City strives to prevent disruption of supply chain of essential goods

SGGP
Ms. Phan Thi Thang, Vice Chairwoman of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, on August 3, chaired a meeting on removing difficulties with food and foodstuff producers. Many enterprises said that the inconsistent application of social distancing measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic among localities had been causing many difficulties for businesses, especially small and medium-sized ones.
City strives to prevent disruption of supply chain of essential goods ảnh 1 Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company strictly applies the three-on-site solution to maintain production stability. (Photo: SGGP)
Proposing eight urgent solutions

Ms. Ly Kim Chi, Chairwoman of the Food and Foodstuff Association of Ho Chi Minh City, said that after implementing the production model of 'three on-site' or ‘one route, two destinations’ for more than half a month, some key enterprises of the industry have managed to maintain production capacity. However, with the current situation, the Covid-19 pandemic has started to sneak into some factories even though they are carrying out the three-on-site production, leading to the risk of disrupting the production and supply chain of essential goods for HCMC. Amid that fact, many businesses proposed to the municipal People's Committee to urgently implement eight solutions to remove difficulties for businesses.

Specifically, the city needs to set up a quick response team to help enterprises in screening and quickly isolating high-risk cases from factories; separating, isolating, and evaluating groups of subjects to put in separate areas for each production line or factory to ensure continuous production. The city proposes to the Ministry of Health to soon complete the set of rules and organize training for localities and businesses to perform ‘on-the-spot healthcare’, create conditions for them to carry out their own tests for their workers twice a month, and CDC to organize testing for enterprises once a month. The Ministry of Finance considers increasing the grace period and rescheduling tax and fee payments for enterprises. The city proposes the State Bank of Vietnam - HCMC Branch to add food and foodstuff manufacturing enterprises to the beneficiaries of policies on new loans and lending interest rate exemptions and reductions and speed up the disbursement of loans. The authorities allow enterprises to find alternatives or adjust the content of suitable auxiliary materials. The Government and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development issue throughout and synchronous guidelines, asking provinces to prioritize agricultural production activities and create all conditions so as not to disrupt supply.

Ms. Ly Kim Chi said that the Government had drastically directed to resolve the problem of goods circulation, but in reality, there were still many shortcomings. The checkpoints in other provinces still caused difficulties for trucks carrying goods of enterprises, especially HCMC-based enterprises. Therefore, it is essential to be consistent in pandemic prevention and control activities, avoiding the situation that each locality applies measures in its own way. At the same time, Covid-19 vaccination for businesses should be speeded up.

Strictly handling acts that cause difficulties for businesses

At the meeting, enterprises also emphasized that the implementation of three-on-site production is only a temporary measure because businesses have to shoulder too many expenses to ensure the production chain and Covid-19 prevention regulations at the factory, which make the total cost of enterprises many times higher compared to before, while the total output decreases by more than 50 percent.

Ms. Phan Thi Thang said that currently, the congestion of goods has been largely removed. However, without exception, the enforcers at the checkpoints are reinforcement forces, so their awareness and performance remain limited. The city will send competent agencies to check and solve this issue immediately. Most of the cases of traffic congestion that enterprises encounter arise outside the city, so the city will ask the Central Government to have specific directions and instructions to avoid the risk of disrupting the supply of raw materials.

As for the supply of essential goods for citizens, Ms. Thang asked the Department of Industry and Trade to collaborate with districts and the Food and Foodstuff Association of HCMC to establish hubs for distributing goods in each district, and at the same time connect directly with food and foodstuff manufacturing enterprises to supply residential areas when needed.

As for pandemic control at enterprises, the city and the Ministry of Health have allowed enterprises to buy quick test kits from enterprises authorized by the ministry. If the district-level inspection delegation does not accept the quick test results of the enterprise, it should report to the city, and the city leaders will strictly punish them. In case there are F0 cases at manufacturing enterprises, they should contact the competent authorities for assistance in separating F0 cases, and at the same time, re-establish production immediately after disinfecting or replacing with a new force of workers. The Department of Industry and Trade should coordinate with relevant agencies to arrange an immediate injection schedule for 11 enterprises in the essential goods industry that have not been vaccinated yet.

At the meeting, Ms. Phan Thi Thang also had a phone call with the SBV’s leader about the recommendations of enterprises and received consensus from the SBV. According to Ms. Phan Thi Thang, with the above efforts, the city will try its best to meet and ensure the basic needs of citizens, maintain stable production, and avoid the risk of market disruption.

By Thi Hong – Translated by Bao Nghi

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