Theory and Practice

Regular, consistent implementation of the policy towards people with meritorious services to the revolution

7/27/2022 5:34:53 AM

The preferential policy towards people with meritorious services to the revolution always occupies an important position in the system of social security policies in our country. It is a special policy, aimed at special beneficiaries, and demonstrates the Party’s and State’s care for people with meritorious services to the revolution, a continuity of our people’s fine tradition: “When you drink water, think of the source”.

Non-stop improvement in policy

Bringing into play our people’s fine tradition: “When you drink water, think of the source” and gratitude activities, over the past 75 years, the Party and State have promulgated many policies to improve material, spiritual life of war invalids, martyrs’ families, and people with meritorious services to the revolution. At the first start, the Order No. 20/SL, dated 16 February 1947, of President Ho Chi Minh “Regulating retirement pension of war invalids and death gratuity” covers three types of beneficiaries and the two first policies, the system of preferential policies towards people with meritorious services to the revolution has been gradually improved to include 12 types of beneficiaries so far, basically covering all types of people with meritorious services to the revolution.

The Standing Committee of the National Assembly (9th tenure) adopted the Ordinance on preferential treatment of people participating in revolutionary activities, martyrs and their families, war invalids, sick soldiers, people taking part in the wars of resistance, and people with meritorious services to the revolution (currently known as the Ordinance on people with meritorious services to the revolution) on 29 August 1994. The Ordinance was amended seven times in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2012, and 2020. It is a fundamental legal document, which institutionalises the Party’s and State’s guidelines and policies towards people with meritorious services to the revolution and provides a legal foundation for authorities at all levels to carry out activities to care for material, spiritual life of people with meritorious services to the revolution and their families.

The most recent Ordinance on preferential treatment of people with meritorious services to the revolution, adopted on 9 December 2020, has seven chapters and 58 articles. As compared with the previous version, this Ordinace has been supplemented with two chapters (“Work in commemoration of martyrs, martyrs’ tombs” and “Resources”), supplemented with 10 articles, and amended 41 articles on the basis of inheriting previous regulations. The Ordinance is expanded to include implementation of the preferential policy towards people with meritorious services to the revolution and supplement types of people entitled to this policy, including those imprisoned by the enemies for directly taking part in revolutionary activities, directly engaging in combat to safeguard the Fatherland and do international duties after 1975; to include people participating in the wars of resistance for national salvation and protection of the country. Additionally, martyrs’ spouses who get married to other people but are raising martyrs’ children until maturity or taking care of martyrs’ parents are also covered by this Ordinance.

The Ordinance also standardises conditions and criteria to consider and recognise people with contribution to the revolution, ensuring closeness and right people. Conditions and criteria applying for 12 types of beneficiaries have been carefully reviewed on the basis of practical operations. Preferential regulations relating to people with meritorious services to the revolution and their relatives are developed to ensure more consistency, clarity, and details. The Ordinance clearly regulates principles for being entitled to preferential subsidy, allowance, and burial subsidy; supplements regulations on providing health insurance and monthly death gratuity to martyrs’ spouses who remarry; and provides that the amount of monthly subsidy for Vietnamese heroic mothers is three times higher than the standard level regardless of the number of martyrs’s offspring.

In 2021, to instruct implementation of the Ordinance on preferential treatment of people with meritorious services to the revolution of 2020, the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids, and Social Affairs took initiative in collaborating with relevant ministries and branches to formulate and submit the Decree No. 131/2021/ND-CP to the Government for promulgation. The Decree stipulates details and measures to implement the Ordinance on preferential treatment of people with meritorious services to the revolution, in which the system of legal normative documents governing preferential treatment of people with meritorious services to the revolution is written closely and scientifically and issued relatively comprehensive, sufficiently, and timely, ensuring institutionalisation of the Party’s and State’s guidelines and policies. The Decree provides a legal basis for synchronous implementation of preferential policies and regulations on people with meritorious services to the revolution and their relatives, basically satisfying demands.

Apart from regulations on regular preferential subsidy, many other policies have also been issued and realised such as the preferential policy on housing, preferential policy on education and training, policy on heathcare, preferential loans from state fund for production development, support for enterprises owned by war invalids, sick soldiers, and people with meritorious services to the revolution, etc., creating favourable conditions for their children to work and earn their living. The system of non-business facilities which caters for war invalids, martyrs’ relatives, and people with meritorious services to the revolution includes nursing centres for war invalids and sick soldiers and orthopedic centres. These facilities are operating effectively. Levels, branches, and localities actively address emerging and existing issues, which include authenticating and recognising people entitled to preferential policies, searching and collecting martyrs’ remains, identifying martyrs’ remains through appraisal of DNA evidence.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visits Kim Bang War Invalid Nursing Centre (Photo: qdnd.vn)

Given its leading role in this work, the State has allocated budgets to provide subsidies for people with meritorious services to the revolution. The financial resource for preferential policies every year is adjusted on the basis of the socio-economic situation of the country and financial capability. Therefore, the living standard of people with meritorious services to the revolution is ceaselessly enhanced. The standard subsidy rate increased from VND1,318.000 in 2015 to VND1,624.000 in 2020. The living standard of 98.6% of households of people with meritorious services to the revolution is the same or higher than the everage people’s in their residential areas. There are not any households being categorised as poor ones. In recent years, thanks to attention of party committees at all levels and support of ministries, branches, unions, and people both at home and abroad, programmes such as “Gratitude Fund,” “House of Gratitude,” “Garden of Gratitude,” “Saving Books of Gratitude,” care for martyrs’ elderly, weak, lonely parents and martyrs’ orphaned children as well as heroic Vietnamese mothers, etc., have been implemented extensively, contributing to improving material, spiritual life of war invalids, sick soldiers, martyrs’ relatives, and people with meritorious services to the revolution. These responsible, sentimental activities have truly become the masses’ movements and a beautiful cultural feature, which make an important contribution to reinforcing and strengthening the great national unity bloc, promoting patriotism, inspiring and enriching humane values of Vietnamese people.

