CAAV asks Lao Cai to reconsider airport project
In response to a proposal by the Lao Cai provincial government for building the VND5.8-trillion Sapa Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has requested the locality to thoroughly study the necessity and efficiency of the project, reported the local media.
According to CAAV deputy head Vo Huy Cuong, the local authorities should carefully weigh the impact of other means of transport, along with the province’s economic development orientation and tourism prior to preparing a plan for building the airport. Cuong stressed that building an airport is a legitimate aspiration for any locality; however, its feasibility must be mulled seriously, regardless of whether the project is backed by private or state funding.
Cuong cited the examples of South Korea and Taiwan, noting that the two have fewer airports than Vietnam but their operations still lack efficiency. This is compensated by other transport systems there, such as expressways and high-speed railways, which boast robust growth. He added their airports are facing difficulties in operating international flights, so all their carriers are trying to introduce air routes to Vietnam.
A traffic expert said that investors only inject money into potential air carriers. For provincial airports, the number of passengers and the profits usually remain modest, failing to attract enough investment.
Earlier, the provincial People’s Committee had proposed building Sapa Airport in Cam Con Commune in Bao Yen District, with total investment capital of nearly VND5.8 trillion. The project comprises two phases. The first phase will cost VND4.75 trillion (including the site clearance costs), serving 560,000 passengers and transporting 600 tons of goods per year, with two aprons. The second phase is projected to raise the airport’s capacity to 1,585,000 passengers and 2,880 tons of commodities per year.
Dong Thap: 6,000 households living in landslide-prone areas
Chairman Nguyen Thanh Hung from the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap said up to August, of 5,975 households in the province have been living in landslide-prone areas.
Of these, 900 households are living in landslide-prone areas in urgent need to relocation and 5,075 others are living in dangerous zones
Flooding season is coming the region, therefore Dong Thap province People’s Committee proposed the government to support to move local residents from dangerous zones to safer areas.
Accordingly, the government should support the province in building 12 residential blocks in seven districts, cities to relocate about 2,440 households to stable places with total capital of up to VND 657billion.
Health authority ensures continuous ARV treatment for HIV/AIDS-positive people
In the past year, the health authority in Ho Chi Minh City tried its best to ensure continuous ARV treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS.
In the first six months of the year, HCMC has detected 2,430 fresh cases of HIV/AIDS, a year-on-year rise of 732. At present, 33,500 outpatients including people from neighboring provinces are being treated in 21 clinics.
The Tropical Disease Hospital , Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital, Children Hospital No.1 and 2, and Nguyen Trai, medical center in Go Vap District and 17 infirmaries in districts are providing treatment on insured HIV/AIDS people who are covered by insurance agency except for ART drug.
In the first six months, the city health sector has issued 2,934 insurance cards to people living with HIV/AIDS.
In the next time, it will liaise with the southern provinces of Binh Duong, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Long An, Tay Ninh and Tien Giang on transfer special patients from hospitals to hospitals to ensure continuous treatment and enhance coverage of insurance on them.
HCMC undertakes activities in response to World Cleanup Day 2018
In response to the World Cleanup Day 2018 as well as contribute to the program “ Reducing environment pollution for the period 2016-2020”, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Natural Resources and Environment has launched a campaign to tackle environmental issues eliminating pollution hotspots.
Deputy director of the Department Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh My said that the campaign starts nationwide from September 15 to 21.
In Ho Chi Minh City, activities will center around protecting residential quarters and public places. It will include increasing information of environment to raise city dwellers’ awareness changing their acts and eliminating pollution hotspots.
Participants who spread the information of environment to residents in will take part in training courses organized by the Department.
Alongside increasing information in public media and displaying models of environment protection, posters will be put up in visible public places to change people’s behaviors to environmental protection.
Specifically, the Department will run environment protection models in Thanh An Commune in Can Gio District and Binh Chanh District.
As per the plan, on Sundays, residents in the two districts will participate in “Green Sunday” campaign to tidy the environment preventing risks of diseases due to pollution.
Moreover, it will eliminate two pollution hotspots in the two districts.
Local administrations were asked to review pollution hotspots in the localities and plan to eliminate them. Each locality will choose at least three pollution hotspots.
Additionally, districts will carry out cleanup activities at the same time including collecting wastes in roads and rivers, dredging canals and enhance control of pollution in factories.
