4,000 children suffering violence every year: Women Union
Vietnam Women’s Union condemned violence to children and called for parents’ pay attention in protecting their children more.
Each year, Vietnam has around 4,000 children suffering from violence; of them, over 100 are killed and around 1,000 are sexually abused, said the Ministry of Public Security at a meeting on parents’ role in fighting against violence and sexual assaults to their children held by Vietnam Women’s Union on June 25.
At the meeting, representatives of the union warned that violence to children was increasing and strongly required police forces to strictly punish those who maltreated children. The union also appealed to parents to pay more attention in protecting their children.
Contemplation of large reforms in education sector
Tran Duc Canh, a founding member of Phan Chau Trinh University suggested mergers of many universities to reduce the number of schools in Vietnam by one third.
Canh proposed making a clear distinction between four types of educational facilities, including academies, colleges and universities for bachelor-level and graduates.
If the mergers of public universities were carried out, 320 facilities would be reduced to just over 200. According to Canh, specialised universities should be merged into multi-disciplinary institutions. Public universities would be merged into 15 institutions. He said, “Right now we have a large number of universities, but weak educational management.”
On the other hand, Canh suggested an increase in the number of private universities over the next 20 years, despite many complaints about enrollment quotas. Canh said most private universities have a tendency to develop into multi-disciplinary institutions, and must have been good at management since they had no support from the state. He said, “This is an emerging sector, so it can expect to encounter instability and changes.”
In any case, the importance of private sector in Vietnam’s educational depends on government’s policies.
Talking about colleges, Tran Duc Canh hopes to make them into two-year degree facilities, which can be opened in all localities. “Most students at colleges plan to transfer to a four-year university. This will help students save money and time, and will also help to reduce the number of students flocking to big cities.”
If Canh’s proposal were followed, the number of bachelor degree holders would increase by about 21% within 20 years. This raises doubts, since 72,000 graduate students are reportedly unemployed. In response, Canh said that, with the current human resource situation in the country, problems such as counterfeit degrees and unqualified graduates will easily arise. Fair competition will play a great role in the quality of education, he added.
Canh said, “Vietnam now has the chance to learn from other countries’ experiences. However, reforming the education sector is a long and complicated process.”
HCM City’s social insurance agency terminates contracts with 10 clinics
HCMC Social Insurance agency has terminated health insurance contracts with ten among 40 private healthcare facilities that offer services for patients using health insurance coverage.
The agency had since 2005 signed agreements with private hospitals and clinics in the city to serve medically insured patients, its deputy director Luu Thi Thanh Huyen said.
However, many hospitals and clinics have not been transparent when declaring health care costs, not to mention that their quality in terms of facilities and manpower does not meet requirements set by the agency, forcing it to stop its contracts with them, she said.
Some private hospitals have volunteered to end health insurance contracts as income collected from insured patients is not enough to make up for their expenses, she added.
Huyen also said that every year the agency signs contracts with hospitals and clinics and evaluates their service quality at the end of each year.
HCMC now has around 40 private establishments, half of which are hospitals and the rest are clinics. The number of patients using health insurance services at these establishments is equal to only 10% of the number of patients using such services at public hospitals.
Many private clinics and hospitals have sought to sign health insurance contracts with the agency in a move to attract more patients although they do not have as enough medical facilities and doctors as required.
Some have found themselves unable to offer proper services for insured patients and have asked to end their contracts.
East-West Highway continues to subside
Despite multiple repairs, East-West Highway in HCMC’s District 2 is still severely subsiding due to substandard asphalt, said a representative of the city’s bridges-roads-ports consulting center.
Ha Ngoc Truong, vice chair of the Center of Science and Technology Consultant for Bridges – Roads – Ports in HCMC (BROPOCE), said at a conference on subsidence of asphalt-covered roads held on June 25 in the city that poor-quality asphalt is the main reason for the sinking of the highway.
The other reason is a wrong prediction of the average number of trucks travelling annually from and to Cat Lai Port in the district via the highway. The initial forecast put traffic at only 10,000 trucks per day but the actual number is 22,000 trucks per day, which led to an inappropriate design for the road, he said.
Truong said in order to completely stop the subsidence, the highway contractor should increase the amount of polymer in the asphalt mixture, a method which has been applied sucessfully to fix the severe sinking of the section from My Thuy roundabout to Cat Lai Port, also in District 2.
Other solutions are to let trucks use more than one lane of the highway, and redirecting more goods to Cai Mep-Thi Vai Port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province and to Hiep Phuoc Port in HCMC’s District 7 to ease truck traffic on the highway.
At the conference, traffic experts also discussed reasons for subsidence of roads in the northern and central regions and agreed upon three main causes – wrong design, inappropriate construction, and overloaded trucks.
The three problems will be further analyzed so that the most accurate reason for road subsidence can be found and reported to the Ministry of Transport.
In order to better inspect road quality, a laboratory has been set up at the HCMC University of Transport. It is equipped with different tools, allowing experts to conduct 259 national-stardard tests on road quality.
Transport ministry told to push clampdown on overloading
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on June 25 asked the Ministry of Transport to step up the clampdown on overloading as stricter supervision in the first half of 2014 has resulted in fewer traffic accidents.
