THE PRIME MINISTER OF GOVERNMENT
-------
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
------------
No. 668/TTg
Hanoi, August 22, 1997
 
DECISION
ON THE NATURAL DISASTER REDUCTION ORIENTATION AND MEASURES AND THE PROGRAMS FOR KEY SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF COASTAL CENTRAL PROVINCES
THE PRIME MINISTER
Pursuant to the Law on Organization of the Government of September 30, 1992;
At the proposals of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Aquatic Resources, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Communications and Transport, the Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Fight and the recommendations made at the Conference on "Flood and Storm Prevention and Fight and Socio-Economic Development of Coastal Central Provinces" organized from 20-22 June, 1997 in Hue City,
DECIDES:
Article 1.- The coastal central provinces from Thanh Hoa to Binh Thuan should precisely evaluate their potential and comparative advantages, as well as their difficulties and thereby devise measures to overcome, prevent and adapt themselves to natural disasters, make use of opportunities, organize and direct the exploitation of their potentials, natural advantages and human resources with a view to gradually developing in a sustainable manner together with other regions in the country towards industrialization and modernization.
The striking advantages of the coastal central provinces in the period of industrialization consist of their diversified terrain and ecological systems; their geological and soil conditions which are suitable for the development of various industries; their locations as places of exchange between the various economic regions of the country; traffic gateways to the regional countries; a system of seaports, roads, railways and airports which have been and are being constructed; and an abundant workforce.
Yet, generally speaking, the coastal central provinces are at a lower starting point compared to some other regions of the country. The weather and climatic conditions are harsh and floods, storms and droughts occur frequently, complicating and affecting the people�s life and the socio-economic development of the region.
The socio-economic development objectives of the coastal central provinces from now till the year 2000 are to strive to obtain an annual economic growth rate (GDP) of 10% to 12%; to quickly shift the economic structure, boosting the development of industries and services, changing the agricultural production structure, diversifying products; to ensure a sustainable ecological environment and to properly address social issues on the basis of bringing into fullest play the local resources, attracting and effectively utilizing the resources outside the region and overseas.
Article 2.- The orientation for flood and storm prevention and fighting and natural disaster reduction is to "take initiative in preventing, reducing and adapting to natural disasters"; to ensure safety for the people�s life, protect the properties of the State and the people; to quickly restore production, stabilize the people�s lives, and step by step adapt to natural disasters for the sake of economic development.
Basing themselves on the review of the flood and storm prevention and control work in the central provinces, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Fighting should provide guidance for and closely coordinate with the concerned provinces to:
- Issue specific regulations and guidance on the measures to be taken under different circumstances to prevent and minimize the damage caused by natural disasters.
- Continue upgrading the existing infrastructure works and build new ones in such a way that these projects form a system that helps prevent and reduce damage caused by natural disasters, and at the same time, that can stand up to frequent natural disasters, thus avoiding wastefulness.
- Arrange the structure of crops and change the production seasons to circumvent and adapt to floods and storms.
Article 3.- Key socio-economic development programs, programs on gradual reduction and control of natural disasters.
1. The afforestation and forest protection program:
The forests in the coastal central provinces, especially headwater forests and coastal protective forests, play a decisive role in preventing and limiting the adverse impacts of floods and storms, keeping out water, combating land erosion and desertization, protecting sea dikes, reducing natural disaster, and maintaining a balanced and stable ecological environment conducive to development.
To strive to have over 40% of the country�s total area covered by forests and industrial plants by the year 2000 by planting 650,000 ha of new forests, including: zoning off for the restoration of 200,000 ha of existing forests, planting 450,000 new ha of forests on bare hills and perennial industrial plants of good coverage. By the year 2010, the coverage of forests and perennial industrial plants shall reach 60% to 65%, with a goal of increasing the protective capability, balancing the ecological environment and contributing to natural disaster control.
