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Hanoi to host 1st Bulgarian Rose Festival
The first-ever Bulgarian Rose Festival honoring the friendship between Vietnam and Bulgaria will be held at Thong Nhat Park in Hanoi on March 3-8.
The event is a chance to introduce to Vietnamese people the oldest rose festival in Bulgaria, Bulgarian rose products and culinary, create trade connection and opportunities between the two countries as well as promoting Bulgarian tourism. There will be a meeting with students, trainees, staff who worked and lived in Bulgaria.
Highlight activities are street festival, “Queen of rose” contest, introduction of Bulgarian street food, music performance featuring Vietnamese and Bugarian artists and a parade.
Visitors will have a chance to explore more than 300 species of roses and ancient-European-dome-shaped rose bushes; contemplate Bulgarian dishes and rose artworks such as Love Castle, Dating Wall, Love Rose Garden, wishing well and more.
They can also attend a Talk Show on the mystery and allure behind Rose and Love; enjoy art performance featuring romatic love songs by local and Bulgrain artists; join the fanciful Lantern Festival – ‘Rose for you’; choose gifts inspired by roses and have experience with rose-infused beauty products.
The festival aims to celebrate the Bulgaria National Day (on March 3), the International Women’s Day (on March 8), the Congress of Vietnam-Bulgaria Friendship Association, and the Vietnam and Bulgaria culture exchange.
The event is co-organized by the Bulgarian Embassy in Hanoi and Vietnam-Bulgaria Friendship Association.
Ho Chi Minh City enhances anti-corruption efforts
The Party committees at all levels in Ho Chi Minh City need to focus on major tasks in preventing and fighting against corruption and wastefulness while highlighting the responsibility of leaders in such tasks.
The statement was made by Politburo member and Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Dinh La Thang while chairing a conference to review efforts made in preventing and combating corruption and wastefulness in 2016 and revise tasks for 2017.
Addressing the conference, the Politburo member noted that the City’s Party Committee always defines corruption and wastefulness prevention and combating as a challenging yet highly important mission of the Party committee, government, fatherland front, the political system and people.
Agencies and localities around the City should promptly overcome all limitations and weaknesses to create visible changes in the area over the coming time, added Politburo member Thang.
Over the past year, the City’s Party Committee paid much attention to directing the implementation of guidelines and measures to prevent and fight against corruption and wastefulness; and the acceleration of the investigation, prosecution and trial of corruption cases.
In 2017, relevant agencies of the City will make further efforts to implement the Party Central Committee’s Resolution No.3 (10th tenure) on the strengthening of corruption and wastefulness prevention and combating.
Activities welcome International Women’s Day
A ceremony was held on February 28 in Phu Yen province to mark the 107th anniversary of International Women’s Day (March 9, 1910-2017).
Delegates at the event reviewed the history of the International Women’s Day and highlighted the glorious tradition of Vietnamese women as well as their significant contributions to national construction and development.
At the event, the provincial leaders presented the ‘Vietnamese heroic mother’ title to 86-year-old Cu Thi Tuy from An Nghiep commune, Tuy An district, whose husband and sons lost their lives in the struggle for national independence. 22 other mothers in the province, who passed away, were also bestowed with the title on the occasion.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Hoang Van Tra expressed his deep gratitude to the heroic mothers, and extended his wishes for longevity to mother Tuy, describing her as a shining example of revolutionary tradition and patriotism for younger generations to follow.
The Quang Tri Women’s Association (QWA) in collaboration with the provincial Department of Taxation and the provincial Border Guard High Command recently commenced the construction of a VND 70 million house for Pacoh woman Ho Thi Mup in A Bung commune, Da Krong district. Mup, born in 1940, is appreciated for her contributions and active participation in the war against the US from 1963 to 1974.
In response to the upcoming International Women’s Day, the QWA have also presented gifts to underprivileged women in A Bung and A Ngo communes, and to the families of policy beneficiaries in the locality.
The Thanh Hoa provincial Women’s Association held a ceremony to debut a collective of organic vegetable production, grouping 30 families in Dinh Binh commune, Yen Dinh district.
The collective members will receive training on the methods of farming, harvesting, processing, and packaging organic vegetables, after which their products will be supported to reach markets inside and outside the province.
The model is designed to create sustainable jobs for local women, increase their income and improve their living conditions.
