Illustration by Đàm Minh TríViet Nam News HÀ NỘI – Nguyễn Thu Hương, a resident of Hà Nội’s Đống Đa district, was worried when she saw street vendors preparing food without gloves. She complained several times but was repeatedly ignored. With a strange look, one person asked, “if you are worried about food safety, why do you still eat street food?” A new Government degree mandating higher fines for food safety violations may ease Hương’s concerns. Set to take effect on October 20, the decree will set fines at up to VNĐ200 million (US$5,840) or seven times higher than the value of the goods. These rates are 3.5 times higher than those set by a 2013 decree. Food sellers found to use plant and animal products that fail to meet veterinary hygiene and quarantine inspection requirements will be fined between VNĐ20 million and 40 million ($854-1,709). Fines between … [Read more...] about Public awareness key to making food safety fines effective
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Illustration by Đàm Minh Chí Viet Nam News Chu Lan Huong Lê Thu Trà, a woman living in Hà Nội’s Hà Đông District, lived in anxiety for days because she did not know what happened to the contract she had signed to buy an apartment from a new real estate project. Trà’s worry was real – in some recent incidents at housing projects, customers came out on the losing end. In some situations, apartment projects that were still mortgaged by banks or credit entities were sold to customers, leading to ownership disputes between the parties. Gia Phú Residential Building in HCM City’s Thủ Đức District was the scene of one such incident. The bank that funded the project announced its intention to auction off the building to clear the debt of the main investor, who had not paid the bank for the past seven years. The building’s hundreds of residents live in fear of losing the money … [Read more...] about Mortgaged real estate projects are legal but risky
Illustration by Trịnh LậpViet Nam News By Hoàng Hồ After an incredible fight, actress Mai Phương, who has been receiving special treatment for aggressive lung cancer, has been discharged from Military Hospital 175 into the loving arms of friends, family, fans and colleagues. Although the battle against cancer is not over, with Phương facing many more hospital visits and follow-up appointments, her journey has been remarkable and inspirational. Since the first days of her treatment, the hospital has welcomed visits from many celebrities to help and encourage Phương. With continuous updates on the media and thousands of messages from fans on Facebook around Việt Nam, everything seemed to be going well, until actor Gia Bảo – a close friend of Phương’s, spoke up and caused some ripples. “If you don’t have a close relationship with the patient, you can just … [Read more...] about How much does sympathy really cost?
Illustration by Đàm Minh ChíViet Nam News By Bích Hường Four days after last Monday’s fire near National Children’s Hospital in Hà Nội, two human skulls were found in the rubble. A few days later, police confirmed the victims were a couple from the northern province of Phú Thọ who had been renting a room near the hospital so they could be near their premature baby. An investigation revealed the fire started at a rental house because of an overloaded electrical circuit. The house was a makeshift structure built of flammable materials that failed to meet construction requirements. The fire spread quickly, damaging 19 houses and affecting 99 people from 31 families. The rental house was known as a cheap place for poor people from outside to stay when their children required treatment at the hospital. Renters like the victims paid VNĐ 15,000 for a night’s stay, a rate much lower than other guesthouses in the … [Read more...] about Hospitals should give parents a place to stay
Illustration by Minh TríViet Nam News By Mai Hiên HÀ NỘI — For years, social housing has been a hot issue in Việt Nam. Living in decent, affordable housing in a reasonable location is one of the most important goals for all Vietnamese people. It is undeniable social housing can help provide for basic housing needs, especially for those with low incomes. But experts say it can have adverse effects on society if it is not planned and executed properly. Hoàng Thị Loan, a resident of Viglacera Corporation’s Đặng Xá social housing project, said she is satisfied with her apartment. “Thanks to a preferential loan from the government’s housing stimulus package, I can own an apartment for just VNĐ350 million ($15,000),” she told Việt Nam News. She added that buying a house was out of reach on her monthly salary of VNĐ5 million. Loan also said social housing was a practical option for young … [Read more...] about Exploring solutions to the affordable housing crisis