National vaccine safety surveillance programme meets WHO requirements

Vietnam’s surveillance of adverse events following vaccination meets the requirements of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said experts from the organisation.

After a one-week mission to Vietnam from April 9 to review the implementation of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in the country, the WHO team announced that all six components under Vietnam’s NRA system have passed the check with good results.

The team, including 14 experts from the WHO and two observers from Russia urged the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health and the post-vaccination monitoring systems at all levels to continue their efforts in the field.

During the checking process, the team made field trips to the southern province of Tay Ninh where they had working sessions with the provincial preventive medicine centre, the municipal medical centre of Tay Ninh City and the medical station of Ward 4, Tay Ninh City.-

Tien Giang improves public awareness of climate change adaption

A conference revising the Child-centered Climate Change Adaption project was held in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang on April 17.

Funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the 8.1 billion VND (385,000 USD) project has been implemented in seven communes: Gia Thuan, Kieng Phuoc, Phuoc Trung, Tan Dien, Vam Lang, Binh Xuan and Binh Dong from April 2013 to April 2015.

The project consist of two parts—developing adaption competency with climate change among the community and vulnerable children as well as implementing planting and breeding models suitable to climate change.

The project has introduced climate change and natural disaster risk information to local schools to improve preparedness and resilience for people and children in the affected areas.

The project has also supported paddy planting and organic breeding models in five communes, helping to increase local income.

Hanoi maps route for waste treatment

Hanoi has mapped out a long-term plan to effectively manage the growing amount of solid waste in suburban districts.

Vu Hong Khanh, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, said Hanoi will have 17 concentrated solid waste treatment areas under the approved city master plan through 2030.

Besides the eight existing facilities, which will all be ungraded, the city will build nine new waste treatment plants and five solid waste transport centres, Khanh said.

The planned new facilities will be located in Dong Anh, Chuong My, Thach That, My Duc and Ba Vi suburban districts.

A plant with a capacity of 500 tonnes per day in Chau Can commune, Phu Xuyen district, will go into operation by early next year at the latest.

The city encouraged enterprises and organisations to take part in treating waste in rural areas, use advanced technologies to turn waste into energy, protect the environment and reduce costs, Khanh added.

Hanoi currently produces around 5,400 tonnes of waste each day, expected to grow to 8,500 tonnes by 2020 and 11,300 tonnes by 2030.

Only 20 percent of waste is currently treated, the rest is buried.

Sunday flea market for workers

On the outskirts of HCMC, more and more weekend flea markets have been held for workers. Opened every Sunday from early morning to noon, those flea markets have attracted many buyers as Sunday morning is the freest time of all workers.

At around 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning, a number of vendors display their products on a plain area at the end of Vo Van Van Street in Binh Chanh District. Nhan, a vendor of household plastic products, says she does business at Binh Thanh market on Nguyen Thi Tu Street on weekdays but usually moves to this flea market every Sunday.

The fixed factory schedule of workers is from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily but after that, most of them have to work overtime until 7 or 8 p.m., Nhan says.

Therefore, Sunday is not only the break day but also the time for workers to go shopping, and that is why Sunday flea markets for workers have sprung up, she explains.

“Although such flea markets have just been around for one year, they have developed quite strongly. Products put on sale include household appliances, clothes, footwear and low-cost cosmetics,” she adds.

A worker who identified herself as Hang and now works for a leather-shoe factory at Tan Tao Industrial Park in Binh Chanh says workers have no free time but Sunday and that is the time for relaxing and shopping also.

Aside from Binh Chanh, weekend flea markets for workers can also be found in Binh Tan, Hoc Mon and Thu Duc districts. These markets have one thing in common: softer prices than market levels. It is because they are set up at empty areas for just half a day per week and therefore, vendors do not have to spend any sum hiring stalls. On the other hand, low prices will help vendors lure workers who are low-income earners.

Thanks to cheap prices, these flea markets have attracted other people as well.

Pham, a high-school teacher in Tan Phu District, says she stays near a flea market for workers and usually comes there to pick several products every Sunday owing to their reasonable prices.

Some workers say when they receive gifts from companies or have any products that they do not need, they also bring them to these flea markets to sell to other workers.

Journalists observe 65th anniversary of association

Five hundred representatives of the Vietnam Journalists Association and press agencies nationwide attended a ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the association in Hanoi on April 20.