Breakthrough in dealing with unresolved files

In fact, there are many cases of injury and death without any evidence. Military personnel, militias, guerrillas, youth volunteers, and people in service during the wars of resistance themselves no longer keep original papers. Many cases do not have any documents which certify their death or injury during the wars. These problems make it difficult for functional bodies to decide which cases are martyrs, war invalids, and people entitled to invalid-like policy.

Over the past five years, dealing with unresolved files of people with meritorious services to the revolution has been regarded as one of the most important tasks of the Labour, War Invalids, and Social Affairs. Having won the Government’s approval in principle, the Minister of Labour, War Invalids, and Social Affairs has promulgated the Decision No. 408/QD-LDTBXH, dated 20 March 2017 on the Procedure for Dealing with Unresolved Files. This is a major breakthrough in dealing with unresolved files in provinces and cities. Consequently, 5,900 unresolved files nationwide have been reviewed and settled. 2,204 out of these files were submitted to the Prime Minister for approval and conferring the “For Merit to the Fatherland” certificate on martyrs. Over 2,500 people were acknowledged to be war invalids or entitled to invalid-like policy. The rest of these files did not satisfy conditions and was explained satisfactorily. Currently, according to reports released by provinces and cities under the direct leadership of the central government, basically, there are few unresolved files and most of them are under review according to expanded criteria.

It can be affirmed that, in recent years, preferential policies and regulations on people with meritorious services to the revolution have been carried out timely and in accordance with the Party’s guidelines and State law by levels, branches, socio-political organisations, which helps improve the material, spiritual life of people with meritorious services to the revolution, contributes to preserving socio-political stability, and displays fine traditions of the nation. The movement: “All people care for families of war invalids, fallen soldiers, and people with meritorious services to the revolution” and support for the “Gratitude Fund” are on the increase and concurred by society.

Nevertheless, realities of realising preferential policies towards people with meritorious services to the revolution and overall review of implementing these policies reveal that there remain some people with meritorious services to the revolution who have not been entitled to preferential policies of the Party and State or have not been fully entitled to these policies yet. Acts of taking advantage of policies to seek illegal profit are still seen in some localities, which provoke people’s anger and frustration and do damage to State budget. The amount of subsidy is still below the average rate of consumption of the society. The living standards of part of people with meritorious services to the revolution are lower than the average living standards in their residential areas. Some policies are spread such as the preferential policies on education and training. There are signs of overlapping duties among various State management agencies.

The above-mentioned shortcomings are attributed to many reasons, including insufficiently close collaboration among ministries, branches, and agencies at the Central and local levels. Some preferential policies towards people with meritorious services to the revolution have their own limitations. They fail to completely resolve problems arising from realities. To improve policies on people with meritorious services to the revolution and contribute to successful implementation of gratitude work require concentrating on the following measures:

First, it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive review of existing and emerging issues related to preferential policies towards people with meritorious services to the revolution. This will lay the foundation for adjusting, supplementing, and improving preferential polices and regulations on people with meritorious services to the revolution, ensuring suitability for socio-economic conditions of the country in each period.

Second, more effort should be put into leading and directing implementation of the Party’s and State’s policies on people with meritorious services to the revolution, striving to make the living standards of all households of people with meritorious services to the revolution higher than the average rates in their residential areas by 2025. Priorities are given to provision of financial support for building and repairing houses of households of people with meritorious services to the revolution.

Third, continuing to detect, set up, and handle files on people with meritorious services to the revolution during the wars. There needs to focus efforts on identifying martyrs’ remains lack of information by positive methodology and analysis of DNA samples; successfully repair and upgrade cemeteries and works in commemoration of martyrs.

Fourth, it is necessary to strengthen collaboration with relevant commissions and ministries as well as people’s committees of provinces and cities under direct leadership of the central governement to regularly inspect implementation of preferential policies towards people with meritorious services to the revolution in order to timely address shortcomings and weaknesses in this task.

Fifth, the propagation of the Party’s and State’s guidelines and preferential policies towards people with meritorious services to the revolution and gratitude movement among cadres, party members, and people from various walks of life should be enhanced with a view to tapping into patriotic tradition of the country and achievements of the work regarding people with meritorious services to the revolution over the past 75 years.

This year, we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of War Invalids and Martyrs’ Day. It is also time for the whole country to manage to achieve targets set out in the Directive No. 14-CT/TW of the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee on further strengthening the Party’s leadership of the work concerning people with meritorious services to the revolution. This is a political task of the Party and State and Vietnamese people’s responsibility for fostering attitudes of gratitude to people with meritorious services to the revolution.

NGUYEN BA HOAN, Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs