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Saigon Districts Struggle to Pay for Garbage Collection, Transport Services

Several sanitation companies in Saigon are struggling to pay their workers due to an absence of funds. 

VietnamNet reports that maintenance companies in District 12 and Thu Duc District are under major financial pressure since they don't have the of money stipulated in their contracts with the city.

Tran Thanh Tong, director of the Single-member District 12 Public Service JSC, told the news source that his firm has sent 10 dispatches to relevant authorities asking for assistance, but has received no reply. In April, Dau An Phuc, vice chairman of the District 12 People's Committee, asked the city People's Committee to step in.

The company is in trouble because the Ho Chi Minh City Urban Environment Single-member JSC (Citenco), which signed a contract with the District 12-based company for garbage transport work, owes it VND25 billion (US$1.1 million). Citenco has also not approved payments to the district for the period from 2014 to September 2016, the news source shares. It did not renew the contract this year.

As a result, the District 12 firm has had to borrow VND13 billion (US$572,130) just to keep running, while it has not been able to pay salaries since February. In addition, it is subject to a VND750 million (US$33,000) fine by the city Tax Department for overdue tax payments that it can't make.

Meanwhile Vu Quoc Bao, director of the Thu Duc District Public-service Single-member JSC, told VietnamNet that his company is in similar trouble. Since 2016, the firm has not been paid for its garbage collection and transport work, estimated at VND31 billion (US$1.36 million).

Like the District 12 company, Thu Duc's has borrowed money from banks to remain in operation, but even that hasn't been enough.

"Many benefits for workers, including holidays or New Year bonuses, among others stated under the collective bargaining agreement, have been either cut back or put on indefinite hold," Bao told the news site.

Bao reportedly even mortgaged his home in order to pay his employees ahead of the 2017 Tet holiday.

Citenco claims that it can't pay the sanitation companies until the city People's Committee approves unit prices for the collection and transportation of waste. Even for periods where that price has been set, the company says, the city has not disbursed the required budget, leaving them unable to pay district-level firms.

[Photo via Vietnam Breaking News]

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