On April 21, 1950, a congress was held in Diem Mac commune, Dinh Hoa district of northern Thai Nguyen province to establish the Association of Vietnam Press Writers; the name was changed to the Vietnam Journalists Association (VJA) during its second congress in 1959.

On July 7, 1976, more than a year since the nation was reunified, the southern Association of Patriotic and Democratic Journalists merged with the VJA.

The VJA now has 22,000 members nationwide, increasing substantially from the initial 300 members. More than 400 journalists laid down their lives working on battlefields during the fight for national independence and reunification.

The 65th anniversary is an occasion for journalists to reflect on their accomplishments and seek ways to improve quality and social efficiency, said Dinh The Huynh, Politburo member and Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Communications and Education.

He asked the VJA to develop journalists’ professional skills as well as their sense of responsibility towards society, actively give opinions on State management and legal regulations regarding the press and expand external relations.

VJA Vice Standing Chairman Ha Minh Hue said the association has established journalists as vanguard soldiers on the frontlines of thought and culture, adding that the VJA and its members should continue building on their achievements.

Vietnam, Cambodia jointly renovate monuments

Vietnam and Cambodia have agreed to implement guidelines of the two countries’ Prime Ministers to examine and determine Vietnam-Cambodia friendship monuments to be repaired, renovated and restored.

The agreement was reached following a meeting between Defence Minister Nguyen Thanh Cung and Min Khin , Vice Chairman and General Secretary of the Solidarity Front for Development of the Cambodian Motherland ( SFDCM ), in Ho Chi Minh City.

Cung appreciated Cambodia’s construction and maintenance of friendship monuments, adding they help promote the relationship between the two countries.

Cung hoped that the Vietnamese Ministry of Defence and the SFDCM would closely coordinate in relevant issues.

Min Khin, who is also Minister of Cults and Religious Affairs, agreed with Cung on repairing, renovating and restoring Vietnam-Cambodia friendship monuments that honour voluntary Vietnamese soldiers who assisted Cambodia and its people in ending the genocide regime in 1979.

Nghe An focuses on upgrading irrigation

The central province of Nghe An is taking measures to build and upgrade its irrigation network to meet water demands for agricultural purposes, daily use and industrial production.

The province is now home to 624 reservoirs, 559 pump stations, 400 dams and 4,700 kilometres of irrigation canals.

Currently, Nghe An is calling for investment in key projects such as the Ban Mong reservoir, Nam Dan dyke, Vach Nam-Song Bung drainage system, pump stations in Vinh city, the Lam river and Hoang Mai river dykes and other flood drainage networks.

The projects will contribute to increasing agricultural productivity volume as well as poverty reduction and livelihood improvement.

Power to hold out during dry season

Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) will use all its resources to ensure sufficient supplies during the dry season, said National Load Dispatch Centre Vice Director Vu Xuan Khu.

Power loads during the dry season’s peak – from April to June – were expected to reach 460-465 million kWh per day on average, about 9.2 to 10.5 per cent higher than the same period last year.

The country is expected to consume 13.42 billion kWh in April and more than 41 billion kWh in the second quarter. The country used 35.8 billion kWh in the last three months.

Khu said EVN would have to mobilise at least 150 million kWh of coal-fired power and gas turbine power each day to ensure supplies lasted.

Nineteen reservoirs at hydropower plants across the country including Quang Tri, A Vuong, Song Bung 4 and Song Tranh in the central region and those on the Serepoc River in the Central Highlands region will continue operating to ensure enough water for agricultural production and power generation.

The prolonged Central Highlands drought has lowered hydropower production there, but EVN said it would have enough water to generate power through the entire dry season.

Khu said EVN was taking drastic measures to complete key power projects by the end of the month. They include a 500kV line connecting the national grid with Vung Ang 1 Thermal Power Plant, 220kv line Thuong Tin – Kim Dong and Mao Khe-Hai Duong 2 Thermal Plant.

In the first quarter, EVN got the Prime Minister’s approval to solve bottlenecks at other key power projects. EVN took over projects to expand Duyen Hai 3 Thermal Plant and Vinh Tan 4 Power Plant. It was also assigned to prepare funding and investment procedures to develop O Mon 3 Thermal Power Plant.

Experts to discuss growth after war

Local and international experts will discuss Vietnam’s achievements 40 years after the end of the war during a two-day conference in Thu Dau Mot City in southern Binh Duong province on April 25.

