Dr Vo Tri Hao, a lecturer at HCM City's Economics University, talks to Dai Doan Ket (Great Unity) newspaper about an "urban administration" model introduced by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Are there any differences in the concept of urban administration from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) with that from HCM City?
The model introduced by the MOHA only categorises among the relationship between the urban administration with the rural administration; between cities affiliated to the central government and cities affiliated to the local governments (provinces); or between provincial towns and district towns. In my opinion, in that model, the MOHA has not said how to differentiate the relationships between them. In addition, the proposal has not dealt with the term "city affiliated to the central city".
Meanwhile, the HCM City model details differences in the relationships between cities from different categories. The differences are also reflected in geographical characteristics, economic development levels and the capacity of government officials' work in the cities. So, in my opinion, the concept of HCM City's proposal on urban administration is more suitable for cities than the one introduced by the MOHA.
Do you mean the model introduced by HCM City is only for the city itself?
You're right. The idea of developing this concept is for the city only, not for other cities, particularly those with less than one million people.
However, other cities can learn from the proposal and get what is most appropriate to their own circumstances.
After reading the HCM City's proposal, I feel the city wants to have only two completed levels: HCM City and its four satellite cities. Do you think a simple administrative structure like that will affect the state management's effectiveness?
If we look at advanced cities in the world, like Berlin, Tokyo or Washington, I think the proposal is feasible. When we reduce the management tiers, it is likely that we'll reduce management and administrative procedures. However, if these things turn out well or not depends on the power delineation between the two administrative levels.
Some people have argued that it is not the right time to apply the "mayor model" as the urbanisation process in HCM City is not yet mature. How do you respond to that comment?
I don't agree with the argument for a simple reason. The model does not take into account the speed of urbanisation.
The first mayor model was introduced in the 18th century. The title "mayor" is associated with urbanisation. But the mayor model is one in which the people directly cast their votes to elect the head of their local administration. They also vote their own local representatives into office.
In my opinion, it is time to establish the mayor model in cities affiliated to the central government. There are four reasons backing up my proposal.
First, the Vietnamese are proud of their hard-work and intelligence.
Second, they cast their votes to elect their representatives to the National Assembly and the People's Council at different levels. So they know who they should elect as mayor to run a city on their behalf.
Third, generally the educational level of people in a city is higher than in other localities.
And, finally, more public employees live in these cities.
Do you think this is the right time to introduce the urban administration model for HCM City, Ha Noi and Da Nang, the three cities affiliated to the Central Government, when our Constitution is being revised?
It is the golden opportunity for the whole nation, not only for HCM City, Ha Noi and Da Nang. — VNS