Social News 8/8

HCMC might ban vans in daytime to ease traffic jam

HCMC might ban vans in daytime to ease traffic jam, Police arrest three human traffickers, Vietnam steps up preparations for level-2 field hospital deployment, Hokkaido Governor looks to strengthen economic ties with Vietnam

The HCMC Department of Transport will work with authorized agencies to study a van ban in daytime to reduce worsening traffic jam in major streets citywide.

According to department director Bui Xuan Cuong, traffic jam has regularly occurred in many streets during peak time, especially at city entrance gateways, radial roads and routes to and from seaports and Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

The issue has been more serious because of vans operating at noon to serve restaurants, hotels and small production establishments in residential areas, he added.

Therefore, the Transport Department will coordinate with other agencies to study a measure prohibiting light trucks in daytime in regularly congested streets namely Truong Son, Ba Thang Hai (February 3), Hoang Van Thu and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai.

In addition, the department will continue traffic segregation, supplement traffic lights and work with authorized agencies to solve traffic congestion.

Police arrest three human traffickers

The police in Nghe An Province have arrested three people for illegally transporting two small girls to sell in China.

The police in Ky Son District, Nghe An Province confirmed that they arrested three people for human trafficking on August 7. 

At around 11 pm on August 6, taxi driver Duong Danh Son was parking in Muong Xen Town when two women arrived with two girls and asked him to bring them to Mong Cai City in Quang Ninh Province in order to go to China. After a while, Son noticed suspicious behaviour from the women and called the police.

He continued driving along the Highway 7 until they reached Huu Kiem Commune where the police pulled the car over. The women were unable to prove that the two girls are their daughters.

According to the police, the women, Cut Thi Dao and Moong Thi Nhieu from Nghe An Province, admitted that they collaborated with another man, Ven Van Hiep, to sell the girls in China.

Cut Thi Dao married in China and often returned to her hometown to find new "brides" for a commission fee of over VND120m (USD5,300). In early this month, Dao was asked to find potential brides. Moong Thi Nhieu and Ven Van Hiep introduced the girls to Dao.

Dao agreed with the price of VND200m (USD8,800) but asked Hiep and Nhieu to accompany them to Mong Cai.

The police have arrested Hiep and expanded the investigation.

Vietnam steps up preparations for level-2 field hospital deployment

The Vietnam Peacekeeping Centre (VPC) organised on August 8 a subject-matter expert exchange to make final planning on level-2 field hospital equipment practical training.

The two-day exchange is attended by experts from military hospitals of the US and the UK, along with officers of the VPC and the Ministry of National Defence of Vietnam.

It aims to share expertise and experience between relevant parties so as to make a plan on practical training with level-2 field hospital equipment. That will help Vietnam stand ready to send its force to UN peacekeeping missions when requested.

VPC Director Colonel Hoang Kim Phung thanked the US and UK experts for their assistance and affirmed the importance of experience sharing to ensure practical training with level-2 field hospital equipment.

At the exchange, participants were briefed about Vietnam’s preparations for the level-2 field hospital, the UK’s deployment of a field hospital at the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, and the goals of the level-two field hospital equipment practical training.

They also worked on logistics and administration works for the practical training, simulations to be used during the training, and the operation of the level-2 field hospital at the practical training area.

The field hospital equipment practical training is scheduled to be organised in September this year

Hokkaido Governor looks to strengthen economic ties with Vietnam

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung received the Governor of Hokkaido prefecture, Ms Takahashi Harumi, in Hanoi on August 7th and discussed measures to boost economic ties between the two countries, including Hokkaido.

The two leaders signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on economic exchanges between Hokkaido and Vietnam.

At the reception, Ms Harumi said that this was her first visit to Vietnam and said the MoU will lay foundations for strengthening economic, investment, technological and human exchanges between the two sides.

Minister Dung said that since his visit to Japan in April, a number of Hokkaido’s businesses have come to Vietnam to seek investment opportunities.

 hokkaido governor looks to strengthen economic ties with vietnam hinh 1 The visit of Hokkaido officials and businesses demonstrates their desire to boost cooperation between the two countries, said Mr Dung.

The Minister affirmed that the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MOIT) will make more of an effort to boost ties with Hokkaido and support Hokkaido businesses in seeking opportunities and operating in Vietnam.

He hopes that direct flights will be introduced to connect Vietnam and Hokkaido in the near future.

