Environmental protection tax hike proposal
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made these remarks whilst chairing a meeting on the adjustment of the city’s master planning to 2030 with a vision towards 2045.
Upon appreciating the quality of the central city’s master plan adjustment project, PM Phuc noted that in the near future, Da Nang is destined to become a special Vietnamese city, joining the likes of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Therefore, the planning, adjustment, and implementation of the master planning must be fully oriented towards local people, serving national development interests, while not allowing corruption or group interests to occur.
The master plan for the city towards 2030, with a vision ahead to 2045, was first adopted back in 2013. After seven years of implementing the project, Da Nang city has seen fast development. However, as a means of implementing the Politburo’s Resolution No. 43 dated January 24, 2019, on the construction and development of Da Nang to 2030, with a vision to 2045, and to meet relevant development needs, the PM has agreed to allow the city to adjust the master plan project.
Upon addressing the meeting, the municipal leader said that Da Nang has hired a professional company from Singapore to advise the project on adjusting the master plan towards developing the central city into a modern, green, and eco-friendly place in response to the request from the Politburo’s Resolution 43. The city has also organised an array of seminars and meetings to collect opinions of specialised agencies, individuals, and businesses.
Ministry of Construction representatives, along with those from other relevant ministries and agencies in charge of the project appraisal, said that to adjust general planning, the central city has calculated socio-economic statistics, and provided a thorough assessment of natural conditions. This is in addition to looking at the environment and development orientation in an effort to enable Da Nang to become a centre for tourism and services, along with the regional marine-based economy.
The cabinet leader outlined that the adjusted master plan deals with the limitations of the original 2013 scheme, while paying close attention to green development alongside orientations for space planning and modern infrastructure, contributing to creating an economic hub in the nation’s central regions.
The Government leader also asked the city to deal with the local wastewater problem without causing pollution to the marine environment, a very important factor in protecting nature in Da Nang. Along with this, greater attention should be paid to tackling the issue of climate change, along with clarifying the relationship of Da Nang with localities such as Quang Nam, Thua Thien Hue, and Quang Binh. This should be done whilst clarifying the position of national defence and security, thereby striving to achieve the concept of making Da Nang both a vibrant and safe city.
In relation to the city’s development in the long term, the PM has stated that Da Nang must focus on developing many fields, rather than just services. Indeed, the city should adopt a policy to attract technology and industry projects to minimise environmental damage and ensure sustainable development, while also avoiding negative growth in case of fluctuations.
Along with general planning and detailed plans which will be deployed by the city in the near future, PM Phuc has stated the need to combat group interests when implementing and adjusting planning, especially with regard to detailed plans. He also underlined the need to stamp out corruption, and other negative phenomena when focusing on master planning adjustment and the implementation of detailed planning.
The Government leader has therefore assigned the municipal Party Committee, the People’s Council, and the municipal administration to develop a public and transparent management mechanism to monitor master planning. The Ministry of Construction and other agencies will periodically supervise the implementation of the master plan, while other ministries and agencies must create favourable conditions for Da Nang to develop infrastructure, including seaports and airports, PM Phuc emphasized.
After the launching ceremony, over 200 officials and local Youth Union members cleaned up Tang Long 2 beach in Tam Quang Nam ward, Hoai Nhon town.
Also, the Binh Dinh provincial Young Physicians Club worked with the Thu Phuc international clinic to provide free health checkups and medicines to 300 local people in Hoai Huong and Hoai Xuan wards of Hoai My and Hoai Hai communes, respectively.
In addition, the organizers handed over 300 national flags to Youth Union members and fishermen, presented 5,000 medical facemasks to border guards of Binh Dinh province, and offered 20 gift packages, worth VND 500,000 each, to needy students with excellent academic grades in Hoai Nhon town.
The program aims to celebrate the 90th founding anniversary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the 65th anniversary of the Traditional Day of the Border Guard, and the 32nd anniversary of the Whole People’s Border Day.
Moreover, the organizers also aim to raise local Youth Union members’ responsibility and awareness of protection of national sovereignty over borders, seas, and islands as well as the natural environment.
Translated by Quynh Oanh
Addressing the conference, the PM said the Government has managed to ensure people’s lives and livelihoods, describing its achievements last year as positive when every issue related to education, society, health care, security, and national solidarity received attention.
One of the important plans the Government has carried out include a stimulus package worth 250 billion RM (61.7 billion USD) issued on March 27, 2020, that was designed to protect people, support enterprises, and consolidate the economy.
