Social News 28/9
06:49 28/09/2014
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New expressway develops crack after torrential rains

Social News 28/9

Three days after opening, Viet Nam's longest expressway, which runs 245km from Noi Bai to Lao Cai, has developed a 10-metre crack that runs from one side to the other.

The Viet Nam Expressway Corporation (VEC), which funded the expressway, on Wednesday blamed soft ground for the crack at the 83km mark between Yen Bai and Phu Tho provinces.

The corporation said it had predicted the appearance of the crack and had placed a warning sign near the site beforehand - and at nine other soft spots along the expressway.

One of its representatives said that torrential rains triggered by two recent storms could have undermined the road.

The section of road in question was built by Keangnam Construction Company, which claims it closely followed regulations on treating soft ground.

The VEC representative said the corporation always surveyed the ground looking for soft spots and then took "appropriate measures".

Work on the expressway began in 2008 and cost a total of US$1.25 billion.

Medical staff to face prosecution

Ha Noi police have decided to prosecute pharmacists, doctors and others involved in a health insurance scam at the Ha Noi's Emergency Aid Centre, locally known as 115.

Investigation by the Ha Noi Social Insurance in March this year found that pharmacists at the centre illegally used health insurance codes of up to 49 people to get medicines worth more than VND19.7 million (US$938) for personal use over a period of six months last year.

However, further investigations by the police revealed that the scale of the scam was greater, with codes of more than 100 people used to appropriate medicines worth hundreds of millions of dong.

A pharmacist at the centre has allegedly confessed to misusing her position and stealing medicines for personal use.

The medicines, including some used to treat diabetes, were taken in the name of several health insurance policy holders who'd never visited the centre.

Investigations found seven doctors at the centre were requested by the pharmacist to sign medical invoices without verification.

The pharmacist who admitted her violations returned the money to the centre and was moved to another position while the seven doctors were reprimanded.

The centre has since tightened oversight over issue of medicines to health insurance policy holders.

Under current regulations, those found to abuse position and power to appropriate others' assets can be sentenced to between one year in prison and life imprisonment, depending on the level of the infringement.

Economy creates 1 mln jobs in eight months

The Vietnam economy has added more than one million jobs in the first eight months of the year, meeting 64% of the annual goal, according to a report by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

The report came at the ninth session of the National Assembly (NA) Committee for Social Affairs on September 25 focusing on labour, jobs and social welfare. By the end of the year, the number of poor households is forecast to be 5.8-6% of the nation's population, down by 1.8-2% compared to last year.

Despite improvements in vocational training, its quality remains poor, especially in mountainous and rural areas.

Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen said the Vietnamese Government will pay attention to developing infrastructure facilities particularly building vocational training schools and boarding schools for ethnic groups.

Demand for human resources grows along with HCM City economy

The demand for human resources has increased in the IT, electronics, real estate, tourism-hospitality, mechanical engineering-automation, and textile sectors since last year, according to the HCM City Centre for Human Resource Forecast and Labour Information.

The trend dovetails with the city's economic development, Tran Anh Tuan, the centre's deputy head, said.

The IT industry has accounted for 8 per cent of the total demand this year as investment increased.

In the first quarter of 2016 Samsung Corporation's 70ha factory will begin to operate in the city and need nearly 5,000 employees, and this would pose a challenge, Tuan said.

In the housing sector, which has accounted for around 6 per cent of the total demand, the market's recovery and growth has led to an increased need for human resources.

In the textile and footwear sectors, Viet Nam has been getting more and more orders from markets like the EU, Japan, and the US. According to the city's industrial parks and export processing zones, investment in the two industries has accounted more than 70 per cent of the total investment this year.

In the last quarter the demand for manual labour at companies is expected to increase because of the ongoing expansion in production.

Of 60,000 workers needed in the remaining months, manual workers will account for 35 per cent, up from 25.2 per cent in the third quarter, mostly in sales, services, textiles, and tourism-hospitality.

The rest will be skilled employees and graduates from universities, colleges, and vocational schools in the fields of IT, mechanical engineering, electronics, electricals, and telecom.

Tuan said 35,000 more workers would be needed for seasonal jobs between November and a few after Tet in late January.

The number of graduates seeking employment now accounts for 40 per cent of the total, he added.

Involvement of social organisations in law-making highlighted

Policy and legal experts are gathering at a two-day conference in the central city of Danang to discuss the contributions of social organisations to the law-building process in Vietnam.