After the reception, Mr Dung and the Hokkaido leader signed a MoU between the MOIT and the Hokkaido Economic Federation and witnessed the signing of a MoU between the Foreign Investment Agency and Hokuyo Bank.

Canada announces new scholarship program for ASEAN

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced on August 7, on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, that Canada will support a new scholarship program for ASEAN.

The program aims to mark ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary and the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-Canada dialogue partner relations.

This initiative will provide US$10 million over five years for post-secondary students and mid-career professionals from Southeast Asia to access world-class education in Canada. The Minister made the announcement at the Canada-ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference in Manila, Philippines.

Canada is committed to combatting poverty and promoting human rights in Southeast Asia, especially the rights of women, girls and migrants. Canada is working closely with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to bring the benefits of economic development to the poorest and most marginalized.

The Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development initiative will provide individuals from ASEAN member states, especially women, the opportunity to apply for short-term studies or research in Canada.

Scholarships will be awarded in fields that contribute to ASEAN’s efforts to narrow the development gap and reduce poverty in Southeast Asia, such as climate-smart agriculture, renewable energy, public financial management, and sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls.

Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs, said, “Canada welcomes with open arms students from ASEAN. 

Providing educational exchanges to these promising young people will empower them and ensure they can be real agents of social and economic change in their communities and countries. 

Their contributions to Canadian classrooms will also enrich the experience of their peers and are a vital part of Canada’s multicultural society.”

Alan Peter S. Cayetano, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, said, “As chair of ASEAN and country coordinator for ASEAN-Canada dialogue relations, the Philippines applauds Canada’s response to the region’s interest in deepening our people-to-people engagement through dedicated scholarships for citizens of ASEAN members. 

These learning opportunities advance the ASEAN-Canada partnership for a people-centered, people-oriented regional community."

Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN said, “This brand new ASEAN scholarship scheme with support from Canada is a very timely initiative as we exert efforts to promote quality higher education and human capital development, which are key to ASEAN growth and priorities in the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020. 

This initiative also provides opportunities for our ASEAN universities to network with Canadian institutions, thus allowing technology transfer, especially in the area of quality assurance in higher education.”

Military base in Tây Ninh becomes national historic site

The Traditional Resistance Club of the Party Committee of the People – Government – Party Bloc of the former Central Bureau for Southern Việt Nam last Saturday  hosted a ceremony that recognised a military base in Tây Ninh Province as a national historic site.

Attending the event were former President Nguyễn Minh Triết, standing deputy secretary of the Tây Ninh Provincial Party Committee Nguyễn Minh Tân, and former officials who worked at the base.

Nguyễn Văn Khởi, representative of the club, said that during the American war, the Party Committee of the People – Government – Party Bloc was instructed by the former Central Bureau for Southern Việt Nam to take charge of ideological leadership and build the party’s organisation.

In 1968, the Party Committee of the People – Government – Party Bloc encouraged officials and locals to join forces with Southern Việt Nam in the Mậu Thân Spring 1968 Uprising.

In April 1968, the central bureau separated the Party Committee of the People – Government – Party Bloc from the base for a new task, assigning Huỳnh Thanh Mua to be secretary of the Party Committee.

The committee contributed its part to the historic Hồ Chí Minh Campaign, leading to the liberation of the South and the unification of the country on April 30, 1975.

It was disbanded in April, 1977 by the central bureau after Việt Nam’s liberation and completion of its appointed tasks.

The Traditional Resistance Club of the Party Committee of the People – Government – Party Bloc of the former Central Bureau for Southern Việt Nam collaborated with the Sài Gòn Construction Corporation to build a relic house at the base, to mark its significant contributions and to pay tribute to more than 10,000 officials from 24 government organisations and 2,000 martyrs.

Vietnamese, Chinese villages form twinning relationship

Ban Dau village, Ha Lang district in the northern province of Cao Bang and Long Han village, Long Zhou district in the Chinese province of Guangxi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on forming a twin relationship on August 2. 

The move has raised the total pair of twinning localities between Cao Bang and border Chinese provinces to eight since 2015. 

Under the MoU, both sides will raise public awareness of traditional friendship between the two Parties, States and localities, enhance bilateral cultural and sport exchange and educate local people about abiding by three legal documents on Vietnam-China mainland border. 