The international conference, titled “Vietnam – 40 years of Reunification, Development and Integration” will be organised by Thu Dau Mot University, University of Social Sciences and Humanities under Vietnam National University – Hanoi, University of Social Sciences and Humanities under Vietnam National University – HCM City, and University of Sciences under Hue University.

Military conflicts between 1954 and 1975 and the country’s development during the past four decades will be the focus.

The conference’s organisers have received more than 300 reports authored by local and international experts about Vietnam’s struggle for reunification, renovation, development, and integration.

Half of the reports focus on Vietnam’s renovation and development since the end of the war in 1975.

Of the 300 reports, 15 will be presented by scholars from Australia, Brazil, China, France, Japan, the US and other countries who are experts about Vietnam.

At the conference, they will share their views about the war and the country’s renovation process.

Among the speakers will be Professor Carlyle A. Thayer, from the Australian Defence Force Academy of the University of New South Wales; Professor Tsuboi Yoshiharu from Waseda University, Japan; Professor Marc Jason Gilbert of Hawaii Pacific University; Associate Professor Feng Yiming of Capital Normal University in Beijing; and Professor Go Ito of Meiji University.

90 percent of Ha Nam rural households to access safe water

Up to 90 percent of rural households in northern Ha Nam province are expected to have access to hygienic water by the end of 2015, an increase from 85 percent in late 2014.

All communal medical stations will also have hygienic water and toilets within this year, rising from 95 percent last year, said Deputy Director of the Ha Nam Department of Planning and Investment Phan Van Trinh.

The province has built and upgraded 22 rural water facilities since 2011, 12 of which have been put into use, he added.

To achieve the targets, relevant provincial agencies have coordinated to carry out the National Target Programme on Rural Clean Water and Environmental Hygiene. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development steered the building of water supply facilities and hygienic livestock cages and the Department of Health managed the construction of standard toilets at private homes and medical stations.

Ha Nam has also successfully called for private investments in building water supply systems, Trinh noted, elaborating that nearly 200 million VND (9,500 USD) were donated by businesses while some 40 million VND (1,900 USD) were contributed by local people.

Between 2011 and 2015, the National Target Programme has been implemented at a cost of more than 608 billion VND (28.95 million USD) in Ha Nam, around 80 billion VND of which was funded by the State budget and 294 billion VND was financed through official development assistance, he added.

Ho Chi Minh City develops social housing

Ho Chi Minh City authorities handed over 109 apartments in a social housing project to owners at a ceremony on April 18.

The apartments are part of the 490-unit Useful Apartment project funded by Esaco Group, covering nearly 6,714 square metres on Lac Long Quan Street in Tan Binh district.

Between 2011 and 2014 more than 6,000 apartments were completed under 20 social housing projects, according to the municipal Department of Construction.

Another 880 apartments were shifted from commercial projects and six other social housing projects were approved.

The city has had 43 social housing projects to date, and 8 others shifted from commercial projects, offering a total of nearly 50,000 apartments.

In 2015, the city intends to complete five social housing projects providing more than 3,500 apartments.

It plans to build an additional 40 million square metres of social housing through 2020, offering 10,000 apartments and accommodating hundreds of thousands of workers and students.

Workshop promotes employee rights

A workshop was held in Hanoi on April 20 by the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), focusing on recommendations for Vietnam’s policymaking regarding employee rights.

According to VASS Vice President Professor Dr Nguyen Quang Thuan, the European Union supported Vietnam to implement the project “Strengthening the rights of workers and representatives of trade unions” since October 2012.

The project aims to enhance the capacity of Vietnamese trade unions to supervise and understand worker circumstances as well as support employees in legal issues and raise awareness of their legitimate rights.

Speaking at the workshop, Project Coordinator Dr Michela Cerimele from Italy’s Naples ‘L’ Orientale’ University stressed that empowering employees is a key target in development strategies towards reducing poverty.

The scholar underlined the need to respect the basic rights of labourers including ensuring appropriate incomes and social welfare.

Project partners conducted research studies and provided legal consultancy services for labourers working at industrial parks in Hanoi, northern Hai Duong province and Vinh Phuc province.

Training courses were arranged for members of labour unions in legal advice centres in the localities, offering insight into scientific study methods, international labour standards as well as experience in the legal consulting activities of other countries.

