols and providing supplies and services.
The ministry and the UN agency had worked with each other to conduct research and compile the first national report on Vietnamese youths for initial assessments of the impacts of policies on education and training, labor and employment, as well as healthcare for youths, said Vu Dang Minh, general director at the Department of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Statements made at the conference agreed upon the progress Vietnam has made in the development of youths, while pointing out the difficulties and challenges for Vietnamese youths in making the most out of their potential.
According to the national report, as of 2014 there were over 25 million Vietnamese citizens from 16 to 30 years of age, accounting for 27.7 percent of the country’s total population.
The current literacy rate among the said group is 96.3 percent, with the figures for male and female youths being 96.7 percent and 95.8 percent respectively.
In terms of physical fitness, the average height of male Vietnamese youths is a mere 164.4cm, 13cm lower than the global average, while that of female youths is 153.4cm, 10cm lower than the world average.
These numbers show young Vietnamese are falling behind their peers in the region when it comes to height, with Japanese and South Korean youths surpassing them by 8cm, Chinese youths by 7cm, and Thai and Singaporean youths by 5-6cm.
Statistics in the report also indicated a poor performance by young Vietnamese in terms of physical attributes, especially stamina and strength, in comparison with the world average.
Meanwhile, injuries and road accidents are two of the most serious health problems youths in Vietnam face, with 30.8/100,000 youths from 20 to 24 years old dying from traffic accidents.
The report identified the shortcomings of previous surveys on youths’ risk behaviors such as smoking and drinking, saying they were conducted on relatively small samples using interview or self-assessment forms, which means current available statistics may not accurately represent the real status of the issue among Vietnamese youths.
The figures still, however, showed a reasonably high percentage of Vietnamese youths who smoke or drink, in the face of several programs to contain the community’s consumption of alcohol and cigarettes.
This might be accredited to Vietnam’s lack of rehab programs for young cigarette and alcohol addicts.
General director Minh underlined some suggestions offered at the conference, among them a need for a program to improve the physical fitness of youths and models for reducing risk behaviors and consequently lowering smoking and drinking rates.
On another note, the portion of youths who have participated in any part of a policymaking process is extremely low (14.4 percent), where young people who receive tertiary education have higher participation than those who work unskilled jobs or live in rural areas.
This is, according to the report, due to various reasons such as policymakers not consulting and coordinating with youths, or young people’s failure to demonstrate their role as owners of the country.
Those who did involve themselves in the making of policies argued that their opinions were not taken seriously enough or actually used in the drafting and implementing of the policies, which discouraged them from joining future policymaking activities.
The report also covered a wide range of other aspects such as education, labor, and employment.
Vietnam is on its way toward amending the Law of Youths with a new approach based on their rights, according to Nguyen Van Tuyet, vice chairman of the National Assembly Committee on Culture, Education, Adolescents, and Children.
With that in mind, the conference was a chance for Vietnam’s policymakers to acquire valuable experiences from other countries to amend the Law of Youths, as well as composing youth-focused policies in the near future.
Vietnamese woman arrested for tricking 100 into labor export scam
A woman has been apprehended in Vietnam after three years on the run for playing a scam on 100 people who entrusted her with finding jobs abroad to appropriate tens of thousands of dollars.
Police officers in Nghe An Province, located in the north-central region, said Tuesday that 51-year-old Hoang Thi Dao, a resident of Vinh City, which is the provincial capital, had been captured for “abusing trust in order to appropriate property,” pending further investigation.
According to police case files, Dao spent four years in Taiwan, from 1998 to 2002, working as an exported laborer, after which time she returned to Vietnam and started taking money from Vietnamese workers with a promise to help them get exported as well.
Early June 2012, Dao informed the workers in her labor export ring of the vacancies at a food processing factory in Taipei, at VND120 million (US$5,400) each.
She asked them to pay an initial fee of VND5 million ($225) for vocational training and health checks.
Dao went on and said a Dutch employer was in need of 50 workers for grass-tending and cow-herding with a favorable salary. Those who wished to apply were required to pay a deposit of $500 to Dao.
The transactions took place at Dao’s private house, where she gave handwritten receipts to the payers and pledged to refund their money in full should they fail to go abroad as promised.
Dao then took the workers to Hanoi for health checks and promised to book their flights in 3-5 months, while collecting an additional $1,300 each for visa applications and air tickets.
After waiting in vain for their flights and several failed attempts to reach Dao on her phone, the tricked workers reported the case to police officers.
For fear of getting caught and having to refund the appropriated sum, Dao sold all her properties in Nghe An and moved to the Central Highlands region to start anew as a cosmetics wholesaler, where she was arrested following a police raid on her house.
Investigators approximated the total amount of money Dao received from nearly 100 workers at over VND1 billion ($45,000).
Dao could be sentenced to life imprisonment if convicted, according to Vietnamese laws.