Participants in the event, which opened on September 25 as part of a cooperation project between the National Assembly and Germany's Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), included members of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, representatives of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations, and NA deputies from central localities.

They reviewed the current legal framework on the participation of social organisations in legislative procedures, while discussing measures to build the State of the rule of law.

Participants also assessed the role of social organisations in legislation, shared practical experience, and devised measures to strengthen the involvement of social organisations in the processes of making laws and supervising their implementation.

According to Dang Dinh Luyen, Deputy Head of the NA Law Committee, in recent years, many laws and regulations have been added to the NA's law-building programmes, with the active participation of social organisations.

However, he pointed out that few social organisations could voice their opinions on legislation in general, while most of them could only comment on legislation in their respective fields of operations.

At the same time, many responses failed to provide complete information and follow format guidelines, he added.

Meanwhile, lawyer Nguyen Hung Quang from the NHQuang Lawyer and partners company held the social organisations in high regard, arguing that their participation would benefit the State and members of the public.

That participation would narrow the gaps between laws and their targeted community, enhancing the transparency and accountability of State activities and improving legal efficiency, he said.

The social organisations, in turn, would have the opportunity to improve their policy advocacy capacities, strengthening their network and getting closer to State agencies, Quang added.

Smuggled dental equipment seized

The Environment Crime Prevention branch (PC49) of the Ha Noi Police is investigating a cargo of dental equipments and medicine seized in the city on Tuesday.

The cargo was confiscated while it was being unloaded at the Luong Yen bus station. Tran Van Minh, the bus driver, was not able to present all the necessary documents for his cargo.

The police have identified a Chinese national, Mao Chi Cuong, as the owner of the cargo, which contained 27 pieces of dental equipment and 1032 spare parts engraved with Chinese letters without proper import documents.

Drug traffickers sentenced to death

A court in the northern province of Son La yesterday sentenced two men – Tran Manh Hung and Nguyen Duc Trung – to death for drug trafficking.

They were found guilty of transporting 22.9 kilograms of heroin in 78 packets.

Two others, Nguyen Tri Huan and Dao Dinh Nam, were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Hung and Trung were caught while transporting 19 packets of heroin by car from Son La to Ha Noi in February 2012. Huan and Nam were caught later for being involved in the trading of the 19 packets.

Trung and Huan were also found guilty of illegal storage of weapons.

In related news, police of the northern province of Quang Ninh said yesterday that they have arrested a woman carrying 5.5kg of crystal methamphetamine worth about US$470,000.

Community walk to raise funds for sports

The HCM City Department of Education and Training in collaboration with Nestle Milo will hold its first community walk in District 7's Phu My Hung on October 5 to raise funds for sports facilities at schools, and help students practice sports to improve their health.

More than 7,000 people are expected to join in the community walk in HCM City.

State Audit evaluates strategic role

The chairman of Viet Nam's Auditor Association, Tran Van Ta, said yesterday that the State Audit office of Viet Nam (SAV) should operate as a large-scale independent organisation without any external interference.

Ta was speaking at a workshop on improving the strategic role of the audit office in public finance management with Vietnamese and international auditors.

The main topic was Values and Benefits of the State Audit Office in Public Finance Management.

The workshop was organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Audit of Vietnam (SAV).

It was part of USAID's Country Development Co-operation Strategy for Viet Nam 20014-2018 which relates to Viet Nam's Strategic Plan on the Development of State Audit 2013-2017.

Addressing the gathering, Ta said the audit office should transform its method from compliance audit to performance audit and perform business-based audit to improve work efficiency.

He added that it should develop audit standards to ensure the proper use of State funds by agency leaders, adding that it should operate as a large-scale independent organisation without any external interference.

Director of Regional State Audit Office 12 in Dak Lak, Nguyen Anh Tuan, said that State audit offices had to prove their roles to ensure accountability in using State funds.

A representative from KPMG Vietnam said that the audit office needed assistance from those audited to improve working results.

The deputy director of Specialised Audit Department 4 in charge of capital infrastructure investment and projects, Vu Nhat Anh, said State enterprises that had been equitised should be included in the audit subjects to avoid losses in the State budget.

He said it would be better if SAV improved the quality of audit training programmes and the exchange of information among auditors to improve specialist competency.