The provincial People’s Committees shall have to organize, direct and regularly review the implementation of Directive No. 286-TTg of May 2, 1997 of the Prime Minister on intensifying the urgent measures to protect and develop forests.
Together with the concerned ministries, branches and provincial People’s Committees, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall have to promptly fulfill the stable and long-term assignment of land and forests to organizations, households and individuals according to Decree No. 02-CP of January 5, 1994 of the Government and in the spirit of Directive No. 286-TTg of May 2, 1997 of the Prime Minister. Every province must thoroughly evaluate the fund of land of various categories as well as the situation of land use in each locality, so as to work out a land planning and land use plans and make proper adjustments thereto. It is necessary to ensure that peasant households are provided with sufficient land to grow short-term crops to meet their food demand, with enough land for planting fruit trees, gardening and raising domestic animals. This is a prerequisite and a substantial solution for the people to settle and practice Sedentarization, take part in protecting, zoning off and restoring forests and planting new forests on the assigned forest and land areas instead of destroying forests for food crop farming.
2. The program regarding changing the agricultural production structure and agricultural production seasons .
The change of the agricultural production structure must be made along the direction of producing goods of high value in service of domestic demand and export, bringing into full play the potential and advantages in terms of land, the ecological system, production practices and experiences of each locality for the socio-economic development of the whole region.
It is necessary to focus on irrigation so as to increase the arable land fund, select high-quality and high-yield strains, properly arrange crop seasons and strive to achieve by the year 2000 a yearly food output of 4.2-4.5 million tons, and, together with the other key rice-growing regions throughout the country to ensure national food security and increase the export values.
Apart from rice, there should be a planning, concrete plans, policies and measures to mobilize all human resources for developing industrial plants of high value that are suitable to the natural conditions of the region it is necessary:
- To build a sugar plant, together with the development of material areas, rapidly multiply new varieties of sugar canes of high yield and sugar content and ensure that the entire region shall have put some 100,000 ha under sugar canes and have enough sugar processing establishments by the year 2000, thereby contributing to accommodating the domestic consumption and export demands.
- To draw up a general planning and plans on the development of rubber, coffee, cotton, pepper, cocoa, etc. in the suitable areas; grapes and thanh long (dragon fruit) in Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan, in close coordination with the building of processing establishments and the expansion of outlets, and the increasing of efficiency, thereby making farmers� feel capable of long-term production activities.
- To fully exploit the region�s potential and advantages so as to develop livestock breeding, particularly cows, lambs and goats. To select good breeds, prevent and combat animal disease, especially oral ulcers and loose hooves. To promptly draft a plan concerning pasture land to be leased to households or farmers for farm-scale cow raising.
The coastal central provinces possess great advantages and potentials in terms of their land, sea water, weather and labor force for producing salt to meet individual daily needs, the industrial demand and for export. The General Land Administration shall, together with the provincial People�s Committees, assess and mark off those areas that have suitable land conditions to shift efficiently to the production of industrial salt. In particular, during 1997, the provinces of Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan must fulfill the procedures for prospecting, compiling and approving the feasible projects concerning the Phuong Cuu and Quan The salt fields and concerning the expansion of the Ca Na salt field before their construction commences in 1998. The Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Finance shall ensure funding for these industrial salt production projects.
3. Building irrigation and dike projects.
The building of irrigation and dike projects in the coastal central provinces is of great significance for preventing natural disasters and salinity intrusion, combating droughts, supplying water for daily life and agricultural production, especially in difficult areas, but such projects must fit the local terrain and hydro-meteorology and the construction thereof must be phased according to the general planning.
- Regarding dikes:
+ The river dikes in the coastal central provinces must prevent floods during the crop seasons, high floods and ensure a safe harvesting of winter-spring and summer autumn rice crops in the southern provinces of the central coast.
+ A necessary minimum height must be set for the sea dike sections to block the high tides, keep salty water away from rice fields; and there should be a plan for growing protective trees in the crucial sea dike areas.