More young people sleepless
The Ho Chi Minh City-based Medicine University Hospital daily examines and treats 15-20 people who have difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep as long as desired.
Meantime, the Mental Health Hospital said that since early 2017, it has received 13,500 people with sleep disorder or insomnia; 25 percent of them are young people from 18 to 30 years old.
The alarming rate showed that sleeplessness is rampant amongst young persons.
Dr. Tran Duy Tam from the Mental Health Hospital said that people with sleep problem will fall into fatigue; accordingly, they are not active daytime. For an adult, they need to sleep seven hours or more a night while senior people sleep below six hours a night. Sleeplessness will result in mental diseases and causing difficulties for their work, learning and health.
Dr. Hoang Dinh Huu Hanh from the Medicine University Hospital said that those in the age of 18-30 suffering insomnia are on upward trend because of stress in work, learning, alcohol abuse and using smart phones and electronic equipment without cease before going to bed… Moreover having many anxieties, young people are so confident of their health and not fully aware of important role of sleep and bad effects caused by insomnia.
When people experience sleeplessness, they should go to medical facilities for treatment. If not it will develop into chronic sleepless, it will hardly to cure. Sleep disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, educational, academic, behavioral, or other important areas of functioning; more seriously, sleepless people will have traffic accident or work accidents. Medical workers advised to lead a healthy lifestyle by taking exercise and eat vegetables rather than take sleep aids like sedative or depressant drugs.
Culture must be a pillar of sustainable development: symposium
Culture must be considered a pillar of sustainable development, aside from economic, environmental and social aspects, heard a symposium in Hanoi on March 1.
The seminar, attracting nearly 100 scientists, researchers and culture officials, was organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the National Cultural Heritage Council.
Participants said there remain limited awareness of the role of culture in sustainable development in Vietnam. Culture has yet to really be regarded as a development resource, and it is still dwarfed by other factors in the sustainable development strategy.
Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Huynh Vinh Ai said Vietnam is home to 40,000 tangible heritage and 60,000 intangible heritage, and the problem is how to manage and optimise them in an effective manner while developing new values for those heritage so as to enrich the heritage treasure.
Culture and heritage will become a priceless and endless resource if they are preserved and used scientifically, he noted.
Participants said instead of simply listing and compiling dossiers of heritage, it is necessary to quantify heritage value in order to devise scientific preservation and exploitation strategies. The whole political system, not only culture agencies, must engage in this work.
Community-based heritage preservation and development are a global trend and a solution for sustainably optimising heritage value since culture is an asset of a community, they said, adding that when heritage values benefit the community, local residents will proactively uphold heritage.
Vietnam has been expanding community-based tourism which is a right development orientation, experts said, asking for more high-value products and long-term strategies in this type of tourism.
Hanoi starts establishing personal medical records
Hanoi on March 1 began a pilot project on establishment of individual medical records for residents in Phuc Dong and Co Bi wards of Long Bien district.
According to Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Ngo Van Quy, the digital personal health records are seen as as a long-term solution to reducing public health care costs.
The individual medical record has each person’s detailed health care information, which is stored in the national digital medical records system. It includes personal information and health and disease history.
The records can help doctors detect health issues and treat patients more effectively, while supporting the establishment of public health profiles for different areas.
Maintaining an individual medical records system will encourage people to go for periodic checkups at hospitals and clinics and help doctors provide faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment, which will reduce time and cost for patients.
The system will also encourage people to go for health checkups at clinics at the grassroots level which will limit disease outbreaks and reduce overload at central-level hospitals.
The project is set to run across the city’s 10 communes and wards.
Work starts on second phase of environment project
The government of HCMC on Friday broke ground for an interceptor drain package worth around US$85 million in the second phase of an environmental sanitation project in the city.
Italian-Thai Development Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand, the contractor of the package, will construct the 8-kilometer-long interceptor drain in 36 months.
Phase two of the project consists of two main components. The interceptor drain is the first component which will be used to carry wastewater from the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe basin and from parts of District 2 to a treatment facility in Thanh My Loi Ward, District 2.
Tunnel boring technology will be used to reduce road traffic disruptions, relocations of technical works, and excavations, and ensure safety for buildings along the drainage system.
The second component will be a wastewater treatment plant covering over 38 hectares in Thanh My Loi Ward, District 2 with a daily capacity of 480,000 cubic meters.