The director of Regional State Audit Office 4 in HCM City, Truong Viet Huong, said that the Law of State Audit should be more widely publicised to improve the knowledge of government agencies and businesses.

A representative from the Institute of Economics and Finance under the Ministry of Finance, Vu Dinh Anh said that the actual State fund had always exceeded its estimate by 35 per cent.

He said the most important matter was to tighten fiscal and financial expenses in the use of State funds.

He added that society would require information about State funds to be monitored to ensure their integrity and transparency.

The Ministry of Finance representative said that the quality of audit figures must be guaranteed through internal and external monitoring and evaluation.

Tests confirm bacterial contamination in food poisoning case

The Gia Lai Preventive Medicine Centre yesterday announced the results of the tests done on food samples after 114 people were hospitalised for food poisoning on September 15.

The tests done on beef samples and the well water sample taken from a certain Ro Lan Gong's house showed that the amount of E coli bacteria and coliform bacteria respectively exceeded the permitted levels by 100 times each.

The bacteria cause diarrhoea, blood disorders and kidney problems which can be fatal.

All 114 food poisoning victims, who are ethnic J'rai minorities from Ho Lang Village in Chu Pong Commune in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai's Chu Se District, have been discharged from hospital in stable health condition.

On September 15, Ro Lan Gong had organised a funeral for his relative, and had slaughtered a cow to offer food to the other villagers. After consuming the beef, 114 people, including adults and children, were hospitalised with symptoms of stomach pain, nausea and diarrhoea.

Viet Nam preps for ASEAN Skills Competition

The 10th ASEAN Skills Competition will test the know-how and nerves of scores of young competitors from ASEAN nations in Ha Noi from October 23-28.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Nguyen Ngoc Phi, said Viet Nam believed hosting the event was hugely important.

The 1,200-delegate event, including 293 competitors under 22, demonstrated Viet Nam and ASEAN's commitment to developing qualified human resources as the ASEAN Economic Community draws closer.

"The issue of vocational training is critical and poses many challenges. A large percentage of families do not want their children to undergo vocational training and instead just want them to go to university for a general education," Phi said.

Cao Van Sam, deputy head of the organising committee for the event and deputy director of Viet Nam's Vocational Training Department, said it allowed young people, vocational-training educators and experts from ASEAN nations to come together and exchange ideas on how to develop a skilled labor force.

The competition will test skills in 23 types of vocations, most notably automobile technology, mobile robotics, mechatronics and web design.

Vietnam-Germany Hospital to transfer techniques to rural hospitals

About 140 doctors from the Hanoi-based Vietnam-Germany Hospital (VGH) will deliver ten surgical packages to seven hospitals in the north as part of its satellite hospital project for 2013-2015.

The beneficiaries include the general hospitals of Lao Cai, Dien Bien, Ha Giang, Bac Giang, Quang Ninh, Thai Binh and Ninh Binh provinces, said Ass. Prof. Dr. Tran Binh Giang, Deputy Director of the hospital, at a ceremony to launch the delivery in Hanoi on September 24.

VGH has piloted the model of satellite hospitals since 2002 with the aim of easing its overcrowded situation, he said, adding that the model has been successful at six hospitals in Tay Son (Hanoi), Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Bac Ninh, Nam Dinh and Phu Tho.

The satellite hospital network now comprises over 45 hospitals throughout the country, he said.

According to Cao Hung Thai, deputy head of the Health Examination and Treatment Management Department under the Ministry of Health, the delivery of the ten technical packages will help people in the targeted rural provinces enjoy hi-tech health services at low costs.

Improved migration policies increase climate change resilience

Policy-makers and domestic and international scientists attended a workshop in Hanoi on September 24 to review migration policies in a bid to increase community resilience to climate change.

The function was held by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Vietnam is particularly vulnerable to climate change's negative impacts, both Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Deputy Country Director, and Ma Quang Trung, Director of the department, agreed.

The Vietnamese Government has carried out a number of strategies to minimise the impacts of extreme weather phenomena and environmental pressures, with a focus on households affected by tsunamis, floods, flash floods, and landslides, they said.

In response to growing economic and environmental pressures, many people have been forced to alter their livelihood strategies or migrate. As a global trend, migration possesses a number of opportunities to mitigate the risks of climate change, address vulnerability, and improve economic opportunities, they added.

