HA NOI — A newly issued decree approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will afford international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in Viet Nam more benefits.
The new law, based on readjusting regulations in monitoring the activities of NGOs in Viet Nam, takes effect on June 1 and will replace the older version issued in 1996.
It was first compiled in 2007 after the release of ministerial, industry and locality reports on NGO operations, said Don Tuan Phong, director of the People's Aid Co-ordinating Committee (PACCOM) run by the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO).
As part of new proceedings, administrative procedures in issuing operating licences for NGOs would be simplified, Phong added, saying such licences would be valid for three years instead of the initial one year.
Organisations will be able to apply for operating licences by directly submitting paperwork to the Committee for Foreign Non-governmental Organisation Affairs, who will reply within 45 days.
NGOs would be encouraged to implement long-term projects of at least five years, in terms of humanitarian and development initiatives, Phong said, adding that organisations would be allowed to set up representative offices in the three big cities of Ha Noi, HCM City and Da Nang.
Organisations will be prohibited from conducting political or religious activities and such operations deemed unsuitable to national security, defence and solidarity.
Duong Viet Hong, communications officer of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), said, "Administrative procedures are simplified under the new decree, it's good news for WCS and other international NGOs in Viet Nam."
It would help us save money and time so we could focus more on our long-term projects, she said.
"We are aware of the Vietnamese version of the newly-issued decree and are awaiting the official English version," said Sven Coppens, programme director of Plan International Viet Nam.
"As a non-political organ-isation, we always co-operate with the Government in implementing projects centred on humanitarian aid and development," said Tran Thu Quynh, communications co-ordinator at Plan.
According to Phong, around 900 international NGOs currently operate in the country. — VNS