+ The dike sections along lagoons must be able to stand the highest tide level during the winter-spring season and there should be measures to strengthen their top surface so that they can not be damaged when submerged.
+ There should be a research scheme, appropriate measures and concrete plans to deal with those river sections, river mouth areas and coastal areas being subject to complicated changes (alluvial accumulation, erosion, instability), affecting the people�s life and production.
- Regarding reservoirs and canals it is necessary:
+ To continue building new reservoirs, even upstream, and upgrading and perfecting existing ones in order to reduce floods and store water against droughts in service of the people�s production and life and improve the ecological environment for the whole region.
+ To gradually fortify the system of water canals and key small irrigation works so as to reduce land waste and water loss and raise the efficiency of the invested projects.
+ To conduct research and work out a plan on the program to control rivers and estuaries, to protect river banks, such as the estuaries of Tu Hien and Thuan An (Thua Thien Hue), Dai and An Hoa (Quang Nam), Da Rang and Da Nong (Phu Yen), Cai (Ninh Thuan) and Phan Ri (Binh Thuan); dealing with some river sections and estuaries which are being eroded; to prevent the illegal use of river bank land for constructing houses and other projects, which affect the flood drainage of rivers.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall assume the primary responsibility and coordinate with the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the provincial People�s Committees to draw up a concrete plans for the performance of the aforesaid tasks and determine the status of urgent unfinished projects so as to concentrate investment for their completion in 1998. In the fourth quarter of 1997, new projects to be built in the 1998-2000 period and key projects to be constructed after the year 2000 must be listed and submitted to the Prime Minister. On the basis of the approved list of projects, the functional ministries and provincial People�s Committees shall draft concrete plans, mobilize investment capital from various sources at the central and local levels, as well as from the local people, for execution thereof.
4. The program on the development of aquatic resources.
Exploitation of marine resources is a traditional occupation, a potential and an advantage of the central coastal provinces. The Ministry of Aquatic Resources shall closely coordinate with the provincial People�s Committees in directing the sustainable implementation of this program so as to increase the output and export values.
- To strive to achieve by the year 20000 an output of 450,000 to 500,000 tons of aquatic products and an export value of some 250 million USD.
- To step up the exploitation of marine resources in combination with in-depth investment in order to promote fishing capacity, especially offshore fishing, upgrade existing processing establishments and build new ones, determine and effectively exploit new fishing grounds.
- Together with the exploitation of marine resources, it is necessary to well organize aquaculture operations (in fresh water, brackish water, particularly in lagoons and swamps).
- To step up the processing so as to qualitatively improve and diversify the aquatic products in service of the domestic consumption, with attention given to high-quality processed products for export and large urban centers and industrial zones.
- Each locality should organize various fleets comprised of large capacity vessels with salvage equipment and facilities in support of medium- and low-capacity vessels and boats which go fishing offshore together. Measures must be taken to ensure that fishing vessels are equipped with buoys and necessary safety facilities. During the flood and storm season, the forecasting and warning of storms and tropical low pressures must be performed well; life buoys, information equipment must be equipped; safe anchoring yards must be prepared for vessels and fishermen and Directive No. 39-TTg of January 18, 1997 of the Prime Minister must be strictly observed to ensure safety for fishing means and fishermen operating on the sea.
- To reorganize the life of people in fishing villages, lagoon areas and coastal residential areas, who live on fishing marine resources. A plan should be made to create conditions for all fishing households to settle on shore, putting an end to their "nomadic lifestyle" on marshes, lagoons, etc., and a plan drafted concerning the investment in renovating, constructing and upgrading fishing quays and services should be made to create conditions for fishermen�s vessels to fish and sell their products.
5. Communications development program.
- The Ministry of Communications and Transport shall study and elaborate a master planning and a strategy for the development of communications and transport in the coastal central provinces at each period of time from now till the year 2000, 2005 and afterwards, determining a list of key projects and concrete steps, the investment and capital mobilization mechanism and policy, the responsibilities of the Central Government and local administration for each project at each period of time and submit it to the Prime Minister for approval. On this basis, investment projects shall be drawn up so that every project can be definitely completed, thus avoiding the state of scattered investment, capital shortage, projects left unfinished for long.