Bakhodir Burkhanov said Vietnam needs to enhance its resettlement programmes and eradicate barriers to the movement of people in order to improve the country's resilience to climate change, facilitate the implementation of poverty eradication policies, and maintain human development progress.

UN reports urged Vietnam to reform its climate change-related policies and improve the effectiveness of migration and resettlement. Meanwhile, national and provincial programmes need to improve living conditions, diversify income-generating activities, and boost the resilience of migrated and resettled communities.

Additionally, authorities were called to improve their capacity to make sure target groups are benefitting from social support programmes and raise public awareness of climate change resilience.

During the workshop, participants also discussed the building of climate change-resistant houses and social support programmes.

Singapore-Vietnam education cooperation progressing

Education is one of the bright spots in the multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore.

Nearly 10,000 Vietnamese students are studying at Singaporean universities, colleges and schools. Many Vietnamese officials, doctor or master degree holders have graduated from renowned institutions in the island nation, particularly at the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) and Civil Service College (CSC).

Around 1,500 Vietnamese students have studied at the LKYSPP and most of them are currently holding key positions in Vietnamese state agencies.

LKYSPP Dean Kishore Mahbubani said he is very proud to hear that many Vietnamese students have embarked on successful careers in their homeland after graduation. He hoped that the school will have closer and tight relations with Vietnam in the coming years.

Since 2001, CSC has recruited Vietnamese students with the aim of introducing Singapore's practical experiences and helping them enrich their knowledge to support future careers.

CSC representative Flynn Ong said the school wants to share experience with Vietnamese officials, contributing to the country's development.

Singaporean experts spoke highly of Vietnamese students' qualifications and suggested Vietnam should continue to reform its educational system to meet the requirements of globalisation.

Nam Dinh, Hoa Binh women honoured as heroic mothers

The title 'heroic Vietnamese mother' was bestowed upon 317 elderly women in the northern province of Nam Dinh on September 25, in honour of their sacrifices to the struggle for national liberation.

Of the awardees, only 123 are still alive. All of them lost their husbands and children during the war.

Since 1994, over 1,240 women have been recognised as heroic mothers, many posthumously.

This year, Nam Dinh spent 5.6 billion VND (267,000 USD) on providing medical care for the province's heroic mothers.

The same day, in the northern province of Hoa Binh, the title 'Heroic Vietnamese mother' was presented to 48 elderly women, bringing the awardees to 113.

Conference highlights involvement of social organisations in law-making

Policy and legal experts are gathering at a two-day conference in the central city of Da Nang to discuss the contributions of social organisations to the law-building process in Vietnam .

Participants in the event, which opened on September 25 as part of a cooperation project between the National Assembly and Germany's Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), included members of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, representatives of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations, and NA deputies from central localities.

They reviewed the current legal framework on the participation of social organisations in legislative procedures, while discussing measures to build the State of the rule of law.

Participants also assessed the role of social organisations in legislation, shared practical experience, and devised measures to strengthen the involvement of social organisations in the processes of making laws and supervising their implementation.

According to Dang Dinh Luyen, Deputy Head of the NA Law Committee, in recent years, many laws and regulations have been added to the NA's law-building programmes, with the active participation of social organisations.

However, he pointed out that few social organisations could voice their opinions on legislation in general, while most of them could only comment on legislation in their respective fields of operations.

At the same time, many responses failed to provide complete information and follow format guidelines, he added.

Meanwhile, lawyer Nguyen Hung Quang from the NHQuang Lawyer and partners company held the social organisations in high regard, arguing that their participation would benefit the State and members of the public.

That participation would narrow the gaps between laws and their targeted community, enhancing the transparency and accountability of State activities and improving legal efficiency, he said.

The social organisations, in turn, would have the opportunity to improve their policy advocacy capacities, strengthening their network and getting closer to State agencies, Quang added.-

France funds medical equipment for Can Tho Hospital

The French government has agreed to offer Vietnam 19.5 million euro, equivalent to VND526 billion, in official development assistance (ODA) to buy medical equipment for Can Tho General Hospital.

The general hospital, which was inaugurated last Sunday after five years of construction at a total cost of around VND850 billion, covers an area of 2.5 hectares including 10 floors and one basement.

The general hospital has 23 wards and eight specialized functions with 500 beds, capable to diagnose and treat large numbers of patients in Can Tho City and the Mekong Delta.

Le Quang Vo, director of Can Tho General Hospital, said with the financial aid from the French government, the hospital will strive to become a major medical center in the Mekong Delta.

