Minister of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung visits and gives gifts to a Vietnamese heroic mother in Đông Hà City, the central province of Quảng Trị. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuấn
HÀ NỘI — While groups and Agent Orange victims’ associations called for preferential treatment regimes for “third-generation descendants of revolutionary activists who have been exposed to chemical toxins,” the Government and National Assembly Standing Committee have so far decided not to add the regimes to the bill of the Ordinance on Preferential Treatment of People with Meritorious Services to the Revolution.
Discussing the ordinance bill at the NA Standing Committee’s meeting on Tuesday, chairwoman of the NA Committee on Social Affairs Nguyễn Thuý Anh said that the committee reviewed and agreed with the Government’s proposal on not including such revolutionary activists’ descendants to the beneficiaries of the ordinance.
They also agreed that social welfare or support would still be given to all offspring who suffered deformities or ailments that are confirmed to be the consequences of the toxins.
Special policies with better support and better care at social welfare establishments would be given for those identified as descendants of revolutionary activists, Anh said.
According to Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung, until now, there remains concern over the scientific basis in identifying the list of diseases or deformities associated with toxins that the third-generation descendants of revolutionary activists suffered.
Meanwhile, the implementation of the preferential treatment policies to the first and second generations of those exposed to chemical toxins, for example, the highly harmful Agent Orange/Dioxin that the US army sprayed over southern Việt Nam during the 1960-1970s, faced difficulties and shortcomings, Dung said.
Health insurance for former spouses of martyrs
Also under the bill, the Government proposes free health insurance for spouses of martyrs even when they remarried. Those that remarry shall not be given other assistance such as funeral allowances.
The funeral allowance would be given to those that remarry if they are in poor households or live alone.
However, according to Thuý Anh, the NA Commitee for Social Affairs recommended that the former spouses of martyrs should be given both health insurance and funeral allowance.
“They got married again but they took care of the parents and children of martyrs, their contributions deserve recognition. It’s reasonable for us to pay gratitude and offer them assistance,” she said.
According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, there are 24,463 widows of martyrs in the country being given a monthly death gratuity.
Nearly 11,900 of them don’t have health insurance cards.
If the funeral allowance was approved for all martyrs’ partners regardless of if they remarried or not, the Government would spend over VNĐ20 billion.
The NA Committee for Social Affairs also recommended the Government give allowances to those who worship Vietnamese heroic mothers. Now, the worship allowance is given to those who worship martyrs in case none of the martyrs’ relatives receive the death gratuity. — VNS