Viet Nam News
HCM City – HCM City should consider a range of policies to support people who are resettled when it acquires their land or house for public projects, a city leader has said.
“The city has carried out social surveys on life after resettlement over many years, but most of relocated people are faced difficulties in finding work and earning a steady income,” chairwoman of the People’s Council, Nguyễn Thị Quyết Tâm, was quoted as saying in Người Lao Động (Labourers) newspaper.
“Authorities cannot have a single policy for all kinds of people who move to new places.”
After visiting many resettlement apartments in various districts, Thi Thị Tuyết Nhung, head of the People’s Council’s Society and Culture Commission, said she found most of the people had to return to their former areas for sustaining their earnings because they could not earn a living in the new place.
“However, due to long distances and the cost of travelling, many have sold or rent out their resettlement apartments, return to their old area and rent slum houses."
She also said that because they have no job some of them have taken to drinking and gambling the whole day.
“If authorities don’t come up with proper policies, social evils will plague resettlement areas.”
In the past Mai Quốc Tuấn and his family used to live in Bình Hưng Hòa ward, Bình Tân district. He had a workshop with 10 workers that processed garments and earned around VNĐ12 million (US$530) a month.
With this steady income, he could feed his five-member family.
After moving to Vĩnh Lộc B residential area in Bình Chánh District on the outskirts, Tuấn could not run his workshop because he lived too far away.
Now Tuấn is planning to become a motorcycle-taxi driver while his wife has to work as a housemaid.
Lê Thị Quí used to earn VNĐ3 million ($130) a month after retirement by working in a workshop near her former house, also in Bình Hưng Hòa. It was enough along with her pension to live quite well.
“It used to be fun and joy because I could meet my friends, chat with them and buy essential things. But now, since I was moved, my only friend is a TV and there is no extra money on top my pension of VNĐ3 million,” she said bitterly.
According to Lại Phú Cường, head of the Bình Tân District Ground Clearance and Compensation Commission, there is plenty of support for resettled people in the form of loans for starting businesses, scholarships for vocation training, and creating jobs in the relocated areas.
“If resettled areas ensure quality and complete their infrastructure, many will live there, creating business opportunities for local residents.”
Layer Nguyễn Văn Hậu said the city’s point of view matches the World Bank’s, which has said the life of resettled people should be equal to or better than what it was before.
“That is why local authorities provide much support for resettled people.”
But he admitted that in other countries authorities often hired a professional consultancy to survey each family before relocation to preserve their earnings and living standards.
“In Việt Nam, surveys are done only to decide how much compensation should be paid to owners and not how they can live after relocation."
Nhung said: “The People’s Council will have a special meeting to discuss the problem and seek solutions to help resettled people stabilise their lives in new places.” -- VNS