Health ministry proposes monetary incentive for second child

By Le Nga   October 27, 2021 | 08:00 pm PT
Health ministry proposes monetary incentive for second child
A mother and her newborn at the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Hue
Women in regions with low birth rates should be given an incentive payment of VND8.84 million ($388) if they have two children, the Health Ministry has proposed.

A draft outline of the Law on Population prepared for submission to the government says couples in areas with low birth rates would be encouraged to have two children.

The government would grant couples a sum equal to the minimum wage of the particular region they live in upon having their first child, and twice that upon having the second.

The minimum wage currently ranges from VND3.07 million to VND4.42 million. Under the proposal, women in certain regions could receive up to VND8.84 million upon having their second child.

Couples who have two children would also be supported by the government in pre-school education and education at public primary schools. Their children can also study in public middle schools for free.

Twenty-one localities in Vietnam, mostly in the south, have now birth rates: Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Khanh Hoa, Long An, Bac Lieu, Tay Ninh, Soc Trang, Ca Mau, Dong Nai, Binh Thuan, Tien Giang, Can Tho, Vinh Long, An Giang, Ben Tre, Da Nang, Quang Ngai and Kien Giang.

Vietnam is among the most rapidly aging countries in the world. It entered the aging phase in 2011 when the number of people over 60 made up 10 percent of the population. That rate climbed to 12 percent last year out of a population of 95 million, and is expected to rise to 17.9 percent in 2025 and to more than 20 percent in 2038.

More women in Vietnam are choosing to marry later and not have children, with pressure of employment, housing, living and education costs factoring in their decisions.

A decision issued last year by then-Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc encourages people to marry before they are 30 and bear children early.

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