Can Tho is more developed than other localities in the delta in terms of healthcare. The city has effectively carried out many community health programs to prevent and control dangerous diseases, said Le Hung Dung, chairman of Can Tho City.

The provincial authorities will equip the hospital with more modern equipment to support the diagnosis and treatment for patients in the coming time.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen said it is important to enhance quality of health care services, ease the overload at other hospitals and improve professional ethics and expertise of doctors and nurses.

* In related development, an eight-storey building with a total floor space of over 5,800 square meters located in Thu Duc Hospital was inaugurated on Tuesday.

The VND75.6-billion building whose construction started last May has 43 inpatient rooms with 180 beds and other specialized functions.

The new building helps the hospital expand its inpatient treatment area, facilitate diagnosis and treatment, and enhance quality of health care services.

80% of plant protection drugs wrongly used

A recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development revealed that as much as 80% of plant protection drugs have been wrongly used, threatening food safety and causing environment pollution.

Pham Dong Quang, deputy head of the Ministry's Department of Crop Production, told a confererence on restructuring agriculture held in Hanoi on Tuesday that the improper use of such drugs are due to poor understanding of farmers and the weak management of the authorities.

As the production of the drugs is small and scattered, it is hard for authorities to manage the drug market while the introduction of techniques to replace the plant protection drugs is overlooked.

“It is estimated that more than ten million farmers use plant protection drugs nationwide and each agriculture official on average is tasked with giving guidance on how to use the drugs for more than 3,000 farmers. With such a small number of agriculture officials, farmers have very little chance to access proper guidance to use the drugs,” Quang said.

Meanwhile, drugs are sold widely across the country and farmers use such drugs under the instruction of vendors, who always advise buyers to apply larger-than-needed amount of drugs in order to earn more profits.

For paddy only, around 9.3 million farmers use plant protection drugs on their fields to prevent pests, said Nguyen Xuan Hong, head of the Plant Protection Department.

However, Hong said if the task of plant protection is well organized into service teams with the coordination of relevant agencies and provision of suitable equipment, then only between four and six people are needed to use the drug on an area which currently requires 100 people.

If that can be done, the drug use management will be more effective and the manpower can be reduced by 94%, he said.

The agriculture ministry is working on a project to organize such teams on a pilot basis in the 2015-2017 period. According to the plan, the State will cover the costs spent on establishing those service teams, training staff, acquiring machines to spray the drug, and insurance premiums for members of those teams.

The project will be applied next year if approved by the Government.

Air plants come in vogue

In the cramped atmosphere of close buildings and small streets with heavy traffic, decorating office desks and small rooms by cay khong khi (air plant) has become trendy in Saigon.

By its name, this kind of plant does not grow in soil, water or sand but it is fed by air. Therefore, they can be hung, put in glass vases or set in a wooden frame. Plants imbibe nutrients and water via air, so growers just need to spray water on them once a week. However, in areas with high humidity, those plants can absorb water in the air to grow, which saves time to take care of them.

“I used to decorate my rooms by aquatic plants or many small ornamental and bonsai trees, but I really like air plants as they make my space look clean thanks to the absence of soil and water, and I do not need to worry about them while away from home,” said Nguyen Thanh Thanh Hang, an enthusiast in District 10.

These plants originate in Thailand with scientific name Tillandasia. Many shops around the city sell about 12 types of air plant at VND30,000 to VND800,000 each and their main customers are often office workers who want to make their workplaces green and fresh.

“Scientific research shows that this plant has a function to balance yin and yang in feng shui. It also gives a relaxing feeling to people as it helps improve air purity,” said Huynh Ngoc Van, a nurse in Cho Ray Hospital.

She added sources on the Internet said such plants can absorb toxic substances such as industrial smoke, cigarette smoke and unpleasant smells.

To make plants more beautiful, some people put them together with colorful sands and pebbles. Some dexterous planters also hang them together with light bulbs or small lanterns and wooden frames to make the space artistic.

VNN/VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/ND

Source Vietnamnet

ministry of agriculture and rural development, na committee for social affairs, northern province of hoa binh, invalids and social affairs, pham thi hai chuyen, at the same time, state audit of vietnam, the ministry of health, agriculture and rural development, deputy minister of health, on the level, ministry of labour, pham thi hai, tran anh tuan, more and more

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