Hanoi honourable citizen title presented to Lao official

Phimmasone Loungkhamma, member of the Central Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and Secretary of Luang Namtha province Party Committee, was bestowed with the Hanoi honourable resident title at a ceremony held in Vientiane on April 20 by the Vietnamese Embassy in Lao and the Hanoi People’s Committee.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Manh Hung affirmed that the title aims to show Hanoi’s respect and appreciation for the contributions made by Phimmasone Loungkhamma to the city’s development and international cooperation over the past few years.

Hung expressed his hope that the Lao official would do his utmost to enhance the traditional relationship between the two countries.

For his part, Phimmasone Loungkhamma voiced his delight at the title, pledging to nurture the friendship and bolster comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties and peoples.

In October 2014, the Hanoi People’s Committee decided to present the honourable resident title to 12 individuals with significant contributions to the city’s development towards peace, social advancement and international cooperation.

Construction begins on Vietnamese deer breeding centre

The Ha Tinh Minerals and Trading Corporation (Mitraco) began construction work on its new Vietnam Deer Breeding Centre in the central province of Ha Tinh on April 19.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Dinh Son claimed that the centre will play an important role in the province’s economic and social security development.

When finished, the site will cover an area of nearly 50 hectares in the Son Quang and Son Linh communes of Huong Son district. The first phase will see 16 hectares completed by 2016.

This initial phase has a total investment capital of 40 billion VND (1.9 million USD) and will see the centre purchase 1,000 breeding deers. The deer stocks will be increased to at least 5,000 in the second phase (2016-2017).

Once completed, the centre is expected to breed the animals for preservation and research purpose and to meet demand for deer, which is raised in farms, mainly in Ha Tinh provinces, for velvet antlers and meat.

Deer velvet antlers have long been used in Asian traditional medicine as a health booster.

Ethnic and religious groups thanked for support in national development

Government officials from Ho Chi Minh City met with 250 religious dignitaries, worshippers and representatives of ethnic minority groups on April 19 in order to honour their contributions to the fight for national independence and development.

The event was held ahead of the 40th anniversary of South Vietnam’s liberation and national reunification.

Reviewing the city’s achievements over the last four decades, Politburo member and Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, Le Thanh Hai, hailed the work of ethnic minority people and religious followers, especially their local social and humanitarian activities.

They have raised billions of dollars each year for scholarship funds, house building programmes and free medical check-ups and treatment for the underprivileged, he said. Many of them have been rewarded as part of the national drive to “Study and follow late President Ho Chi Minh’s moral example”.

Hai expressed his belief that now these outstanding individuals will step up their social, cultural and economic activities yet further in order to turn HCM City into the economic, financial, commercial and hi-tech hub of Vietnam and the Southeast Asian region.

Phu Van Han, who is an ethnic Cham, said the city has assisted his people in eliminating poverty and seeking education, while facilitating their cultural and religious activities. Many current members of the Vietnam Fatherland Front’s committees at different levels are Cham people.

Monk Danh Lung from the Khmer group also thanked the municipal authorities for supporting their cultural and religious activities over the past decades.

Conference looks back on protection work for heritage trees

A joint conference reviewing the accreditation of some of Vietnam’s oldest trees over the last five years was convened in Viet Tri city in the northern province of Phu Tho on April 19.

Co-managed by the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE) and the Vietnam Union of Scientific and Technological Associations, the work to recognise and protect Vietnam’s heritage trees has contributed to protecting the natural environment and the genetic sources of rare trees.

In the last half decade, VACNE has recognised over 970 trees as ‘Vietnamese heritage trees’. Phu Tho is home to 33 of these, including the 2,200 year old “tau bac” tree (vatica odorata) which grows in the Thien Co temple, Viet Tri city.

Standing Deputy Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Dinh Cuc said the province will coordinate with environmental associations to find, evaluate and accredit more heritage trees in a bid to improve the community’s awareness about protecting ancient and rare trees and looking after the environment.

The joint conference also honored individuals and organisations who have performed particularly impressively in the work of preserving heritage trees.

Tree planting project takes root in Bac Kan

A special “Tree Planting Day 2015″ was held in the northern province of Bac Kan by the Honda Vietnam Company (HVN) and the provincial department of agriculture and rural development on April 19.

HVN’s General Director Minoru Kato said the event is part of an eight- year project (from 2013 to 2020) developed by the local government alongside the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Vietnam Forestry University.

As the sole sponsor of the project, HVN has provided 4.9 billion VND (233,000 USD) for planting trees over 490 hectares of protective forest land in two communes of Bac Kan town. This has covered the costs of project preparation, agricultural training for forestry officials and local farmers and the purchase of high-quality seedlings and fertilisers, he added.