The second phase of the project would require a total investment of US$524 million, with US$450 million financed by a World Bank loan and the remainder by the city.
When the second phase is in place, the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal basin and District 2 would have a complete wastewater collection and treatment system, which will help reduce canal pollution by household and industrial wastewater.
SMS campaign launched to support AO victims
A campaign raising donations for Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims through SMS was launched on February 27 and will last until April 28.
By texting DACAM to 1409, an individual can donate 18,000 VND to the victims of chemical – warfare.
First held six years ago, the campaign has mobilized more than 18 billion VND (790,020 USD), including over 4.2 billion VND (184,338 USD) in 2016.
As a result of the donations, care and rehabilitation facilities have been constructed for AO victims, along with financial support delivered directly to the victims.
From 1961 to 1971, US troops sprayed more than 80 million litres of herbicides — 44 million litres of which were AO, containing nearly 370kg of dioxin — on southern Vietnam.
As a result, about 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to the toxic chemical. Many of the victims have died, while millions of their descendants are living with deformities and diseases as a direct result of the AO/dioxin effects.
Maze-like sidewalk fences pose challenges for pedestrians in HCM City
Sidewalks along a major hospital in Ho Chi Minh City have been equipped with a complicated system of barricades, an effort originally meant to reclaim space from vendors for pedestrians but now turning out to create immense difficulty for the latter.
Promenades along the sections of Thuan Kieu and Nguyen Chi Thanh Streets that surround Cho Ray Hospital, considered the city’s best general infirmary located in District 5, have been fenced up to prevent sidewalk drivers and street vendors from encroaching on the spaces.
However, the fences have been put up like a maze, proving to be obstacles for local pedestrians.
According to observations by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters, the barriers were about 1.5 meters high, spanning over 200 meters around the hospital.
The sidewalks were divided into two sections, one for motorbike parking and the other exclusively for walkers.
The entrances to the pedestrian zones were filled with fences planted in a zigzag design, not only making it difficult for sidewalk drivers and food vendors but also for pedestrians to enter.
After observing for nearly an hour, the journalists only saw about five people walking in the preserved space while many others chose to walk on the roadways to save time and effort.
Some people took advantage of the barriers to hang their hammocks whereas a few vendors also managed to place their stalls, chairs, and stables inside the walking areas.
“Though erected to bar vendors and drivers from ‘invading’ the sidewalks, these barriers have created immense challenges to pedestrians due to their complex design,” a local resident told Tuoi Tre.
Many people, especially the sick and disabled, find it hard to zigzag their way through the fences, he continued, adding that they walk on the roadways instead.
Hanoi reports many violations of Dyke Law
As many as 13 contraventions of the Dyke Law have been reported in Hanoi so far this year, according to the municipal Department on Agriculture and Rural Development.
However, authorities in the capital city have only managed to resolve one of the cases.
Specifically, the case was related to the dyke on the right bank of the Hong (Red) River.
The dyke section passes through Phu Thuong, Nhat Tan, Tu Lien, Quang An and Yen Phu wards of Tay Ho District. Recently, a number of violations have been reported along the dyke, including the discharge of soil and waste into the Hong River near Nhat Tan Ward, houses built on agricultural land and in the protected embankment area in Tu Lien Ward, and houses built without permission from local authorities in Phu Thuong Ward.
The violations caused anger and concern among local residents.
The Hanoi Department for Dyke Management and Flood and Storm Prevention and Control has asked ward authorities to improve management, check and mete out punishments regularly, especially for any new violations, and punish anyone illegally selling and buying land in the area.
Chu Phu My, director of the Hanoi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said that the department sent documents asking related districts to help the department in resolving violations related to the Dyke Law and the Law on Storm Prevention and Control.
The department is completing regulations on the organisation and operation of the Fund for Storm Prevention and Control following the Hanoi People’s Committee’s requirement, said My.
Students gain experience through extra jobs
Statistics show that as many as 200,000 graduates cannot find jobs in Vietnam at present. However, some students work while studying, which helps them earn money and gain experience for their future career.
Since his 3rd year at university, Nguyễn Tất Thành has been an intern at a software company, which suits his major. Now, although Thanh has not graduated yet, he is employed with an income of nearly 876 USD per month.
Getting a job that suits their major is a desire for all students. Having to study while undertaking huge workloads, many students have handled the pressure to gain initial success in their career.