- For the immediate future, the Ministry of Communications and Transport shall assume the primary responsibility and coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the concerned localities to fully assess the impacts of storms and floods on the system of roads and railways and, vice versa, the impacts of traffic routes on the drainage of floods and the control of water logging. By-roads should be built at the frequently flooded road sections where traffic jam often occurs, there should be measures to consolidate the road surfaces and edges against any damage to be caused by flash floods, ensure safety for the east-west routes, especially those roads which are crucial to the people�s life, leading to mountainous regions, or are easily washed away during the rainy and storm season.
- The renovation and upgrading of Highway 1A and the trans-Vietnam railway should be conducted in close coordination with the irrigation service for the optimum solution to ensure that floods and water-logging are quickly drained off, such roads shall not be damaged or washed away during the rainy and storm season and that traffic is smooth under all circumstances.
- Apart from the North-South road axis, there should be a plan for gradual construction of east-west fishbone road axes, airports and roads linking the Central Highland provinces and ensuring uninterrupted communications in both dry and rainy seasons between districts in the region, mountainous and coastal areas (including roads for two-wheelers and roads in service of the people�s daily life) so as to increase the goods production and circulation.
Article 4.- Development of industries, urban areas and tourism.
The coastal central provinces have great potentials and advantages in terms of their seaports, land and terrain for the development of industries, urban areas and tourism.
- Regarding industries: Apart from the petro-chemicals, ship building and repair, construction materials and mining industries, attention must be given to the development of and in-depth investment in the processing of agricultural products, marine products, industrial salt, mineral water, grape wine and soft drinks using on-the-spot materials; while at the same time studying and developing such labor-intensive industries as textiles and garment, leather footwear, and manufacture of consumer goods; thereby increasing the industrial ratio in GDP and creating a premise for industrialization and modernization.
The planning and construction of industrial clusters and zones and development economic zones must be closely linked to the gradual upgrading of the system of seaports, power transmission lines, roads leading to the seaports and industrial zones in conformity with the regional overall planning to ensure that they can support and promote one another�s development. There should soon be a planning or plans on the construction of industrial zones and clusters such as Dung Quat (Quang Ngai), Lien Chieu and Hoa Khanh (Da Nang), Chu Lai, Tam Ky and Trang Nhat (Quang Nam), Suoi Dau, Suoi Hiep and Hon Ro (Khanh Hoa), Thap Cham (Ninh Thuan), Chan May (Thua Thien-Hue), Vung Ang (Ha Tinh), Nghi Son and Lam Son (Thanh Hoa), Cua Lo, Hoang Mai and Nghia Dan (Nghe An), etc. so as to attract foreign investment capital and technologies. Vietnamese organizations and individuals shall be encouraged and given every favorable condition to participate in the financing and development of already approved industrial zones, on this basis, the local economic centers and new cities shall be founded, thus promoting the development of various industries, traditional handicrafts, services and trade.
In addition to the planning on the development of industrial clusters and zones, it is necessary to encourage the development of industrial establishments, particularly those engaged in processing agricultural and aquatic products, of appropriate sizes in the locations close to the material areas with abundant labor force and the development of traditional trades and crafts.
- Regarding urban development: Existing cities, especially the provincial capitals, cities and towns; must be replanned with attention being paid to preserving and maintaining historical places and ancient streets; concentrated residential quarters shall be erected in association with the industrial zones like satellite cities of the existing provincial capitals and cities. To systematically form a complete system of cities, provincial towns, townships, communal and inter-communal centers, population clusters, etc., thereby narrowing the gap between the cities and the countryside.
The construction of new cities and expansion of existing ones must comply with the regulations and approved planning. Such cities must have areas covered by trees and entertainment places which do not affect the scenery and pollute the environment. Priority shall be given to planting trees on the cleared areas in the provincial capitals and towns, transforming them into public entertainment places.