Later, another 15 billion RM package was unveiled to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak, protect people’s welfare, and keep business activities uninterrupted under the pandemic’s impact.
Most recently, the Malaysian Government has launched the national COVID-19 vaccination plan with a view to giving injections to about 80 percent of the population. This plan will be carried out until February 2022 and divided into three phases, according to the PM.
To curb the coronavirus transmission, the Government has also tightened the movement control order but still allowed new business households to operate under strict standard operating procedures (SOP) in the areas recording high infections, known as “red zones”, so as to ease the pandemic’s impact on small-scale traders.
It is set to provide additional assistance for the poor and the businesses unable to reopen while paying focus on national digitalisation and reform.
The unemployment rate in Malaysia dropped to 4.8 percent in December 2020, and the country’s economy is expected to resume growth from the second quarter this year.
One of the most fascinating destinations is Cu Chi guerrilla warfare tunnels, located about 70km from downtown HCM City.
Built by South Vietnamese liberation forces as shelter from US and Sai Gon troops during the war, the site is known over the world, but even many locals have yet to visit the tunnels.
First formed in 1948 during the resistance war against the French colonialists, the original network of tunnels was in Tan Phu Trung and Phuoc Vinh An wards.
Initially, the tunnels had only short paths and simple structure that were used to hide documents, weapons and resistance members deep inside the enemy-controlled area.
Only during the anti-American war were the tunnels reinforced and widened.
Beginning in 1961, when the Party Committee and headquarters of the Sai Gon-Gia Dinh Military Region of the liberation forces chose Cu Chi as an operating area, the tunnel system maximized its use for years, especially in 1966, against the Americans broadening the war in the South.
With their indomitable strength, Cu Chi’s resistance forces and local people created a system of crisscrossing tunnels with multiple floors, with more than 200km of underground trenches in total.
For a long time, the enemy attacked the base and the tunnel network relentlessly by pumping water into the tunnels, using German shepherd dogs to hunt and identify the tunnels then using bombs to destroy them.
The US forces were involved in 5,000 attacks that aimed to wipe out the Cu Chi resistance base. In addition, thousands of tonnes of various chemical toxins were sprayed on the area.
But, relying on the tunnel network, the Vietnamese liberation soldiers and Cu Chi locals were able to counter all the enemy attacks.
They engaged in 4,269 big and small fights, eliminated 22,582 enemy troops, destroyed and took over 5,168 military vehicles (mostly tanks and armoured vehicles), shot down and destroyed 256 airplanes (mainly helicopters), sank and burned 22 warships and boats, and captured 8,581 guns of all types. They also destroyed 270 enemy stations in Cu Chi District.
The Cu Chi tunnel relic site includes the Ben Duoc Tunnel (Sai Gon-Gia Dinh military base, Zone A), Sai Gon-Gia Dinh base (Zone B), and the Ben Dinh Tunnel (Cu Chi District base).
The tunnel system runs in a zig-zag shape underground, and the main route branches out in multiple directions that connect in some areas, depending on the terrain.
Many exits open to the Sai Gon River so that when emergencies occurred people could take river route to Ben Cat resistance base in Binh Duong Province.
The tunnel system is bulletproof and can withstand the weight of tanks and armoured vehicles.
Some tunnels have structures that include two to three floors. Stairs between floors have lids that go to secret vaults.
The exits were well camouflaged to avoid enemy detection. Some of them were also designed as flexible combat and sniping spots to counter enemy attacks.
Around the tunnel entrances, booby traps were placed to prevent enemy entry.
Throughout the war, the tunnels in Cu Chi proved to be a source of frustration for the US and Sai Gon troops. The Vietnamese liberation soldiers were so well entrenched in the area by 1965 that they were in the unique position of being able to control where and when battles would take place.
By helping to covertly move supplies and house troops, the tunnels of Cu Chi allowed Vietnamese fighters to survive and increase the US and Sai Gon military casualties until the US withdrawal from the South in 1973, and their final defeat in 1975.
The Cu Chi Tunnels reflect the Vietnamese military arts and the revolutionary heroism and courageous mindset of the people.
The tunnel architecture, with its outstanding innovations, played a part in the anti-American war.
Today, the site educates people about the Vietnamese revolutionary tradition and patriotism and shows appreciation for the war heroes, war martyrs and previous generations who fought and died in the Sai Gon-Cho Lon-Gia Dinh area in two resistance wars.
These values were cited when the Government officially named the site a national historic relic on December 23, 2015.
