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Few jobless tourism workers enjoy relief aid amid Covid-19

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DANANG – Of the over 200 tour guides that have registered to receive money from local governments as compensation for losing their jobs due to the first coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, up to now, only 15-20% have received VND1 million (US$43) each.

Lan Phuong, a tour guide for Korean tourists, said that she received VND1 million last week. “I had to stay home for two months because Covid-19 broke out again in late July. But I only received the one-month allowance as compensation earlier this year,” Phuong said, adding that she was luckier than many other tour guides who did not receive anything.

Vo Van Anh, Chairman of the Danang Tour Guides Society under the Danang Tourism Association, told the Saigon Times that some 900 tour guides of the 2,700 members of the organization have registered to receive the money from the local governments.

“Many have not met the given requirements,” Anh said, adding, “We have certified that all our member tour guides have lost their jobs due to Covid-19. These certificates have been sent to local governments as evidence for receiving the allowance. But we cannot understand why many have not got the money.”

According to Resolution 42/NQ-CP dated April 2020 by the Government, VND1 million per month would be given to employees whose labor contracts have been terminated and are not eligible for unemployment insurance and for employees working without a labor contract who have lost their jobs. The period for support will not exceed three months, calculated from April to June 2020.

Reportedly, most tour guides in Danang are employees working without a labor contract.

Meanwhile, Cao Tri Dung, Chairman of the Danang Tourism Association, said although there has not been any official survey, he believes that less than 5% of employees from travel companies and hotels in Danang have received financial relief.

Dung explained that it is difficult for businesses to meet the stipulated conditions [Decision No. 15-2020/QD-Ttg and Resolution 42/ NQ-CP]. “Employees are compensated if their businesses do not generate any revenue during the Covid-19 period. But in the tourism industry, generating a little revenue is normal. Thus, it is a bit harsh that employees cannot receive money due to the regulation,” Dung said, adding that the association was making a proposal to relevant agencies to relax this condition.

Some tourism businesses in Danang also confirmed to the Saigon Times that their employees, including salespersons and drivers, have not received the monthly allowance for various reasons.

By Nhan Tam

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