HCMC to support 600,000 people losing jobs to Covid-19 with monthly allowance

By Manh Tung   March 26, 2020 | 08:00 pm PT
HCMC to support 600,000 people losing jobs to Covid-19 with monthly allowance
A man walks past a shop in HCMC that has been closed due to Covid-19 impact, March 5, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
HCMC authorities have pledged to use half the money earmarked for a pay raise for civil servants to support people losing jobs.

The Covid-19 epidemic has forced around 600,000 people in the city to stop working, Party Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan said at a meeting on Thursday.

The city would pay each of them an allowance of VND1 million ($43) a month from the money allocated for the wage raise, he said.

"In this difficult time everyone should live more simply to not spread the disease to others and live more frugally to help other people."

It is not known yet if the promised salary hike will be deferred or rescinded.

Since being granted more financial autonomy by the National Assembly in 2017, Ho Chi Minh City has been spending parts of its revenues on increasing the salaries of its 130,000 officials and civil servants. Last year it spent about VND7.2 trillion ($307.7 million). Vietnam's GDP per capita in 2019 was around $2,700.

Nhan called on the administration to work with businesses to determine if they should suspend operations "except for the food industry which must maintain production."

A decision for the transport sector would be made later after careful consideration since there is still travel demand from the public, he said.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Vietnam has gone up to 153, including 40 in HCMC. Another 8,852 people in the city are still at quarantine centers and 1,227 are isolated at home.

The pandemic has killed more than 24,000 people globally after spreading to 199 countries and territories.

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