PM urges stronger implementation of special mechanisms for HCM City

HCM City: Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh chaired the second meeting of the steering committee for the implementation of the National Assembly’s resolution on piloting special mechanisms and policies for the development of Ho Chi Minh City. Issued on June 24, 2023, Resolution 98/2023/QH15 stipulates mechanisms and policies designed specifically for the city in investment management, State finance and budget, urban governance, natural resources and environment, priority fields calling for strategic investors, sci-tech, innovation, and the administrative apparatus of both Ho Chi Minh City and Thu Duc city. PM Chinh hailed the municipal Party organisation, authorities and people for their tireless efforts in fulfilling 2023 political tasks with important results. Its socio-economic landscape exhibited robust month-on-month and quarter-on-quarter growth, surpassing the growth rate in 2022. He noted that the city has completed 10 out of the 22 assigned tasks linked to the resolution, but stressed that there exists a noticeable gap between the current pace and the Government and the city’s expectations. Ministries, agencies and Ho Chi Minh City need specialised units and personnel with responsibility, qualification and passion to dedicate more time and effort to the implementation of the resolution, he urged. The PM assigned specific tasks to his deputies and ministries to accelerate the resolution’s implementation, with Deputy PM Tran Luu Quang tasked with directing the drafting of a Government decree on the decentralisation of State management in certain sectors to the city, an imperative step slated for completion this month. Deputy PM Tran Hong Ha was required to direct the formulation of a decree on mechanisms and policies to facilitate rooftop solar power installation in administrative agencies and public service units, with a tight deadline set for the second quarter. Specific tasks pertaining to expressway projects were also assigned to Deputy PMs Ha and Le Minh Khai. The municipal People’s Committee was told to urgently research and propose an overall investment scheme for urban railway infrastructure. Chairman of the committee Phan Van Mai said the city will submit the scheme in Q1. As the Lunar New Year (Tet) approaches, the Government leader reminded the municipal authorities to ensure a happy, safe and warm Tet for every citizen./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Two new books by Party leader published

Hanoi: The Su That (Truth) National Political Publishing House has published two new books by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. The books are titled ‘Turning challenges into opportunities with resolve to create breakthroughs for rapid, sustainable development’ and ‘Building pure, strong Party and political system to contribute to successfully implementing the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress’. The two books comprise outstanding speeches, articles, letters and messages by the Party leader during three years implementing the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress from 2021 to 2023, which reflect the Party leader’s comprehensive leadership and instructions of all sectors, all-level administrations and localities. The book ‘Turning challenges into opportunities with resolve to create breakthroughs for rapid, sustainable development’ introduces speeches, articles, interviews, letters and messages of the Party General Secretary from April 2021 to December 2022. In the context of complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, which put severe impacts on the world and Vietnam as well, the strategic direction by the Party Central Committee headed by General Secretary created an important impetus for the entire Party and people to overcome difficulties and challenges, quickly concretise and implement the Resolution and targets set by the 13th Party Congress. Meanwhile, the book ‘Building pure, strong Party and political system to contribute to successfully implementing the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress’ reflects the Party leader’s close direction over important matters of the country in 2023 – the pivotal year in implementing the Resolution of the 13th Congress. The two books’ electronic versions are also available at https://sachquocgia.vn./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

NTF-ELCAC chief rejects call to scrap ‘relevant’ task force

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) remains relevant in the ongoing peace efforts of the Philippine government, its executive director Undersecretary Ernesto Torres Jr. said Saturday. Torres was responding to United Nations Special Rapporteur (UNSR) on Freedom of Expression Irene Khan’s call for the abolition of NTF-ELCAC, which she claimed is outdated and ‘does not take into account the ongoing prospects for peace negotiations.’ He said the NTF-ELCAC felt ‘betrayed’ by Khan’s recommendation and believed the UN expert ‘failed to comprehend the government’s established and institutionalized mechanisms for anti-terrorism and peace efforts.’ During her 10-day intensive visit to the country, Khan met with several stakeholders and government officials, including those from the NTF-ELCAC. ‘We strongly reject UNSR Irene Khan’s call for the abolition of the NTF-ELCAC. We take offense in her pronouncements against the Philippine government and the NTF-ELCAC,’ Torres said in a statement. Khan sought the termination of the task force during her exit conference on Feb. 2. Torres argued that NTF-ELCAC ‘remains as the single most relevant task force in the Philippines’ in addressing local communist armed conflict. ‘We will not allow any outsider to dictate us how to fight our wars and to dictate upon us the means to win the peace for our people. We have managed to succeed in our fight against insurgency and terrorism as a nation and as a people,’ he said. ‘This is something that cannot be hijacked nor be undermined by anyone. The NTF-ELCAC will continue to work for peace, unity, and development within the framework of justice and the rule of law.’ The task force was created through Executive Order 70 issued by former president Rodrigo Duterte on Dec. 4, 2018.

Its objective is to respond and raise awareness of the ongoing communist rebellion in the country.

Source: Philippines News Agency

FEU’s Cantela eyeing FIDE Master title

Filipino chess player Oscar Joseph “OJ” Cantela is setting his sights on becoming the country’s next World Chess Federation (FIDE) Master. The Grade 11 student is a member of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86 high school boys champion Far Eastern University – Diliman coached by Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales. Cantela holds a National Master title and to become a FIDE Master, he has to compete in tournaments with rated players. First on his list is the 21st Bangkok Chess Club Open scheduled at the Sheraton Hua Hin Resort and Spa in Phetchaburi, Thailand from April 13 to 21. “I hope to do well in Thailand and gain some Elo rating points,” said Cantela, a resident of San Juan Uno, General Trias, Cavite. His current Elo rating points are 2009 (standard), 1772 (rapid), and 1791 (blitz). Cantela won the gold medal in the 16-under category of the 12th Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Foundation Open Rapid Age-Group Chess Championship on Aug. 27 last year. He gained 100 Elo rating points at the 2023 World Youth Chess Championships held in Montesilvano, Italy on Nov. 24.

Source: Philippines News Agency