- Regarding tourism: To focus on elaborating tourism development master plans for the whole coastal central region and for each province. The exploitation of reginal national cultural heritage through tourism must be closely associated with the preservation and maintenance of these historical sights. To pay attention to developing coastal tourism and ecological tourism, particularly lagoon tourism, a unique strength of the central region. In addition to the development of the tourist infrastructure such as hotels, beaches, entertainment centers, attention should be paid to the development of a system of services that will lengthen the stay of tourists and increase revenues from tourism for other production branches. There should be concrete regulations on the environmental protection and the preservation of the nation�s cultural identity and the supervision of their observance should be organized.
Article 5.- Redistribution of labor, sedentarization, settlement and hunger eradication and poverty reduction.
Hunger eradication and poverty reduction must be closely associated with sedentarization, settlement and redistribution of labor and population within the territory of each province so as to well tap the natural potentials. This is a crucial issue which should be considered as a regular task of the coastal central provinces. It is necessary to allocate sufficient land for stabilizing the production and life of the people, especially the ethnic minority people residing in the high land and former resistance base areas.
In the provinces of Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan, which are large in land but thinly populated, if investment is made in the construction of irrigation projects, the cultivated areas can be expanded, and more labor can be employed to exploit the land potential. Therefore, there should be plans for building irrigation infrastructure projects so as to, on the one hand, rationally arrange the population (including those coming from elsewhere) in each province and, on the other hand, prepare sufficient conditions for accepting new laborers coming from other provinces as planned.
Every province should have a specific timetable for hunger elimination. It is necessary to thoroughly understand and update the situation and causes of food shortage and hunger suffered by households in each commune and each district so as to work out a plan regarding helping such poor households and people overcome their poverty under a specific timetable. Regular review of the implementation of this plan should be made and timely adjustment measures should be taken, to ensure that there will be no households suffering from hunger by 2000 at the latest.
It is necessary to classify poor households and find out the causes of their poverty so as to take effective assistance measures. For the households which are poor due to lack of land, production means and capital, it is necessary to provide them with sufficient land and lend them sufficient capital under a pledge of trust so that they can have conditions to stabilize their production and get out of their poverty by themselves. Efforts and support should be concentrated on household after household and locality after locality for definite settlement other than that which can be evenly distributed to all. Importance should be attached to agricultural promotion, the transfer of technological and scientific advances and the application of new farming techniques. It is also necessary to effectively disseminate examples of production activities and production experiences of households which are successful or excellent in business and production so that large numbers of people can learn. To appoint personnel to assist and provide specific guidance for households which are indigent due to lack of production experiences. To properly apply the mode of community-based education to the people who are poor due to laziness.
For poor urban households, it is necessary to understand the situation and causes of the poverty suffered by each household so as to work out measures to create jobs, give support in capital and create conditions suitable to each household. For poor households residing in areas about to be cleared, upon their resettlement, they should be given priority in receiving land and houses suitable to their business lines.
For poor fishing households, apart from helping them to settle on shore and have residential and garden land like farming households, there should be an appropriate credit policy to create conditions for each to borrow on its own, or together with other fishing households, capital for building vessels or boats, purchasing offshore fishing gear and enjoy debt rescheduling if they are unable to pay such debts due to "fishing crop" failure.
The General Administration of Land shall direct the provincial People’s Committees in collecting statistics and thoroughly know the total land fund of each commune and each district in the locality, especially the land areas suitable for food crops, fruit trees and industrial plants of high value as well as the present land use status so as to make a plan on new land reclamation and rational and thrifty use of land .
Article 6.- On health, education, cultural and social affairs.
- Regarding health: To provide sufficient iodized salt to the people, especially highlanders; to reduce the rate of goiter sufferers to below 10%, to effectively eliminate polio among children, to prevent and eliminate leprosy in southern central Vietnam, to elaminate "white" communes (communes without a medical service and health care center), reduce the natural population growth rate to below 2% by the year 2000.