Thanks to his efforts, Nguyen Xuan Bach has been invited to work for a business in Japan, with a starting salary of roughly 2,600 USD per month.
The extra job helps the students understand their strengths and weaknesses. Unemployment is common for students if they do not work hard while studying at school.
Theory must go together with practice. Internships not only help the students have more money but also equip them with experience essential for their future careers. And the door is open to those who dare to challenge themselves.-
VND1,400 billion in social insurance premiums likely lost
An auditing report on state budget management at Vietnam Social Security (VSS) indicates VND1.4 trillion of VND9.9 trillion in social insurance premium arrears might be lost, meaning the benefits of certain insured workers would be at stake.
Total social insurance arrears of enterprises by the end of 2015 totaled more than VND9.9 trillion, with more than VND4,000 billion of it unpaid for more than 12 months.
At a press conference on Tuesday, a VSS official said staff of enterprises that deliberately avoid paying social insurance would lose their benefits, so would workers at businesses that delay social insurance payments or are unable to pay.
VSS has been tracking social insurance arrears for over a decade but to no avail. Since the 2014 Social Insurance Law came into force in early 2016, VSS has been able to handle a fraction of those enterprises having closed or preparing to stop business.
Tran Hai Nam, deputy director of the Social Insurance Department at the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the Government had assigned the ministry to propose solutions to ensure the benefits of socially insured workers.
At the press conference, Le Dinh Quang, deputy head of labor relations at the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor, said VSS had sent the confederation 1,150 files of enterprises that had failed to pay social insurance for their employees.
But the confederation has sued 76 enterprises and will sue another 74 this month. Some enterprises have paid social insurance debts totaling about VND21 billion.
But the litigation process is complicated. Twelve of 74 lawsuits have been returned because of problems with authorization.
TSN airport expansion project to go before PM
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has urged the Ministry of Transport and a consultant to finalize a Tan Son Nhat International Airport expansion plan so that it can be passed to PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc for consideration next week.
The consultant, Airport Design and Construction Consultancy Co, presented seven plans to upgrade the airport at a meeting at the Government office last week.
They are divided into three options. The first is to build a new runway, two new terminals and other facilities on the premises of the current golf course just north of the airport. It would take over 15 years to complete and cost a massive VND201.35 trillion (US$8.8 billion) as 140,000 houses would be relocated.
The second suggests constructing a new runway and two new terminals over a period of 10 to 15 years, with an investment cost ranging from VND100.9 trillion (US$4.4 billion) to VND187.2 trillion (US$8.2 billion). The final option is to build new terminals, aircraft parking space and technical areas in the northern and southern parts of the airport.
In previous meetings, the most favored option is to build more parallel taxiways, especially those connecting runways 25L/07R and 25L/07L, develop terminals T3 and T4 with an annual capacity of 10 million passengers each, and construct a new apron and a new technical maintenance area in the north.
These facilities would be constructed only on 24.5 hectares of military land which was transferred to the Transport Ministry early this week.
With the cost estimated at around VND19.3 trillion and the construction period projected to last less than three years, the annual handling capacity of the airport could reach 43-45 million passengers.
Earlier, Deputy PM Dung asked the consulting company to devise a plan called 3B which would have the same passenger handling capacity as the third option but expand the airport toward the northern wing, where the golf course, defense facilities and civil houses are located.
At a meeting last Thursday, the firm presented a detailed plan in which taxiways, an apron, a technical service area, and terminal T4 with an annual capacity of 20 million passengers would be developed while runaway 25R/07L would be upgraded.
The plan would need 276 hectares of land, including 90.1 hectares of the military, 157.3 hectares at the golf course site, and 28.6 hectares of residential land. Over 6,000 households would be affected by it.
It would require a total of over VND61.5 trillion (US$2.7 billion), 3.2 times higher than the original one. In addition, it would take a longer period, 10-12 years, of which five years would be needed for site clearance.
The consultant said construction work in the northern wing would significantly affect passenger traffic in the southern wing and ease traffic congestion on Truong Son Street. However, the plan would greatly affect flights, national defense and security.
Deputy PM said there is enough scientific evidence to choose the third option as it would meet what is needed while easing traffic congestion and saving money.
Private investors will have the opportunity to participate in the construction of passenger terminals T3 and T4, a car park and other supporting facilities. Meanwhile, the HCMC government can choose contractors to carry out road and drainage projects outside the airport.