HCMC seeks funds for improving traffic infrastructure
Ring roads No.3 links HCMC, Binh Duong Province and Long An Province
One of the reasons of city’s traffic infrastructure projects is lack of funds, therefore, the city is seeking funds for improving traffic infrastructure, said Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport Bui Xuan Cuong said at the meeting presided by Chairman of People’s Committee and Transport Minister Nguyen Van The on August 3.
The Ministry is seeking funds for expressways connecting HCMC and provinces in the major economic zones such as HCMC- Moc Bai of the southern province of Tay Ninh; HCMC – Chon Thanh in BInh Phuoc province as well as build traffic intersection Tan Tao – Cho Dem in Binh Chanh District.
Moreover, the Ministry will improve Binh Trieu – Hoa Hung railway and build a small railway from Thu Thiem to Long Thanh Airport; ports along rivers Dong Nai, Sai Gon and Vam Co to remove ports in inner city helping to develop the southern economic zone.
Director Cuong petitioned the Ministry to urge the Airports Corporation of Vietnam to build a special lane for buses in Tan Son Nhat premises and the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam to adjust the landing and takeoff time in peak season.
Also, the Ministry should work with the Ministry of Public Security to work out the plan of inter-department inspection on overloading vehicles.
The Ministry should consider to allow HCMC authority to control river traffic in the city in order to improve management, Director Cuong suggested
Additionally, the Ring Belt No.3 should be built as per the city’s mechanism and the Ring Belt No.4 through Ben Luc – Hiep Phuoc should be completed soon.
The Ministry was urged to approve the railway project between HCMC- Can Tho City in the Mekong delta. Implementation of the National Highway 1A, 1K, 13, 22, 50 is waiting for the Ministry’s support
The city urged the Ministry to finish formalities to include An Phu Traffic Projects into the HCMC-Long Thanh – Dau Giay projects and submit to the Prime Minister.
Chairman Phong said that there has been good cooperation between the Ministry and HCMC in improving traffic infrastructure for past year. Notwithstanding, limited budget for traffic infrastructure impeded the plan.
He proposed the People’ Council to approve an amount from state budget and other sources for building roads through HCMC so as to speed up expansion of ring belts.
The city authorities requested competent agencies to work with the Ministry to quickly expand Tan Son Nhat Aiport, said Mr. Phong. He stressed that HCMC- Can Tho railway project must be run soon to connect the city and the Mekong delta.
Minister Nguyen Van The said that these projects will be completed soon. In the comming time, Tan Son Nhat Airport must be upgraded to meet demands and furthermore, ring roads must link each other to help reduce traffic.
North-South express railway project and HCMC-Can Tho City railway project must be carried out to ensure the synchronous connection of roads between the city and other provinces, he said.
Also, Long Thanh Airport work must be carried out with traffic infrastructure of roads, railway and other types of transport between HCMC and other provinces.
Detailed plan is needed for construction of ring roads No. 3 and 4, said Minister The. He emphasized traffic plan must be considered carefully or there will be worse traffic snarls in the next time especially in the National Highway 22 and 50.
Sci-tech programme for new-style rural areas construction reviewed
At the conference (Photo: kinhtedothi.vn)
A national conference was held in the northern province of Vinh Phuc on August 6, to review the scientific and technological programme on the construction of new style rural areas for the 2011-2015 period and to deploy the tasks for the 2016-2020 period.
The conference was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Steering Committee for National Target Programmes, Vuong Dinh Hue.
In early 2012, the Prime Minister approved the scientific and technological programme on the construction of new-style rural areas, with a total budget of VND221 billionsourced from the State budget.
The programme also mobilised VND165 billion from a number of enterprises, accounting for 43% of the total budget towards implementing the programme (VND386 billion VND).
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), roughly 150 models in such areas as agricultural production, the application of renewable energy, irrigation, and mitigating the impacts of climate change, etc., were implemented and transferred in localities nationwide.
In order to effectively implement the programme for the 2016-2020 period, the MARD proposed that legal documents for the implementaion of the programmeshould be completed.
It is also necessary to strengthen the links and promote the role and participation of enterprises, cooperatives and farmers in the programme.
Furthermore, there should also be a mechanism in place to integrate the resources of science and technology, and scientific and technological programmes, at all levels to serve the goal of building new-style rural areas.
Honeymoon and Wedding Perfect expo returns in August
The Honeymoon and Wedding Perfect (HWP) exhibition will return to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City this August. (Photo: trienlamcuoihwp2018.vn)
The Honeymoon and Wedding Perfect (HWP) exhibition will return to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City this August, celebrating its 10th anniversary under the theme “The Elite.”
