Being a freelance interpreter, Nguyen Hai Phuong, living in District 3, has experienced much financial trouble as she cannot get suitable working projects, normally from trade promotion fairs. When finding a temporary job in a beauty salon, she felt quite relieved. But her happiness did not last long since HCMC is now undergoing a social distance time, meaning all unessential businesses must halt their operation and she cannot work.
This is not at all a strange situation among several people at the working age in the city these days.
Meanwhile, a large number of companies sited in HCMC have not yet fully recovered from the previous troublesome year also due to Covid-19 pandemic. Marketing Director of Fiditour – Vietluxtour Tran Thi Bao Thu shared that the most severe difficulty of her business at the moment is a significant revenue drop. The temporary solution in her organization is to help the staff find part-time jobs suitable for their ability while still performing basic tasks for the company.
Facing so much trouble, both laborers and businesses hope that the Government and the municipal authorities introduce practical aiding policies for them to overcome these unwanted obstacles. They put much expectation in the second support package to be launched in the future.
Tran Thanh Mai, Deputy Director of Vinh Phat Furniture Co. Ltd. in Binh Chanh District, said that despite having sufficient orders to fulfill as her international partners are in full operation now, her company encounters difficulties in circulating capital because of an increase in material prices. She expressed her hope that the upcoming second support package will have simpler procedure so that small and medium –scaled enterprises like her could access it easily.
Other enterprises in HCMC wish to enjoy revenue and value-added tax reductions, temporary social security exemption, loan interest decreases since money flow is the vital factor of any business.
HCMC Labor Union has already instructed related state agencies to deliver urgent help to laborers in need in the city. Accordingly, there will be support for union members whose income is below VND5 million (approx. US$218), who are pregnant, whose children are under 6, who suffer from fatal diseases, who are in hospital, who have labor accidents during the social distance time, or who have to financially support parents, spouse with no income, and children.
Laborers having to stop their work due to temporary down-scaling or close of their companies, or companies being sited in lock-down areas, laborers losing their job but not entitled to unemployment insurance yet, and laborers whose parents/spouse/children must be quarantined at home or who are an F0/F1 will be under special care. Each case will receive from VND500,000-3,000,000 ($22-131).
HCMC Labor Union also delivers help to workers whose rented houses are in lock-down areas. Each case will receive VND25,000 a day ($1.1) but not over VND500,000 ($22) each lock-down period.
Until June 6, this union distributed more than VND735 million ($32,000).
Director of the HCMC Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Le Minh Tan shared that there are estimably 40,000 workers in HCMC losing their job due to Covid-19 pandemic at present. All districts and Thu Duc City are collecting data to properly deliver help from the to-be-activated second support package.
Besides the regulated support package, Binh Thanh District is mobilizing available resources, counting to VND1 billion ($43,600), from the community to help poor households in the local area.
Similarly, in District 11, the localities are evaluating possible difficulties of businesses and small traders here. Tran Thi Bich Tram, Vice Chairwoman of District 11 People’s Committee, suggested that the upcoming support policies should focus on and encourage investment in those with potential economic growth (like new business models, innovative models, successfully digitalized businesses) instead of on all subjects, which might lead to scattered resources and inefficiency in the end.
Simultaneously, there must be renovation in trading environments to reduce cost and resolve current problems in investment procedures so that businesses can timely catch their opportunities, she added.
The support package should also reduce tax for landlords, indirectly aid tenants living in HCMC.
Vice President of the Labor Union in HCMC Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (HEPZA) Nguyen Thai Thanh said that his union is counting the number of laborers under their management eligible for this second support package.
Director of HCMC Social Security Phan Van Men mentioned the plan to temporarily suspend contributions to retirement and death gratuity funds of any business negatively affected by Covid-19 that leads to a reduction of 15 percent of laborers and over compared to April 2021. This suspension time will last 6 months since the submission date of the proposal document.
Before this, until April 30, 2021, HCMC allowed 333 businesses with more than 35,100 employees in total to halt this contribution of VND156 billion ($6.8 million).