People queue for free rice at a "Rice ATM" in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Hứa Chung
HCM CITY — The Government Office has suggested adding freelance tour guides to the list of beneficiaries on the government's VNĐ62 trillion (US$2.6 billion) package to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
About 3,000 tour guides are freelancers and have not signed contracts with tourism companies. They are members of the national Tour Guide Association.
Most of them lost their salaries after tourism companies cancelled tours amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beneficiaries listed on the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs’ draft package include vendors, motorcycle taxi riders, garbage collectors, stevedores, lottery ticket sellers, and workers in restaurants and other services.
According to the HCM City Department of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs, about 1,500 people who sell lottery tickets will be added on the list of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who will receive money from the city budget.
Earlier, district authorities had added 5,307 lottery ticket sellers on the list from April 3-9, raising it to a total of 18,707 people.
The city has allocated more than VNĐ14 billion (US$595,561) to support lottery ticket sellers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic instead of the VNĐ9 billion as it previously planned.
Around 12,000 lottery ticket sellers in the city have received allowances provided by social welfare divisions and the Việt Nam Fatherland Front in city districts.
The city has also provided allowances to the poor and near-poor and to 47,000 workers and 31,500 teachers at private kindergartens who have lost jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lê Minh Tấn, head of the city Department of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs, said the city would focus on assistance for these people and continue to update the list of people affected by COVID-19. — VNS