Seeking UNESCO’s recognition
Recently, the city’s authorities sent a proposal to the Ministry of National Defence to seek the UN culture agency UNESCO’s recognition for the Cu Chi Tunnels as a World Heritage Site.
Vietnam is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, My Son Sanctuary, Hoi An Ancient Town, the Complex of Hue Monuments, and the Citadel of the Ho dynasty in the central region.
The other sites are Ha Long Bay, the Trang An Landscape Complex, and Thang Long Imperial Citadel, which are located in the north.
If the Cu Chi Tunnels network is recognised, it will be the south’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 2015, the historic area was recognised as a special national relic site. For tourism purposes, more than 120km out of over 200km of the tunnels have been preserved.
Le Van Liem, vice chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, said the area in the outlying Củ Chi District is a “valuable historical and cultural site that reflects outstanding military and scientific work of the Vietnamese people”.
The tunnels have been a popular tourism landmark for years, attracting thousands of visitors each day. Visitors are able to experience the resilience and unyielding will of the people who lived in the tunnels during wartime.
Dr Phan An, head of the Southern Institute of Social Sciences, said: “The Cu Chi Tunnels’ architecture is one of a kind. UNESCO World Heritage Site acknowledgement would not just introduce global friends to it, but would also be a chance for Vietnamese nationwide to appreciate the relic more.
“The site has not yet received the acknowledgement it deserves. Many HCM City residents have never visited the site despite its historical importance. Publicity is still limited, leading to inadequate attention for preservation of the relic site. Only a small part is preserved for visits and tourism.
“It runs a high risk of destruction from natural and human impact. So, if UNESCO acknowledges it as a World Heritage Site, local authorities and residents will be more responsible and collectively care for and preserve the entirety of the tunnels. At the same time, it would heighten public awareness about heritage sites like this.”
A young man in central Vietnam has helped his family escape poverty by chicken breeding and planting peach trees.
|Tran Manh Quy, in Xuan Du Commune, Thanh Hoa Province, has been recognised by the Vietnam Youth Federation for his contribution to society. — Photo tuoitrethanhhoa.vn|
Tran Manh Quy, 32, lives in Xuan Du Commune, Nhu Thanh, Thanh Hoa Province. His income has hit VND700 million (US$30,300) per year and he has created jobs for 10 local residents with a stable salary of VND5 million each monthly.
Born into a farming family in a poor mountainous region, Quy had a tough childhood.
After graduating from Hanoi University of Physical Education and Sports, he worked all kinds of jobs but still could not afford to care for his family.
In 2012, he realised the land of his hometown was suitable for growing peaches and learned through newspapers and the internet about how to raise chickens under peach trees.
After months of thinking, he decided to leave Hanoi to return to his hometown to chase his chicken and peaches dream.
“To implement this agricultural combined model, I had to borrow VND150 million from relatives and a local bank,” he said.
Initially, he only raised 200 chickens and planted 200 peach trees and some other fruit trees.
Because he did not have experience in farming and breeding, he encountered many difficulties and the baby chickens died frequently.
With perseverance and an inquisitive spirit, he overcame the difficulties, and improve his skills day by day.
In 2015, he sold many batches of chickens and decided to expand production by planting 300 more peach and other fruit trees, breeding another 800 chickens and digging fish ponds.
“To ensure a stable raw source and output, as well as learn experience, I joined a local breeding group with 22 outstanding members,” he said.
With his diligent and learning spirit, his farm has expanded to 1.5ha, including 2,000 peach trees, 200 dragon fruit trees and he sells 3,000 chickens raised according to VietGap standards each year.
His farm’s chickens have been certified as hygienic and safe by the Agriculture Department of Nhu Thanh District.
His farm’s chickens are sold to provincial supermarkets and traders. In the Tet (Lunar New Year) period, he sold 500 peach trees and 1,500 chickens.
As well as running his business, Quy is the Deputy Secretary of the Xuan Du Commune Youth Union and helps clean village roads and build charity houses for local residents.
He led the youth union groups to guide local people on how to protect themselves when from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also encouraged local villagers and youth union members to donate flood to people in flooded parts of the central provinces.
On his plans for the future, Quy said: “I will expand the farm and guide the youth union members to develop the economic model by sharing techniques and breeds.”
Tran Tien Hung, Deputy Secretary of Nhu Thanh District’s Youth Union, said Quy has always been a leader in the economic development movement of young people.
“He has contributed to building a beautiful image of Thanh Hoa Province’s youth who always devote their work to the community,” Hung said.
Quy was honoured as a ‘Model youth example in 2020’ by the Vietnam Youth Federation. VNS