For­mosa re­cov­ery work bears fruit: PM

Viet Nam News - - NATIONAL -

QUAÛNG TRÒ — Efforts to sta­bilise lives, pro­duc­tion and busi­nesses in the cen­tral prov­inces af­fected by the For­mosa-re­lated ma­rine en­vi­ron­men­tal in­ci­dent have paid off, said Prime Min­is­ter Nguyeãn Xuaân Phuùc at a na­tional con­fer­ence in Quaûng Trò Prov­ince yes­ter­day.

Lo­cal res­i­dents have put more trust in the Party and au­thor­i­ties, and united with each other to ad­dress the in­ci­dent, he con­tin­ued.

The na­tional con­fer­ence was held to review the per­for­mance of the steer­ing com­mit­tee for solutions to re­spond to the en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ter and pre­vent longterm dam­age to peo­ple’s lives and eco­nomic cir­cum­stances.

Mass fish deaths were first re­ported on April 6, 2016 when a large num­ber of fish washed ashore in Haø Tónh Prov­ince. The phe­nom­e­non also oc­curred in neigh­bour­ing Quaûng Bình, Quaûng Trò and Thöøa Thieân – Hueá prov­inces.

About 70 tonnes of dead fish were found in the four prov­inces. This en­vi­ron­men­tal in­ci­dent caused se­ri­ous losses in the mar­itime ecosys­tem and seafood re­sources, af­fect­ing around 510,000 peo­ple of 130,000 house­holds in 730 vil­lages of 146 com­munes and towns of 22 coastal dis­tricts of the four prov­inces.

Of­fi­cials gained ex­pe­ri­ence from ad­dress­ing the in­ci­dent, PM Phuùc said. He lauded Haø Tónh Prov­ince’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to bring the case on wrong­do­ings in com­pen­sat­ing and sup­port­ing the af­fected fish­er­men to court.

The leader at­trib­uted such out­comes to the con­tri­bu­tions of sci­en­tists, mem­bers of the steer­ing com­mit­tee, lead­ers and the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem at the com­mune, dis­trict- and pro­vin­cial lev­els, army and po­lice forces and the pub­lic at large.

He high­lighted the pub­lic­ity, trans­parency, democ­racy, ac­cu­racy and close su­per­vi­sion in the work.

How­ever, PM Phuùc said, there re­main short­com­ings in the com­pen­sa­tion work, spark­ing pub­lic com­plaints.

Cit­ing the fact that 0.9 per cent of the com­pen­sa­tion fund has yet to be dis­bursed, the Gov­ern­ment leader re­quested the early com­ple­tion of sup­port and com­pen­sa­tion for lo­cal fish­er­men.

He de­scribed the en­vi­ron­ment as a pil­lar of na­tional de­vel­op­ment and asked the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment to pro­pose solutions to pro­tect the coun­try’s en­vi­ron­ment in gen­eral and mar­itime en­vi­ron­ment in par­tic­u­lar over the long term.

The min­istry was also urged to es­tab­lish more en­vi­ron­ment mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems in ma­jor cities, in­dus­trial parks and en­vi­ron­men­tally pol­luted spots, firstly in the four cen­tral prov­inces of Haø Tónh, Quaûng Bình, Quaûng Trò and Thöøa Thieân – Hueá prov­inces, with the su­per­vi­sion of the pub­lic.

It is also nec­es­sary to con­tinue in­spect­ing the op­er­a­tions of For­mosa, es­pe­cially af­ter the test run of its sec­ond fur­nace, while en­sur­ing se­cu­rity and so­cial or­der in the cen­tral re­gion, he said.

In late June 2016, Tai­wan-in­vested Höng Nghieäp For­mosa Haø Tónh Steel Co. Ltd (FHS) ad­mit­ted re­spon­si­bil­ity for the en­vi­ron­men­tal hor­rors and pledged to set up a fund of US$500 mil­lion to com­pen­sate af­fected peo­ple.

On Au­gust 23, 2016, the Prime Min­is­ter es­tab­lished a steer­ing com­mit­tee for solutions to to re­spond to the dis­as­ter.

zn ad­di­tion, the Gov­ern­ment leader also de­cided to pro­vide emer­gency as­sis­tance for af­fected lo­cals, in­clud­ing over 19,000 tonnes of rice and cash worth over VNÑ101 bil­lion ($4.45 mil­lion).

Ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Nguyeãn Xuaân Cöôøng, fish­eries re­sources in the four lo­cal­i­ties have re­cov­ered with their seafood out­put hit­ting nearly 152,000 tonnes in 2017, up 23.5 per cent year-on-year.

Con­sumers also feel se­cure in buy­ing cen­tral Viet­namese seafood, re­sult­ing in in­creases in seafood prices.

Last year, the four prov­inces’ tourism sec­tor bounced back as well, with rises seen in both the num­ber of tourists and rev­enue.

To date, the Höng Nghieäp For­mosa Haø Tónh Steel Co. Ltd has in­stalled au­to­matic mon­i­tor­ing de­vices and cam­eras and di­rectly transmitted its data re­lated to the en­vi­ron­ment to the Haø Tónh Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment and the Vieät Nam En­vi­ron­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Pay­ing trib­ute to mar­tyrs

Prime Min­is­ter Phuùc on the same day paid homage to mar­tyrs at the Tröôøng Sôn Na­tional Mar­tyrs Ceme­tery on the oc­ca­sion of his work­ing trip to the cen­tral coastal prov­ince of Quaûng Trò.

The Tröôøng Sôn Na­tional Mar­tyrs’ Ceme­tery is the rest­ing place of over 10,000 sol­diers from across Vieät Nam. Most of them were from Corps 559 of Tröôøng Sôn sol­diers and sac­ri­ficed their lives on Hoà Chí Minh Trail dur­ing the re­sis­tance war against the US.

The PM and his en­tourage also of­fered in­cense and laid wreaths at the Road No 9 Na­tional Mar­tyrs Ceme­tery where more than 10,000 mar­tyrs were buried. The fallen sol­diers fought in the Road 9 bat­tle­field and Laos dur­ing the anti-US re­sis­tance war.

The PM ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to the mar­tyrs who de­voted their youth to na­tional in­de­pen­dence and free­dom. — VNS

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