Dam Van Nam, Secretary of the Thai Duc communal Party Committee, Ha Lang district, said the move aims to strengthen bilateral solidarity and offer mutual support in economic development, border protection and crime prevention.

Buddhist Youth Summer Camp 2017

The 11th Buddhist Youth Summer Camp themed "Sentiment toward the southwestern region" took place at Phuong Nam Zen Monastery in Can Tho city on August 4 involving 1,200 Buddhist youths from 13 provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta.

The camp aimed to inspire the gratitude of youths, students, and Buddhists to grandparents and parents, and respect to the predecessors and those who sacrificed their lives to defend national independence.

It also conveyed a message to protect the green environment in all villages and canals in the southwestern region.

Venerable Thich Thien Thuan, deputy director of the camp’s organizng board, said that preparations in logistics and recruitment of volunteers began early this year.

“The camp is a place for attendees to learn and open their hearts to understand and love each other more. It is different from a course on leading a Buddhist life which would involve stricter discipline. The camp is designed to fit young participants who are active and restless. It offers a comfortable and healthy playground in which to learn about the teachings of Buddhism," he said.

Camp activities included lectures on living a lifestyle inclined to the good, applying the Dharma to one’s life, chanting, and meditation.

A game show called "Dharma Drumroll" helped participants review what they had learned, while team games and rural markets encouraged sharing among campers, learning from each other, and developing teamwork skills.

Camp participants lit candles to pay tribute to martyrs on the 70th anniversary of War Invalids and Martyrs Day on July 27.

Many of the organizers and parents noted positive changes in the campers’ behavior and attitudes. 

They said most of the participants have become more responsible, more responsive to charity activities, more loving toward their family, more helpful to their parents, and more conscious in their behavior.

Final-year student Tran Thanh Truong of Tra Vinh talked to VOV about his first time attending the camp: “The camp offered many interesting activities through which I learned how to live with other people and be more independent than at home. I now feel a greater sense of responsibility and am able to make more mature decisions.”

School milk programme improves nutrition of school children

A school milk programme in the central province of Nghe An has helped cut malnutrition among children, especially those under five years-old, according to the provincial People’s Committee.

Thanks to the programme, the malnutrition rates among pre-school children and primary pupils were cut 2.85 percent and 2.78 percent, respectively, compared to 2010.

The school milk programme has been implemented in all 21 cities, towns and districts in the province. With support from the State budget, businesses and local authorities, the kids receive five bottles of milk per week.

To date, nearly 312,000 children have registered for milk at kindergartens and primary schools, 69 percent of total students in the locality. 

The programme has, however, been hampered by poor infrastructure at kindergartens, with inadequate milk storage facilities and a shortage of human resources and capital.

With the aim of 70 percent of children benefitting from the programme by 2020, the province plans to build coordination mechanisms among relevant authorities and prioritises supports for disabled children.

The school milk programme was launched nationwide on September 28, 2016. It targets providing all pre-school children and elementary pupils in poor districts with milk by 2020, meeting 90-95 percent of their energy demand and increasing the heights of school boys and girls by 1.5 and 2 centimetres, respectively 

Farm produce fair organized to sell safe vegetables, fruits

Safe farm produce fair officially opened in Le Van Tam Park in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 to help farmers to consume their products and buyers to realize safe veggies and fruits. 

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Ho Chi Minh City organized the safe farm produce fair on Sundays every week. This is the second farm which considered as part of plan to open ten fairs from now to 2020.

Started in August, 2016, the city’s first safe farm fair in Cao Thang Street in district 10 brought vegetables, meat and fish certified with VietGAP, GlobalGAP standards to customers.

At first, the fair opened in Saturdays and Sundays every week but later it was held on Sundays. Over 40 fairs had been held with the participation of 20-30 farms earning turnover of VND100 million a fair. 

In 40 fairs, 50 orders each worth VND4 billion ($175,961) a month were placed. The fairs received consumers’ overwhelming support.

Seeing farmers are difficult to sell VietGAP, GlobalGAP certified vegetables while consumers are struggling to find safe veggies, the Department has played a role as bridge to connect farmers and consumerconsumers, Deputy director of the Department Nguyen Van Truc said.

People in districts 7, 11, Tan Phu arrived at the fair to buy safe produce though it is far from their houses. Accordingly, the fair organizer opened more places to serve residents in many districts to facilitate buyers as per the request from the municipal People’s Committee.