HCM City to erase 12 flood-prone sites by mid-June
The government of HCMC has asked for a removal of 12 sites from the list of flood-prone areas by mid-June this year. The city now has 35 locations that are often heavily inundated after rain or during flood tide.
The 12 sites belong to the streets of Luong Van Cang, Mai Xuan Thuong, Hau Giang, Le Quang Sung, Cao Van Lau, Hong Bang, Ba Van, Go Dua, Tan Huong, Truong Vinh Ky, An Duong Vuong, and Go Dau.
The HCMC Steering Center for the Urban Flood Control Program this year will implement 51 flood control projects worth over VND2 trillion (US$87.6 million).
The municipal Department of Transport has set a target of removing 16 sites vulnerable to rain-triggered flooding in 2017, including Ung Van Khiem Street of Binh Thanh District, and Hong Bang and Hau Giang streets of District 6.
To reduce flooding in the rain season of this year, the city government has given specific assignments to all the relevant agencies.
In particular, the Department of Transport is responsible for replacing deteriorating manholes and coordinating with district authorities to remove all what obstructs rainwater drainage next month.
The center will cooperate with HCMC Urban Drainage Co Ltd and relevant units to complete the dredging of the drainage systems before June 15.
The Department of Construction, together with the center, will check drainage at high-rise buildings with basements to propose measures to minimize the impact of rain-triggered flooding.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will work with the center over the operation of 12 flood tide sluices.
Đà Nẵng to up use of organic fertiliser
The central city of Đà Nẵng plans to increase the use of liquid fertiliser made from organic waste in its farms and public gardens, a local official said.
Speaking at a review of a three-year (2015-2017) project on recycling organic waste last week, Nguyễn Phú Thái, Director of Đà Nẵng Institute of Socio-Economic Development, said this would help improve urban sanitation and support farmers in the city’s suburban areas.
The pilot project, carried Hòa Vang District, was funded by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).
It brought in Japanese experts from Kyushu University, Saga University, Environmental Business Solution Inc and Chikujo town to help identify solutions that can be applied on a big scale to help achieve the target of Đà Nẵng becoming a green city by 2025, he said.
The project involved 40 farmers, students and teachers at junior secondary schools, with the latter playing an important role in raising awareness in the community on organic waste recycle.
Hoàng Thị Ngọc Hiếu, an official with the city’s urban environment company, said the pilot project could recycle 70 tonnes of human waste from septic tanks in the city to produce 3.5 tonnes of liquid fertiliser each day.
“It’s very positive solution for dealing with human waste and dung from urban areas and farms. It costs around VNĐ300,000 (US$13.3) to convert each cubic metres of human waste into environment friendly fertiliser. However the city will work with Japanese experts on adjusting the technology to ensure its smooth application on a mass scale,” she said.
She said public gardens and vegetable farms could use the organic fertiliser instead of chemical fertilisers.
Nguyễn Thị Thu Hạnh, a staff of Hòa Vang District’s agricultural office, said the district has been developing as an organic farm zone, providing safe vegetables and other produce for the city.
“Local farmers wish to fertilise their farm with recycled organic fertiliser as it can help improve soil quality,” Hạnh said.
She said the district will build big tanks to contain liquid fertiliser near farms to facilitate organic cultivation.
The mayor of Chikujo Town, Hisami Arakawa, said the town has 24 years of experience in recycling human waste into organic fertiliser.
He said the plant built by the project in Hòa Vang District was similar to the one in Chikujo, and the Japanese partners will co-operate with the city in improving fertiliser quality as well as its mass use by the local community.
The mayor also said that Chikujo had cut fertiliser costs in the town by 90 per cent.
Đà Nẵng discharges nearly 700 tonnes of waste each day, of which 74 per cent is food, garden and park waste, and recycling this can produce energy and save lots of money.
The city reserves an annual fund of VNĐ7 billion ($333,000) for waste collection and treatment.
The pilot project enabled Hòa Vang District be the first locality in Việt Nam to produce the fertilizer under a co-operation deal between Đà Nẵng and Chikujo.
Thái Van Quang, an official from the city’s agriculture and rural development department, said the project will help farmers in rural areas reduce cultivation costs.
The project, which got Japanese funding of VNĐ10 billion ($442,477), included construction of a liquid fertiliser testing facility, technical training, education on the biomass circulation system and practical training in Japan.