Vietnam responds to International Ear Care Day
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ department for child protection and care in collaboration with Swiss-based company Sonova organised an event in Hanoi on March 3 to mark International Ear Care Day.
Speaking at the event, Pham Thi Hai Ha, deputy head of the department, said the hearing-impaired account for 12 percent of some 1.3 million Vietnamese children with disabilities.
Half of childhood hearing loss is preventable, she noted.
Advanced technology enables many children to recover their hearing and learn to speak, she said.
However, a disabled child still needs care and support from parents and the community to integrate and seek a better life, she added.
Participating experts shared knowledge on the causes of hearing impairment, relevant caring methods and precautions.
A child can be born deaf or become so as consequence of the side effects of drugs or diseases such as ear infection, smallpox, measles and mumps.
Launched by the World Health Organisation and its partners, International Ear Care Day aims to raise awareness and promote ear and hearing care across the world.
WHO statistics showed that approximately 360 million people or 5 percent of world population live with hearing loss, of whom 32 million are children.
Ninh Thuan to launch measles-rubella immunisation for juveniles
The central province of Ninh Thuan will implement a campaign to give the measles–rubella vaccination to about 22,000 juveniles aged 16-17.
The plan targets to inoculate 90 percent of locals aged 16-17 living in the province against measles and rubella.
The vaccination campaign will be implemented in all the 65 communes, wards, and towns, said Nguyen Nhi Linh, Director of the provincial Preventive Medicine Centre.
According to the provincial Health Department, Ninh Thuan has not detected any cases of measles since the beginning of the year.
Last year, there were 20 cases of scarlet fever, suspected to be measles, and one confirmed measles case in the province.
Tay Ninh intensifies Zika virus monitoring at border gates
The international medical quarantine centre of the southern province of Tay Ninh has urgently deployed medical quarantine work at the Moc Bai and Xa Mat border gates to prevent Zika virus from entering Vietnam.
Nearly 30 staff of the centre have been provided with training on the process of monitoring and detecting diseases, including those caused by Zika virus – the source of cerebrum atrophy in newborn baby.
They have been arranged to keep track of health of travellers going through the two border gates through body temperature scanners.
As part of efforts to contain diseases that may be caused by the virus, the centre also conducted chemical spraying for means of transport entering Vietnam, as well as areas with a radius of 200-300 metres surrounding the gates to exterminate vectors.
Doctor Tran Phuoc Doan from the centre said the centre has worked closely with medical centres of Ben Cau and Xa Mat districts on isolation and treatment if any case of Zika carrier is found.
The Moc Bai and Xa Mat border gates receive about over 2,000 international visitors entering into Vietnam for travelling and business a day. A crowd of them come from countries affected by Zika virus.
According to the Health Ministry, Zika virus, first detected in Uganda’s Zika forest in 1947, is transmitted to humans through the Aedes mosquito which is also the main carrier of dengue fever.
It causes mild fever, rash, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. There is currently no cure for Zika virus, and no vaccine for it.
The virus has to date spread to 44 countries and territories across the world, mainly in Latin America. No cases of Zika virus have been recorded in Vietnam.
The Health Ministry has been asked to strengthen inspection and supervision and coordinate closely with localities in these works.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry is responsible for dispersing funds to quickly carry out preventive measures, as well as measures to address the disease once it occurs.
Half-a-million-USD project to support people with brain injuries
Non-profit organisation Handicap International on March 3 provided central Thua Thien-Hue province half a million USD in non-refundable financial aid to support people living with brain injuries.
The 2016-2020 project involves designing training documents and providing consultation for high-quality health care services for people with brain injuries, enhancing access to these services for them, as well as improving capacity of local medical and social workers.
Handicap International (HI) is an international non-governmental organisation with the mandate to prevent and limit the impact of disabilities, by offering assistance to people with disabilities and those at risk of disability and supporting them in their efforts towards autonomy and social integration.
It operates as a federation in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. In Vietnam, HI has implemented 36 projects over the past 22 years.
Earlier, the US-based Compassion Flower (TCF) also offered the province 1 billion VND (44,840 USD) to fund a project that supports impoverished people and students in terms of education and medical care.
Patient overload reduced after hospitals upgraded
The building and upgrading of new health facilities in the country as well as the improved capacity of doctors, especially at the grassroots level, has helped reduce patient overload at hospitals.
At a review meetings held in Ho Chi Minh City on March 3, Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Medical Examination and Treatment Department, said that hospital facilities, especially in the fields of oncology, surgery-trauma, heart, obstetrics and paediatrics, had been either built or upgraded.
These activities were all part of a Ministry of Health plan to reduce patient overload.
At central-level hospitals (those managed by the central government), work was done on 15 hospitals and centres with a total of 4,765 beds. The hospitals also received advanced equipment.