It will first take place at Gala Centre, 415 Hoang Van Thu street, HCM City from August 11-12 and Lotte Hotel Hanoi, 54 Lieu Giai street from August 24 – 26.
Soon-to-weds visiting the fair will have an opportunity to get special gifts and exclusive offers from leading wedding and honeymoon service providers.
Black, white and yellow are the theme colours of the 10th edition and this year’s trends of Vietnamese wedding season.
It is scheduled to host various activities, such as a lucky draw, run for love, wedding workshop, bride makeover and more.
Ha Nam: 3,800 houses of revolutionary contributors upgraded
A ribbon-cutting ceremony held to hand over a house for revolutionary contributor
Up to 3,794 houses have been built or upgraded for people who rendered services to the revolution in the northern province of Ha Nam.
Of the number, nearly 1,980 new houses were built while the houses of 1,816 others were improved, with all of them meeting safety and hygiene standards. The houses were built with funding from social sources in addition to State budget.
Under the provincial project to build houses for people who rendered service to the nation, 7,171 households in Ha Nam are eligible for the support. This means 3,377 families are waiting for assistance, with 1,160 need new houses and 2,217 others need repairs.
The provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has worked with relevant agencies to monitor the implementation of the project and address difficulties.
Local authorities have also stepped up communication work to call for organisations, businesses and people’s engagement in the project.
According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, as of the end of 2017, a total of 9 million people were recognised as revolutionary contributors nationwide, including 1.2 million fallen soldiers, 127,000 heroic mothers and 800,000 wounded or sick soldiers.
Vietnam has promulgated various policies to support those revolutionary contributors who are living in disadvantaged conditions, one of which is housing aid.
New transport facilities to bring more tourists to Quang Ninh
Bach Dang Bridge under construction
Northern Quang Ninh province expects to welcome more tourists after new transport facilities are put into use later this year.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long has decided that Bach Dang Bridge, linking Quang Ninh and Hai Phong city, will be inaugurated on September 2 this year to fully put into use the Ha Long – Hai Phong Expressway.
The 5.4km-long bridge, spanning over the Bach Dang River, will help shorten the distance from Hai Phong to Quang Ninh’s Ha Long city from 75 km to 25 km, and from Hanoi to Ha Long from 180 km to 130 km.
As a result, it will take travellers less time to reach Ha Long and Mong Cai cities and Van Don district – three popular destinations in the province.
Additionally, Van Don International Airport has successfully handled test flights and will begin serving commercial flights in late 2018, a move expected to attract more foreign holidaymakers to the province.
The airport is set to cater for nine air routes and be capable of serving some 7,000 passengers per day. It is hoped to have annual capacity of 2 – 2.5 million passengers by 2020 and 5 million by 2030.
Despite poor weather in July, Quang Ninh recorded 916,000 tourist arrivals and more than 1.7 trillion VND (73 million USD) in tourism revenue.
More than 8.4 million vacationers, including more than 2.8 million foreigners, visited the province in the first seven months of this year, respectively up 26 percent and 17 percent year on year.
Total tourism revenue during the period surpassed 14 trillion VND (602 million USD), up 30 percent from a year earlier.
The sharp rise in the figures was attributable to diverse activities as part of the National Tourism Year 2018 hosted by Quang Ninh. The province is also taking action to improve the tourism business environment and its image in visitors’ eyes. It aims to welcome 12 million visitors in 2018.
Quang Ninh is home to a coastline of more than 250 kilometres and some 2,000 islets, two-thirds of the total in Vietnam. The spectacular stretch of coast connects the UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay with majestic natural scenery, Bai Tu Long Bay, Van Don and Co To islands and Tra Co beach with Cat Ba National Park in Hai Phong city.
Bodhisattva in holy matrimony
A young woman depicting the role of Bodhisattva in a Buddhist procession in Thừa Thiên – Huế can be seen wearing a Western-style bridal gown, which many said to be a serious wardrobe oversight. — Photo danviet.com.vn
Earlier last week, social media had a field day over a young woman who was wearing an unmistakably Western-style wedding dress while she was supposed to play the role of Bodhisattva of Compassion, a highly revered Buddhist deity figure in Việt Nam, in a Buddhist festival in the central province of Thừa Thiên – Huế.
Granted, the Goddess of Mercy in modern representations is usually depicted in pure white attire while meditating on top of a lotus petal throne, but a bridal gown might be too loose an interpretation in a festival that is not known for its shock value.
The Bodhisattva surely was not blameless, but the lion’s share of the blame must be put on the costume designers who thought it was an acceptable idea.