During an online conference in Hanoi reviewing the traffic situation, the National Traffic Safety Committee reported that over 12,800 accidents happened during the period nationwide, killing 4,689 people and injuring 12,000 others, down 2,000 cases, 224 deaths and 2,700 injured people from a year earlier.
Police checked the loading capacity of 103,500 trucks and collected 77 billion VND (over 3.6 million USD) in fines from 24,800 violation cases, heard the function.
Deputy PM Phuc said that such supervision has helped raise transport enterprises’ awareness of observing traffic rules, while speaking highly of provinces which have worked well to deal with the evil.
However, he also pointed out the lax traffic law enforcement and inactive application of new technology in patrol and vehicle examination in some localities.
There occur cases involving people resisting on-duty officers while the registration and management of waterway vessels remain sluggish, he noted.
Asides from underlining the need to tighten the control over overloaded trucks, Phuc asked the ministry to harness other forms of transport to reduce pressure on road infrastructure, and severely punish those who change the original designs of vehicles for the purpose of intentional overloading.
He also ordered the National Road Maintenance Fund to ensure sufficient money for the operation of load capacity checkpoints.
Additionally, the Deputy PM demanded the ministry to promptly replace makeshift bridges with permanent ones, speed up the building of National Highway No.1 and the Ho Chi Minh Road’s sections through the Central Highlands, and work to ensure traffic safety at places under construction.-
Vietnam-Cambodia friendship association condemns China’s illegal act
The Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association (VCFA) has voiced strong protest against China’s unlawful and inhuman act of illegally placing its oil rig in Vietnam’s waters, demanding the country immediately withdraw the rig as well as all escort vessels out of the area.
In a statement issued at a conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 25, the VCFA criticised that China’s act violates Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the East Sea.
This runs counter to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, agreements reached between the two countries’ high-ranking officials and the jointly statement between China and ASEAN member nations on the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC), it said.
China’s move is dangerous and threatening security, navigation freedom in the sea as well as peace and stability in the region, the statement stressed, adding that this negatively impacts the Vietnam-China traditional relations.
The association requested China to stop its actions at sea against Vietnam’s law enforcement forces and refrain from preventing fishing activities by Vietnamese fishermen, and called on organisations, societies and friendship associations along with Chinese intellectuals to raise their voice against China.
It also expressed strong support for and belief in the policy and efforts of the Party and State in resolutely safeguarding the national sovereignty and solving territorial disputes in the East Sea through peaceful measures.
In early May, China illegally dispatched the rig as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft to Vietnam’s waters and positioned it at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude, 80 miles deep inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.
In May alone, 19 fisheries surveillance ships and five coast guard vessels of Vietnam were seriously damaged after being rammed and fired with water cannons while performing their mission demanding China withdraw its rig.
Particularly, on May 26, Chinese ships sank a fishing boat belonging to Da Nang fishermen operating in the traditional fishing grounds near Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.
Vietnamese in Russia support coast guards in East Sea
The Overseas Vietnamese Association in Russia has granted 84,000 USD in support of coast guards, fisheries surveillance officials and fishermen who are safeguarding national sovereignty in the East Sea.
The sum has raised its donation so far to 110,000 USD.
Speaking in Hanoi on June 24, Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs Nguyen Thanh Son expressed his hope that the Vietnamese communities abroad will stay supportive of law enforcement officials and fishermen at home, both materially and spiritually.
Tran Xuan Kien, a representative from the Vietnam Coast Guard, expressed thanks to the Vietnamese in Russia, describing this as a great encouragement for his fellows to brave every danger at sea to safeguard Vietnam’s sea and island sovereignty.
Greater security aimed for Southwestern region
The Steering Committee for Southwestern Region on June 25 organised a conference in Can Tho city to review security situation in the Mekong Delta over the past six months and launch tasks for the remainder of the year.
During January-June, agencies from various forces have worked together to promptly deal with sabotage activities by hostile forces to ensure security in the region, the conference heard.
However, China’s illegal placement of its Haiyang Shiyou -981 drilling rig deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf from early May has posed risks to these efforts.
Meanwhile, complicated developments have been seen in the protection of security along the shared border, the operations by hostile forces, complaints and labour strikes by local people and the social order.
In the second half of the year, the committee will coordinate closely with local Party committees and authorities at all levels to handle efficiently arising issues related to security and defence.
It will increase communication campaigns to raise local people’s vigilance against activities aimed at undermining the economy as well as hostile forces’ sabotage schemes.
Due attention will be given to boosting ties with neighbouring countries, the committee said.
Comprising 12 provinces and one centrally-run city with a total area of 40,000 square kilometres and a combined population of 18 million, the region is the country’s largest granary.
It produces 52 percent of the national rice output and 90 percent of the total rice export.
The region provides 58 percent of the country’s total aquatic products output and accounts for 60 percent of national aquatic export turnover.
Around 70 percent of fruit supply in the country comes from orchards in the region.
PM orders wider application of methadone treatment
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered local authorities nationwide to ensure sufficient medical staff, equipment and money to provide more methadone treatment for drug addicts.