These included the Oncology Centre at Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City, and the National Geriatric Hospital.
Also improved was the ratio of beds per 10,000 people last year increased to 31.2, while it was 24.7 in 2012.
Hospitals also set up family doctor clinics.
“Patient overload is being solved step by step,” Khue said, adding that patient satisfaction was better because of higher quality.
The examination process at hospitals now takes four to eight steps, down from the former 12-14 steps.
Patients’ waiting time has also fallen to an average of 48.5 minutes, saving 27.2 million of labour days a year.
In January, the Ministry of Health told hospitals under the ministry’s management to pledge that patients would no longer share beds after 24 hours of being hospitalised.
Thirty-five out of 39 central-level hospitals nationwide so far have carried out the commitment.
Many programmes send doctors of central- and city-level hospitals to improve the capacity of doctors at lower-level hospitals.
This has helped reduce patient overload at central- and city-level hospitals, Khue said.
In addition, advanced techniques in treatment such as robotic surgery and continuous blood purification have been applied.
Khue said that hospital quality last year improved compared to 2013 and 2014.
Hospitals at the central level had an average score of 3.5 for quality out of a maximum of five. It was 2.8 for city-level hospitals and 2.6 for those in districts.
The scores for private hospitals ranged from 2.53-2.9.
Last year, hospitals nationwide admitted more than 146 million outpatient turns, an increase of 4.5 per cent compared to 2014.
The number of inpatient turns was 13.5 million.
Khue told leaders of hospitals in HCM City and other southern provinces and cities to strengthen inspection and surveillance of safety and proper drug usage.
He also asked that they pay more attention to drug resistance, infections, clinical nutrition and radiation safety during patient examination and treatment.
PM reviews development master plan for Ha Noi
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung chaired a conference yesterday to discuss a master plan for the development of Ha Noi.
The conference reviewed a number of changes to be made to the master plan, including adjustments to boundary lines shared with nine surrounding northern provinces.
The provinces of Phu Tho, Thai Nguyen and Bac Giang will be incorporated into Ha Noi, bringing the size of the capital city to an area greater than 24,300 sq km in size, almost double its current size. This will increase Ha Noi’s population to 17.6 million. The capital city aims to become a social and economic hub at both the national and Asia-Pacific regional levels.
The plan received support and counsel from numerous international organisations, including the Institute for Urban Planning and Development of Paris IIe-de-France Region and other urban development experts. The plan defines three major objectives for the city, including improving connectivity between localities, utilising the nation’s resources in an effective manner, and modernising infrastructure networks.
“Past policies were especially designed to support the development of special economic zones, including the Phu Quoc Special Economic Zone. These policies served as learning opportunities for policy makers working with such an important region as the capital,” said Ngo Trung Hai, head of the Viet Nam Institute for Urban and Rural Planning under the Ministry of Construction.
During the conference, senior Government officials, representatives of various ministries, and local officials discussed problems and solutions in developing the capital’s transportation system, industrial and agricultural capacity, health care, education, land-use and environmental protection.
PM Dung stressed the importance of the capital city’s development plan and the role it will play in the country’s national building effort. He asked the city’s authority to pay close attention to pressing issues, including the city’s anti-flooding plan, as well as the preservation and rejuvenation of major rivers and canals.
The PM also ordered the city to focus on completing important transportation projects, including sky train lines and belt roads construction.
He also urged the city to create policies to encourage private enterprises to join efforts to modernise railway networks and to set up more waste treatment plans, which must be located a safe distance from residential areas.
Voters in District 1 and 3 in HCM City expressed hope that the National Assembly will be productive in its operations, including supervising executive agencies during the NA’s new tenure.
During their meeting with President Truong Tan Sang in HCM City yesterday, voters suggested decreasing the number of part-time deputies in the new administration, reasoning that a majority of the would-be deputies have yet to work wholeheartedly as people’s representatives, due to overwhelming managerial duties.
Future deputies should also conduct more fact-finding tours to see how voters live and to grasp their wishes and needs, the voters emphasised.
Voters also suggested that drafting laws should be undertaken by independent agencies, rather than being drafted by ministries and sectors anymore, so that laws are not affected by special interests.
The voters also expressed their concerns about the severe ongoing drought wreaking havoc on production and people’s lives in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, citing a need to re-plan the agricultural irrigation system.
Voters also showed their joy at positive changes initiated in parts of HCM City, following the establishment of a hotline to deal with people’s information on social affairs. And they asked municipal authorities to be proactive in discovering and addressing social problems.
President Sang appreciated the voters’ thoughtful and constructive suggestions. He said that voter-provided information on wrongdoing was helping the Party and State address weaknesses in policies and implementation.
He said that he expected HCM City’s voters to select competent deputies to represent them in the new administration, as well as to continue to raise problems which voters face.
President Sang also pledged to continue addressing existing problems energetically.
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