Many expressed indignation at the disrespectful incident.
Later, Hương Thuỷ Town authorities said that the festival to honour the Goddess was organised by the Huế Province branch of Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha on July 31 (18-19th day of the sixth Lunar month), but the procession of Bodhisattva was sorted by the local Buddhists.
The organisers apologised for the oversight and pledged better preparations in the following years’ celebrations.
Dong Nai Province chosen as leader of Cat Lai Bridge project
Đồng Nai Province will be responsible for Cát Lái Bridge project.— Photo vietnamnet.vn
The authorities of HCM City and Đồng Nai Province agreed to select Đồng Nai Province as the leader in the Cát Lái Bridge project.
The bridge will cross Đồng Nai River and link the city’s District 2 with Nhơn Trạch District in Đồng Nai Province.
Approved by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, the project has been delayed because of a lack of funds.
The 4-km long and 55m high Cát Lái Bridge, with six lanes for motor vehicles and three mixed lanes, is expected to ease crowding on Cát Lái Ferry, which is a key link from HCM City to Đồng Nai and Bà Rịa- Vũng Tàu provinces.
The Cát Lái Ferry carries an average 40,000 to 45,000 vehicles per day and up to 100,000 vehicles on peak days, according to the city’s Department of Transport.
The bridge is expected to create favourable traffic conditions for socio-economic development in HCM City and Đồng Nai Province.
Trần Văn Vĩnh, deputy chairman of Đồng Nai Province’s People’s Committee, said the province would complete the project as soon as possible
Total investment is VNĐ7.2 trillion (US$308 million). Construction is expected to start by 2020.
A dumpster fire
Firefighters putting out a car fire that broke out in Sa Pa town on August 4, using septic tank truck. — Photo soha.vn
On August 4, a Ford van carrying a Hà Nội license plate caught fire in a crossroad of Sa Pa town, a popular tourist destination of the northern province Lào Cai.
The fire raged for several minutes and threatened to consume other cars in the area.
Onlookers were visibly bemused when suddenly, a septic tank truck joined in on the firefighting efforts, and instead of white foam and water, a particularly stinking and dense liquid was doused on the fire.
The smelly method proved effective as the flaming car was reduced to a smoke-billowing metal skeleton quickly.
Later, Lê Mạnh Hảo, vice chairman of Sa Pa District People’s Committee, told the media that the locality has no fleet of firefighting trucks and deploying the trucks from Lào Cai City would take 30-40 minutes at least.
“This was quick thinking on the part of the firefighters, otherwise the fire could have spread to other cars and even houses. The water used was drawn from the lake, but it’s unavoidable that some excrement might still be in the pipe and the tank,” Hảo said.
“We are asking the province’s authorities as well as the public security ministry about organising a proper firefighting team here in the township but the request has not been approved,” he added.
Slapping lipsticks on…turtles?
A screen grab Facebook post of a ’mini turtle’ vendor, with many saying that they are actually the red-eared sliders, an exotic and highly invasive species.
‘Mini turtles’, or miniscule creatures that are barely double the size of a thumbnail with painted-on shells, are the latest fad amongst Vietnamese youngsters in search of cute pets.
The drawings on the shells vary from simple flowers and ordinary sceneries to more sophisticated drawings of popular anime characters.
Advertised as a low-maintenance pet that can live up to one month without drinking or eating with the additional benefit of eating mosquitoes and flies, inputting the keyword in Facebook search tool yields hundreds of results from makeshift vendors, who sell the turtles for VNĐ 40-60,000 (US$ 1.71-2.57).
However, the selling and buying of these painted-on turtles is stirring controversy.
Some suggest that the painting might be toxic for the reptiles, as several vendors have even gone so far as to paint the head of the turtle to make them more attractive.
The vendors also often fail to provide information as regards to the species.
Several social media users have also raised their suspicions that these might be the latest “reincarnation” of Trachemys scripta elegans, a North American native semi-aquatic turtle that appeared in Việt Nam a decade ago (commonly referred to as ‘red-eared turtles’).
The red-eared turtles used to be a popular pet in Việt Nam and caused a headache for the agriculture sector, as experts have repeatedly warned over its aggressive and invasive nature.
But it seems the species is making a comeback via duplicitous traders, armed with a coat of paint to mask the threats it poses for the ecosystem.
Hà Đình Đức a ‘turtle professor’ who earned the nickname for his studies on the famous turtle in the Hoàn Kiếm Lake of Hà Nội, affirmed that the new mini turtles are indeed the red-eared turtles, which are still banned.
