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Deputies discuss changes to law on disaster prevention, control

Update: June, 07/2013 - 09:47
National Assembly deputies met yesterday in the capital to discuss proposed changes to Viet Nam's Law on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.— VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— National Assembly deputies met yesterday in the capital to discuss proposed changes to Viet Nam's Law on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

The financial and human resources available to successfully implement the law were among the subjects breached during a session that saw both agreement and some debate.

Most lawmakers felt that a fund should be established to support disaster prevention and control, but there was disagreement about where the money should come from.

Dinh Thi Phuong Khanh, representing the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Long An, agreed with a proposal to make it compulsory for citizens to contribute to the fund through a fee, stating that this would heighten the feeling of responsibility among individuals for keeping their communities as safe as possible during natural disasters.

"I do not think that donations alone from organisations and individuals will ever be enough to cover the cost of disaster prevention and control activities, so it has to be compulsory," she said.

Le Van Hoang from central Da Nang City took the opposite view, arguing that a compulsory fund would set a precedent that could lead to unfair fee collection in the future.

Trieu La Pham, representing the northern province of Ha Giang, urged for disadvantaged people to be exempt from paying any fees.

In regards to human resources required to keep the country safe from natural disasters, deputy Pham Thi My Ngoc from northern Ninh Binh Province highlighted the role that must be played by the local military forces, public security officials and militia already spread out across the country.

Tran Duong Tuan from the southern province of Ben Tre suggested that social organisations, such as the Red Cross, Youth Union and groups of local teachers and students, be given some responsibilities.

Later in the discussions some deputies recommended additional regulations to support disaster insurance firms and enterprises operating in disaster-prone areas. They stated that the revised law should require businesses and contractors to buy insurance for their constructions and projects.

Meanwhile, it was proposed that those who indirectly cause losses to organisations and individuals, through inaccurate forecasts and warnings about imminent disasters, be administratively punished and potentially face criminal responsibility.

Lawmaker Huynh Van Tinh from southern Tien Giang Province called for more recognition to be given to those who lose their lives in the act of directly limiting the impacts of natural disasters.

"Those who are injured should receive future support and those who die should be considered the same as war heroes," he said.

Most of the deputies agreed with the name of the law, concurring that it comprehensively covered all aspects of the regulated activities and the active nature of responding to natural disasters.

In the afternoon, the legislators met into groups for discussions about the draft bidding law and draft law on financial management and savings and combating waste. — VNS

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