The country is striving to have 30,850 patients receiving this therapy by the year’s end and increase the figure to over 81,000 by 2015.
Major cities such as Hai Phong, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are tasked to treat the largest number of heroin dependants.
Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) programme was initially piloted in Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh City in April 2008, and then spread to 32 cities and provinces nationwide, with more than 17,500 patients being treated at 92 clinics.
After a 12-month treatment course, the percentage of patients who are at high risk of depression slid to 15 percent from 80 percent. Many have gained weight and seen their physical and mental health stabilise.
Meanwhile, the rate of legal violators has dropped to 1.3 percent from 40.8 percent, according to the Ministry of Health.
This treatment has also proved economical, according to the preliminary survey in 11 provinces and cities. It showed that a heroin addict wastes 230,000 VND (10.8 USD) per day for buying drugs (around 84 million VND or 4,000 USD per year). In comparison, the cost for methadone treatment ranges between 6 and 8 million VND.
Taiwanese projects help underprivileged children in central province
Underprivileged children in the central province of Quang Tri have benefited from a number of projects by a Taiwanese non-governmental organisation over the past 16 years, heard a meeting on June 25.
The projects of Zhi-Shan Foundation (ZSF) from China’s Taiwan have been carried out since 1998 at a sum of 32.5 billion VND (1.5 million USD).
During the period, the ZSF has presented more than 1,000 scholarships worth some 1.2 billion VND (57,100 USD) every year to children with disadvantaged backgrounds.
Since 2000, it has given free surgeries totally worth about 7.5 billion VND (357,100 USD) to 670 children with deformities and helped rehabilitate the disabled under the age of 18.
Under another project supporting pre-school education since 2004, four nurseries have been built at a cost of 5 billion VND (238,000 USD) in Gio Linh, Cam Lo and Hai Lang districts while local staff trained in nutrition practice and health care.
It aims at ensuring access of all children in the target localities to education and reducing the rate of malnourished ones to below 10 percent.
On this occasion, the Quang Tri People’s Committee recognised contributions of the ZFS by awarding certificates of merit to three individuals.
Local authorities and the foundation also presented gifts to 914 students who achieved outstanding academic results.
Founded in 1995, the ZFS engages in long-term humanitarian international aid and development work.-
RoK city’s leader awarded Friendship Medal
Hur Nam-sik, Mayor of Busan city of the Republic of Korea, was awarded the Friendship Medal for his significant contributions to enhancing friendship and cooperation between his country and Vietnam.
Vietnamese Ambassador to RoK Pham Huu Chi, who handed over the award to Hur at a ceremony in Bussan on June 24, praised the recipient’s efforts in fostering economic and cultural links between Ho Chi Minh City and Busan, thus bolstering the strategic cooperation partnership between the two countries.
Hur said he was honored and deeply moved to receive the medal, and affirmed that in any position, he will work harder to further develop the bilateral ties.
Under the leadership of the mayor, economic ties between the two southern cities of RoK and Vietnam saw a rapid development, with their trade turnover in 2013 reaching 2.2 billion USD.
Among 3,500 RoK firms operating in Vietnam, about 1,800 chose Ho Chi Minh City for their investment and business.
The people-to-people exchange between the two cities was also expanded incessantly, with about 30,000 Vietnamese people living and studying in Busan and about 80,000 those from RoK settling in Ho Chi Minh City. In June 2012, Hur decided to set up Busan city’s representative office in Ho Chi Minh City, with a hope of boosting investment and trade promotion and cooperation between the two sides’ authorities.
Besides, with the support of Busan’s authorities and the mayor in particular, the Vietnamese community has developed into a strong society, positively contributing to strengthening mutual understanding and friendship between the two nations.
Luxembourg funds healthcare centres in northern provinces
The Health Department of northern mountainous Cao Bang province and the Luxembourg Agency for Development Cooperation on June 25 inaugurated a new health centre in the Dam Thuy commune, Trung Khanh district.
The centre, spread over an area of 950 sq.ms, was built with an investment of more than 2.2 billion VND (104,000 USD), from Luxembourg’s development grant.
It is expected to provide better healthcare to about 5,000 people, mostly from the Tay ethnic group in the commune.
The healthcare centre is part of Luxembourg’s support to the healthcare policy for the poor in the northern provinces of Cao Bang and Bac Kan.
Under the project, the construction of other 11 healthcare centres, worth 26.8 billion VND (1.25 million USD), is scheduled to finish next month in the two provinces.
First southern IP has police station
A police station has been set up in Long Hau Industrial Park in Long An Province, making Long Hau the first IP in the country’s south to have a police station to enhance security there.
The new police station is directly administered by Can Giuoc District Police, and mandated to ensure security for the industrial park and nearby places, including residential areas and areas for workers of the park.
A representative of a Japanese firm said improved security will help attract more enterprises from Japan into Long Hau Industrial Park because safety and stability are among factors investors care about most when making investments.
Enterprises in the industrial park are now planning to increase their production now that goods transport has also been made more convenient following the success of a project to dredge Soai Rap navigational channel leading to Hiep Phuoc port complex, which is only three kilometers from the industrial park.