Amidst COVID-19 challenges, Vietnam ensuring interests of people and businesses

Vietnam's Government has taken early action in mobilising the entire political system, carrying out urgent measures in response to the pandemic, helping resolve difficulties in production and business, and ensuring social welfare for all people and enterprises.

The launching of mobile-based digital social security platform VssID in November has enabled people to look up insurance information and improved the quality of social security services in Vietnam towards friendliness, transparency and putting the people at the centre of services. Photo: VNA

General Director of Vietnam Social Security (VSS) Nguyen The Manh attended the 37th ASEAN Social Security Association (ASSA) Board Meeting on December 9.

According to the VSS, the COVID-19 pandemic has risked increasing social security debts and reduced the number of health insurance and social security participants. The pandemic has also put pressure on work to expand voluntary and compulsory social insurance coverage.

The health insurance and social insurance debt ratio as of December 2019 was 3 per cent with more than VND 11.3 trillion (USD 491 million) of debt. The debt ratio increased to 5.3 per cent in November this year.

Social insurance debt until the end of this year is expected to be controlled at 4 per cent.

Despite challenges posed by COVID-19, the VSS has made efforts to expand voluntary social insurance coverage.

The number of voluntary social security participants jumped from 573,000 in December last year to 970,000 in November this year.

About 1.1 million people are set to join a voluntary social security scheme by the end of 2020, according to the VSS’s target.

Under the impact of COVID-19, the VSS covered unemployment insurance for more than one million people in the first 11 months of this year, up 24 per cent compared to the figure of the same period last year.

Speaking at the 37th Board Meeting of ASSA, VSS general director Nguyen The Manh said the ASSA members had been unable to meet in person over the past year but the social security agencies have overcome obstacles to maintain co-operation activities.

The VSS has been engaging in digital transformation and applied technology in services towards building the Vietnamese e-Government, he said.

He added that VSS is stepping up digital transformation in providing public services, reflected through the debut of the “VssID - Digital Social Insurance” application.

Manh said that in 2020, as the world was affected by COVID-19, leaders from ASEAN member states cooperated and overcame the challenges with strong commitments and actions, particularly at the 37th ASEAN Summit held by Vietnam last month.

As a reliable partner and an active and responsible member of ASSA, Vietnam Social Security hopes to share its experience with and receive advice from ASSA member organisations on measures to support and protect people during this difficult time, he stated.

The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) received the Continuous Improvement Recognition Award at the 37th ASSA Recognition Awards. Photo

On the occasion, the VSS won a recognition award from the ASEAN Social Security Association (ASSA) for sustainable innovation in expanding voluntary social insurance coverage.

The awards were presented to ASEAN social security agencies at the 37th Boarding Meeting of the ASSA held as a teleconference.

The 37th ASSA Board Meeting, held online, is part of the activities within the framework of Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2020. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc came to congratulate the 37th ASSA Board Meeting at the organisation venue in Hanoi.

Tu An