He noted that trees will be planted from 2013-2016, while the next four years will see the trees thinned out but protected. Harvesting will start from 2020.

The project is expected to yield 73,500 cubic metres of wood, which will bring a profit of about 50 billion VND (2.3 million USD). Households taking part in the project will receive all of the proceeds of selling timber after harvesting. The project is not only contributing to environmental protection, but is also directly helping raise the living standards of local people by eradicating hunger and poverty.

The April 19 event attracted more than 200 HVN associates and Honda partners in Bac Kan, together with a large number of local people, to start planting over an area of two hectares.

After almost two years of implementing the project, so far there have been nearly 360 hectares of trees planted and cared for. The average height of project trees is between 60-90 cm, and the average diameter is 1cm.

Hot weather hits northern, central, and southern region

Because of the influence of hot low pressure from westwards accompanied with operation of hot and dry wind from Laos, 36- 39 degrees Celsius hot weather occurs in northwestern provinces from Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien- Hue, Danang to Phu Yen on the large scale, reported the National Hydrology Meteorology Forecast Center.

However, because of effect of an outgoing cold front in the northern region, the temperature in the northwestern and north central provinces is decreasing, measured at 35- 37 degrees Celsius.

The temperature in the area of Ho Chi Minh City and southeastern provinces is predicted to decrease sharply at 34- 35 degrees Celsius. By midweek, Ho Chi Minh City will see showery weather and thunderstorm.

Meanwhile, central provinces maintain hot weather with the highest daily temperature of 37- 38 degrees Celsius.

HCMC accelerates poverty alleviation

Within half a month recently, three more districts in Ho Chi Minh City were recognized as districts without under poor households whose income reaches only VND16 million (US$741) a person per year, taking the total to eight districts.

It is expected that six more districts will be deleted from the list of poor households districts by the end of this year and accomplish the poverty alleviation program for the phase 2014-2015.

The program’s purpose is to better residents’ life and raise the number of well-to-do families, said deputy chairwoman of District 6 People’s Committee Le Thi Thanh Thao.

Besides District 6, Districts 1, 3, 5, 10, 11, Binh Tan and Tan Binh have got their targets to have no households with the above income level.

Notably, the city has five wards including Thao Dien in District 2 and four others in District 5, where a person earns more than 21 million (US$973) a year.

Deputy Director of the city Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Van Xe said that the city’s poverty mitigation program had entered its sprint phase.

In the first phase of the program, HCMC had 83,000 poor households accounting for 4.2 percent of its total households.

Of these, over 53,300 have overcome poverty line so far. Twenty four percent of them were loaned to do business, 19 percent were employed and nearly 42 percent managed themselves to improve their earnings.

According to Mr. Xe, HCMC has focused all possible resources and diversified measures to assist the poor and create conditions for them to access social welfare policies.

Total preferential loans for the poor and those near the poverty line have hit VND2,835 billion (US$131.32 million) since the beginning of the phase. Local authorities have provided 2,600 poor laborers with short term vocational training and nearly 11,200 people with jobs.

VND11.5 billion (US$532,680) was also spent from the city budget to reduce or exempt tuition for over 18,800 students from poor families.

As of April, the number of poor households in HCMC has dropped to 30,000 occupying 1.4 percent. The program is expected to conclude this yearend when an addition of 15,000 will exceed the poverty line and the ratio of poor households will fall below one percent.

Student from Le Hong Phong High school wins first prize at “Yola Toefl Cup 2015″ contest

The final round of “Yola Toefl Cup 2015″ contest was held yesterday at Youth Cultural House in Ho Chi Minh City.

After passing three rounds, eight best students among 1, 600 contestants from Le Hong Phong, Tran Dai Nghia, Nguyen Thuong Hien, Gia Dinh, Bui Thi Xuan and Vo Thi Sau were selected to enter the final round.

Accordingly, the first and second prize went to Nguyen Thi Thanh Thanh and Tran Anh Kiet from Le Hong Phong High school; the third prize belonged to Nguyen Cuong Quoc from Gia Dinh High school and the consolation prize went to Ton Nu Bao Tran from Vo Thi Sau High school.

In the final round, contestants had to pass general knowledge, face to face competition and presentation performance.

In the presentation performance, Nguyen Thi Thanh Thanh from Le Hong Phong High school won the first prize.