To invest in upgrading provincial and district polyclinic hospitals to make them capable of examining and treating diseases of the people, to strengthen the epidemic prevention stations at the provincial, regional and district levels, and to attach importance to consolidating the rural medical network, especially in the highland and remote areas, so as to provide primary health care for the people.
For the existing central medical establishments in Da Nang, Hue, Dong Hoi, etc., the Ministry of Health should have a plan to invest in upgrading them in terms of sizes and advanced equipment and facilities so that they are capable of undertaking the medical treatment at the regional level, then proceed to the formation of regional medical centers by 2000.
- Regarding education: To accelerate anti-illiteracy work and the universalization of primary education and expansion of basic secondary education. To encourage the building of schools and classes according to the mode of "the State and the people join efforts" and educational socialization. For those areas that lack conditions to build solid schools and classes, local materials shall be made full use of to build schools and classes, which, however, must be wide, tidy, warm in the winter and cool in the summer and every school must have a playing yard for its pupils, and green trees to ensure a good school environment.
To expand the model of boarding schools for ethnic minority pupils so as to train ethnic minority cadres to meet the local immediate and long-term demand; to renew the training curriculum and link literacy skills and academic study to vocational training in a manner suitable to the mountainous socio-economic conditions.
It is necessary to draft a plan to promptly construct vocational training schools to train technicians so as to meet the demand for labor force in the region, especially technicians for concentrated industrial zones, industrial clusters and establishments.
The Ministry of Education and Training shall coordinate with the province of Thua Thien Hue and the City of Da Nang in directing the Hue and Da Nang universities to play its role as a center for training of technical and scientific personnel for the entire region.
- Regarding cultural, social and sport affairs: To concentrate on protecting, preserving and step by step renovating historical and revolutionary sites and scenic places such as: those related to the Soviet revolutionary movement in Nghe Tinh, Lam Son historical sites, the ancient citadel of Quang Tri, Hue’s imperial capital, Hoi An ancient streets, the Cham relics and revolutionary sites. To strengthen general cultural and art schools, to train in time the human resource for various cultural and art forms in order to preserve traditional values, to develop modern culture in combination with the national identity.
To strive to achieve 80% - 90% of the inhabited areas which can listen to the Radio Voice of Vietnam by the year 2000. The Central Government shall provide an AM medium wave transmitter and build FM stations at some central places in Quang Ngai, Phu Yen, Binh Thuan, Hai Van and Vung Chua. The provinces shall invest in completing their local radio stations.
To continue implementing the national television relay program to ensure that 80% - 90% of the inhabited areas can watch Vietnam Television program.
Through the national program on sports, to systematically begin three large sport centers in Nghe An, Da Nang and Khanh Hoa so as to boost the sport movement in the whole region. Each province shall gradually invest in forming its sport centers, first of all, three basic projects, i.e. a stadium, a general sport competition house and a swimming pool.
Article 7.- Organization of implementation.
- The contents of this decision which are the major tasks of the local administration of various levels must be concretize into programs and annual plans of each specialized branch and each provincial, district or commune administration and they shall be directed and implemented under the leadership of the local Party’s Committees.
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the ministries and branches at the central level shall base themselves on their functions and powers to closely coordinate with the concerned provinces in direct the implementation of the contents defined in this Decision within the scope of direction of their branches and localities.
- The Ministry of Planning and Investment shall review the programs and projects of the ministries, branches and coastal central provinces, balance and arrange annual investment programs together with specific solutions, mechanisms and policies for implementing this Decision. On the basis of the approved programs and projects, it shall make concrete annual plans, starting from 1998.
Article 8.- The ministers, the heads of the ministerial-level agencies and agencies attached to the Government, the presidents of the People’s Committees of the coastal central provinces shall have to implement this Decision.
 
THE PRIME MINISTER




Vo Van Kiet