Beer binges a health problem, WHO warns Vietnam
The World Health Organization has called on Vietnam to tackle excessive drinking with strong measures.
In a letter delivered to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently, WHO experts said the high consumption of beer and alcohol in Vietnam was imposing a heavy burden on the country in the form of non-contagious diseases.
It expressed WHO’s support for a draft law on preventing adverse impacts of alcohol consumption that will be reviewed by lawmakers this October.
Shin Young-soo, WHO’s regional director for the Western Pacific region, said beer consumption among Vietnamese had reached an alarming rate. He said a Vietnamese adult above 15 years drinks 8.3 alcohol liters per year on average, much higher than in China (7.2 liters), Cambodia (6.7), the Philippines (6.6) and Singapore (two liters).
A study jointly conducted by Vietnam’s Ministry of Health and WHO in 2016 showed that 77% of Vietnamese men drink liquor and beer, and nearly half of them drink at hazardous levels.
Nguyen Phuong Nam, a WHO official, said nearly 67% of the 1,840 traffic accident victims covered in the study had high concentrations of alcohol in their blood, and 45% had driven after drinking for two hours or more.
The letter asked the Vietnamese government to tighten controls over the production, sales and advertising of beer and alcoholic beverage to discourage drinking and protect consumers’ health.
The government should adopt tough measures to curb drinking by raising the prices of liquor and beer, restricting selling points, limiting the sale of alcoholic drinks at night and narrowing the legal drinking age, the letter said.
It said beer promotions and advertisements had negative impacts on young people. Recently, Vietnam’s Health Ministry proposed an advertisement ban on beer on TV and social networks as part of the draft law, as also restricting the sale of alcohol at night, specifically after 10 p.m.
Vietnam is famous for its beer drinking culture. It is widely believed that business deals in Vietnam tend to go more smoothly over a few drinks at the negotiating table. Vietnam is the biggest beer market in Southeast Asia, consuming nearly four billion liters last year.
The country spends on average US$3.4 billion on alcohol each year, or 3 percent of the government’s budget revenue, according to official data. The figure translates to US$300 per capita, while spending on health averages US$113 per person, according to the Health Ministry.
As many as 40% of traffic accidents in Vietnam are linked to excessive drinking, according to the WHO, which it says is an alarming rate for a country where road crashes kill a person every hour, on average.
Vietjet Air offers 200,000 promotion tickets on flights to Japan, RoK, Taiwan
Low-cost airline Vietjet Air will offer 200,000 flight tickets at low prices from zero VND on routes from Vietnam to Japan, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan from August 8-10.
The offer is applied for flights to Osaka in Japan; Seoul, Busan, Daegu of the Republic of Korea; Hong Kong and Kao Hsiung, Taipei, Taichung and Tainan in Taiwan (China) between September 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.
The promotion is part of activities to celebrate the airline’s new routes of Hanoi-Osaka, which will be launched on November 8, 2018 and Ho Chi Minh City-Osaka from December 14, 2018.
The Hanoi-Osaka route will take more than four hours, with daily return flights. The flights will take off from Hanoi at 1:40 and land in Osaka at 7:50 (local time). In the return leg, the flights will leave Osaka at 9:20 (local time) and reach Hanoi at 13:05.
Meanwhile, the five-hour Ho Chi Minh City-Osaka flights will operate every day, taking off from Ho Chi Minh City at 1:40 and landing in Osaka at 8:30 (local time). The return flights will depart from Osaka at 9:30 (local time) and arrive in Ho Chi Minh City at 13:30.
Promotion tickets are available between 12:00 and 14:00 at Vietjet Air websites and Facebook.
Chinese rabies vaccine circulated in Vietnam safe
The Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health yesterday announced Chinese rabies vaccine circulated in the country is not involved with vaccine scandal in China.
Chinese-made registered and circulated vaccine Speeda is made by Liaoning Cheng Da Biotecnology not sub-standard vaccine produced by Chinese vaccine maker Changsheng Bio-technology.
Vaccine Speeda is being produced and provided to several countries including Vietnam.
Therefore, to calm down people’s worry, the Administration requested the departments of health in cities and provinces and infirmaries spread information of the vaccine.
The Ministry of Health will continue using vaccine Speeda to meet demand and avoid a halt.
At the same time, medical facilities including the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Pasteur Institutes in Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang Town of the central province of Khanh Hoa which inject the vaccine have to place a poster about the vaccine at the institutes.
According to the Administration, media in the world recently reported the shocking vaccine scandal in China.
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