The annual contest was organized by the city’s Department of Education and Training and Yola Institute, aiming to provide an opportunity for students to enhance knowledge and develop English learning skill through TOEFL iBT tests.

Concerns raised over sedated pigs in Dong Nai

Police and inspectors in Dong Nai Province have raided a facility that pumps pigs full of water to increase their weight and sedates them before slaughter.

At a facility owned by Pham Van Vui in Bien Hoa City, the police discovered 120 pigs. 30 of them had been pumped full of water and given sedatives.

Vui allegedly admitted the pigs were going to be sent to Nam Phong Slaughter House in HCM City. Police and government investigators took samples for laboratory tests.

In March, Duong Thi Hoa, a pig trader in Dong Nai Province, was fined for inflating and sedating pigs. In January, police raided a facility of Pham Duc Duy, where 109 pigs were found to have been pumped full of water and sedated. They raided another facility for the same violation.

Officials said the pigs had been fed Prozil Fort, an animal transquiliser.

Nguyen Huu Duc, from HCM City Medical University, said, “Prozil is used on pigs to keep them calm before slaughter, but the drug can accumulate in the meat and poses a health risk for those consuming it.”

Eating the drug-tainted meat over a long period can result kidney problems and mental illnesses, and children are particularly vulnerable due to their fast metabolism rates.

Veterinarian Nguyen Thi Luong warned consumers of meat tainted with Prozil may suffer memory loss, sleeplessness and depression.

Volunteers join campaign to clean Hanoi’s lakes

More than 2,000 volunteers took part in a campaign on April 19 to collect rubbish around the areas of a number of lakes in Hanoi.

The activity followed a meeting to mark Earth Day co-organised by the Centre for Environment and Community Research, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the US Embassy in Vietnam.

The event aimed to raise public awareness of environmental issues and the importance of water in socio-economic development.

It also sought to encourage people to participate in environmental protection activities such as collecting rubbish, dredging water channels, lakes, ponds and the drainage system.

In addition to cleaning the environment near the city’s lakes, there were also other activities such as a photo exhibition on the theme of environmental protection, leaflet distribution and exchanging rubbish for environmentally friendly products.

Ministry stops fining trucks with axle overload

The Ministry of Transport has suspended imposing fines on trucks violating the axle load regulations but those breaking the total load limits are still sanctioned.

In Document 4685/BGTVT-VT, the ministry requests the Ministry of Public Security, and the authorities of provinces and cities to instruct law enforcement forces to execute the new decision.

Last July, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang issued Document 8034/BGTVT-VT telling the Ministry of Public Security and local governments to spare trucks with axle load violations from sanctions until the end of last year.

Since early this year law enforcement forces have reinstated the rules provided in Government Decree 171/2013/ND-CP which treats axle overload as a violation. Transport enterprises have decried the regulations.

At the Government’s regular meeting in March, the Ministry of Transport asked the Government to suspend the imposition of fines on axle load violators to pave the way for drafting a new decree on sanctions against traffic law infringements.

The Government approved that request and assigned the Ministry of Transport to coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies to draft a new decree to replace Decree 171/2013/ND-CP issued on November 13, 2013 and Decree 107/2014/ND-CP issued on November 17, 2014.

Therefore, the Ministry of Transport has released Document 4685/BGTVT-VT informing local governments of the fine suspension decision.

In the past, transport enterprises have complained about the inconsistent methods of determining whether a truck is overloaded or not. Some localities apply the axle load regulation while others apply the total load limit, throwing transportation firms into disarray.

At his meeting with the city government last week, Minister Thang told HCMC and neighboring provinces to take punitive measures against overloaded trucks, especially those protected by some corrupt traffic police.

Thang said many provinces had failed to inspect those trucks carrying more goods than their permissible loads. Notably, some truck owners spend VND3.5-4.5 million a month buying special stickers and putting them on the windshield as priority passes.

The 20x17cm logos have yellow background and blue letters.

Thang said after being informed by residents, the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam carried out inspections in HCMC and detected 331 trucks of 2.5-14 tons transporting more goods than load limit.

The minister asked the city to take strict measures to ensure that traffic regulations are strictly obeyed.

The Directorate for Roads of Vietnam proposed filing criminal charges against cases in which trucks carry goods exceeding 150% of the load limit.

However, lawyer Thai Van Chung at Nguyen Giap law firm suggested the Road Law and the Penal Code should be revised to make clear the liability of goods owners, porters and truck owners.


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