As per the plan, from now to 2020, the agriculture sector will open additional nine fairs; accordingly, the organizer decided to open a farm fair in Le Van Tam Park and next fair will be placed in Le Thi Rieng Park in District 10 at the end of the year. In 2018, the sector will open more fairs in districts 2, Tan Binh, Binh Tan.

Intel Products Vietnam supports manpower training for smart city project

Intel Products Vietnam and Arizona State University (ASU) last Friday awarded scholarships for outstanding Vietnamese students to attend Master’s programs at ASU in the U.S. as part of a plan to help HCMC have manpower  necessary for its smart city project until 2025.

Intel Products Vietnam sponsors six Master’s scholarships in Internet of Things (IoT) for undergraduates from Hanoi, Hue and HCMC. Each full scholarship worth around US$65,000 covers meals, accommodation, and tuition fees.

This is part of the company’s commitment to support the municipal government to train high-quality human resources. Therefore, upon graduation, the scholarship recipients will have to return to Vietnam to work with any of the city’s departments and agencies in the smart city development project.

They will work in a variety of various fields like traffic congestion and accident reduction, environmental pollution, urban flooding, manpower quality enhancement, administrative reform, e-government services, and urban development.

Earlier, 10 officials of the city took part in a one-week seminar on smart city models at ASU.

They had the opportunity to meet Intel’s IoT engineers and partners to learn more about these models.

Construction violations in HCMC rise in Jan-Jul

The HCMC Department of Construction detected 1,925 construction violations in the first seven months of the year, up 12.6% against the same period last year.

According to a report which the department presented at a recent review meeting on construction management in the city in January-July, construction violations surged in districts Cu Chi and 9 but dropped in Binh Chanh District.

Binh Chanh used to have the most construction violations in the city. In 2016, 750 violations were detected, representing one-fourth of the city’s total. However, in the first seven months this year, Binh Chanh reported only 197 infringement cases, down by 53.6%.

At the meeting, a representative of the district said the district authority has intensified inspections, especially in Vinh Loc A and Vinh Loc B communes where most construction violations take place.

Contrary to Binh Chanh, Cu Chi and District 9 detected more violations in January-July than in the same period last year.

Most violations happened in District 9, District 7 and Hoc Mon. In particular, violations detected in District 9 soared from 24 in the first seven months last year to 71 cases. Meanwhile, most cases involving unlicensed construction were found in Cu Chi and District 9.

HCMC vice chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen said the reason for most of the violations is urban planning. The city has a high population and rapid population growth, but most residents live in districts 1 and 3.

Can Gio and Cu Chi District have one million residents but account for half of the city’s area while nearly 12 million people live in the other half of the city. This is a tough challenge for the city government, Tuyen said.

450 cows contract foot-and-mouth disease in Gia Lai

The local administration has a problem on its hands as nearly 450 cows in Ia Sao Commune, Ayun Pa Town, in Central Highlands’ Gia Lai Province, have contracted foot-and-mouth disease.

The provincial Animal Health Division said the number of sick cows rapidly increased from 37 cows of a household on July 28 to 449 cows of 72 households currently, the Thanh Niên (Young People) online newspaper reported.

Tests showed that the cows had contracted foot-and-mouth disease virus type A. It was a new strain of the virus and the cows had not been vaccinated against it, the department said.

The virus was blamed for the quick spread of the disease in local cows. The department was also concerned that the disease could spread to the nearby districts of Phú Thiện, Krông Pa and Ia Pa.

Ksor Nhuat, head of the town’s health animal office, said the office had sprayed chemicals to sterilise the area and instructed local breeders to actively prevent the disease from spreading.

Hồ Văn Diện, vice chairman of the People’s Committee of the town, said it had established two teams to work 24 hours at two stations in the commune. The teams were assigned to supervise and warn locals to avoid transporting sick cows in and out of the commune.

Diện said the committee had asked the provincial People’s Committee to provide medicines, chemicals and technical support to bring the situation under control.

In another move, the Agricultural and Rural Development Department of the central province of Quảng Ngãi has provided 2,500 vaccines and 95 litres of Han-Iodine antiseptic chemical in an effort to curb the foot-and-mouth disease in Tịnh Sơn District’s Tịnh Hiệp Commune.

Some 54 of total 72 cows and buffaloes that contracted the disease have recovered.

Previously, the district found that 72 cows and buffaloes of 18 households had contracted the disease on July 25 because they were not vaccinated.

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