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Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 07:31 (GMT+7)
Worthy of being the top military policy agency

Imbued with late President Ho Chi Minh’s teachings that “The Army attributes its strength to decent  education, effective policies and strict discipline” and fully aware of its assigned tasks, over the past 70 years, the Department of Policies have always kept a close eye  on the country and Army’s situation to properly advise superiors on and to direct the policy work towards the Army and Army Rear, including a lot of long-term strategic policies. This contributes to concretizing the Party and State’s lines and policies on the policy work, perpetuating the Vietnamese people’s tradition of “Remembering the source when drinking water” and “Repaying gratitude” while making the Army strong and building a firm  “people’s hearts and minds” posture in the cause of national liberation, construction and protection.

Maj.Gen. Tran Quoc Dung addressing a conference on search and collection of war martyrs’ remains in Hai Duong province

During the resistance wars against the American and French troops, in the face of numerous hardships, the Department of Policies firmly grasped the Party’s lines and policies and actively suggested to superiors guidelines on the policy work towards the Army and Army Rear in line with the country’s wartime status quo and requirements over the course of the Army’s building and fighting. Based on research and counsels by the Department, entitlements and policies towards the Army and Army Rear were gradually formulated, supplemented, perfected and put into practice. This did help to maximize mobilized social resources for the sake of material and spiritual lives of the Army and Army Rear, thereby generating powerful political and spiritual motivation, enhancing the Army’s combativeness and making the Army Rear strong. This also encouraged people nationwide to contribute maximal human and financial resources to the front line to win the struggle for national liberation and unification.

In the wake of national reunification, the Department advised superiors on and cooperated with military units and localities in proactively implementing the post-war policy work to serve our military build-up in the new period. The Department counselled and directed the implementation of policies on commendation and reward reserved for soldiers and people with meritorious service to the country in wartime; adopted entitlements and policies for a large number of discharged soldiers; cooperated with relevant agencies in taking care of tens of thousands of war invalids and diseased soldiers; verified and announced the supreme sacrifice of tens of thousands of war martyrs to their families, thereby contributing to taking good care of soldiers’ families and post-war national stability.

In order to meet the requirements of military build-up in the new period, the Department in close cooperation with ministries, sectors, and localities counseled the Party and State to issue, amend and supplement a lot of legal normative documents regarding entitlements and policies for the Army and Army Rear. It has also directed the full implementation of polices, thereby making positive progress in the overall policy work towards the Army and Army Rear. Since 2011, the Department has led or joined recommendations for issuing 150 legal normative and guidance documents on entitlements and policies towards the Army and Army Rear, which is conducive to consistent implementation and timely solutions to backlogs and shortcomings in the policy work. The Department has directed the full implementation of entitlements and policies, which it counsels supplements and perfection, on salaries, allowances and subsidies towards soldiers in service; policies aimed at the enforcement of the Law on Vietnam People's Army Officers, the Law on Military Service, the Law on Militia and Self-Defense Forces; entitlements and policies towards newly-built forces and forces performing their tasks in strategic areas of defence and security, remote and isolated areas, border areas, at sea and on islands. This has contributed to bettering soldiers’ spiritual and material lives to meet the requirements of military build-up.

Closely based on the Party and State’s line and policies and the country’s socio-economic conditions, the Department’s solutions are timely and effective to shortcomings in the implementation process of policies towards the Army Rear and revolutionary contributors, bringing the “Repaying gratitude” movement to a new height. The Department has also counselled and directed the effective implementation of policies on health care for retired soldiers and soldiers’ families; financial aid to soldiers in service and soldiers’ families in difficult situations; and vocational training and job creation to discharged soldiers. In line with the Ordinance on preferential treatment given to revolutionary contributors, the Department has suggested policies on and measures for promoting the movement “Repaying gratitude” within the Army to the Standing Committee of the Central Military Commission. Based on guidelines and direction by the Department, military units across the Army have performed various frenetic activities to pay tribute to as well as to “repay gratitude” to revolutionary contributors. For the last decade, the entire Army has mobilized over 618 billion VND’s worth of contributions to the “Repaying gratitude” Fund, taken care of 1,400 Heroic Vietnamese Mothers; built over 12,500 Houses of Gratitude; granted savings books to tens of thousands of policy beneficiaries; created over 300 jobs to offspring of war invalids and martyrs; mobilized millions of days of community service and billions of VND’s worth  of aid to renovate martyrs’ cemeteries. Those doings clearly reflect political responsibility, profound comradeship and cultural value of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers”, creating far-reaching social impacts.

The search and collection of martyrs’ remains is among matters of importance to the post-war policy work and gains special attention from the entire Party, State, Army and people. As regards this politically significant task, the Department counselled the Politburo (11th tenure) to issue Directive No. 24-CT/TW, dated 15 May 2013 on “the continued acceleration of the search and collection of war martyrs’ remains until 2020 and beyond”, and Prime Minister to issue Decision No. 1237/QĐ-TTg on approving the Project to search for and collect war martyrs’ remains until 2020 and beyond (or Project 1237 for short). At the same time, the Department also advised on policies and entitlements to ensure the full implementation of the above-mentioned Directive and Decision. In its capacity as the Standing Agency under the government’s Special Task Board and Special Working Committee, and the Office of National Steering Board 1237, the Department has actively drawn up plans, cooperated with localities and military units in setting up the database of war martyrs’ graves in cemeteries and accelerating the implementation of Project 1237. Notably, the Department has actively contributed to Vietnam’s defense diplomacy through information exchange with its counterparts in China, South Korea, the US, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia on Vietnamese soldiers missing in action during the Vietnam War, and through cooperation in searching and repatriating remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and military experts who laid down their lives in Laos and Cambodia. Since 2013, military units across the country have searched and collected 9,464 war martyrs’ remains, including 1,557 and 3,291 ones from Laos and Cambodia respectively, many of which have been identified and returned to localities and families.  

Moreover, keeping a close eye on reality, since 2002, the Department has actively advised the Party and State on a lot of major projects related to entitlements and policies towards people who participated in the resistance wars and border defense wars and performed international duties. So far, over 3 million people have been entitled to monthly or one-time subsidies, insurance benefits and funeral costs, positively contributing to  social welfare, political security, and social order and safety.

The results achieved by the Department of Policies in particular and the military policy sector in general, which are of major political significance, have contributed to consolidating people and soldiers’ trust in the Party, State and socialist regime, fostering great national unity and making the Army and Army Rear stronger, thereby facilitating national construction and protection.

Today, the cause of  military build-up and national protection in the new situation has set out more demanding requirements for the policy work towards the Army and Army Rear. Meanwhile, backlogs of wartime policies remains huge and complicated.

In order to meet the requirements and successfully fulfil its role as the top military agency for counselling and directing the policy work towards the Army and Army Rear, the Department will pay due attention to the followings in the time to come:

 - Determinedly continuing to firmly grasp the Party, State and Army’s lines and policies and to streamline its organizational structure, making the Department and the military policy work comprehensively strong.

- Committing itself to boosting cooperation with ministries, sectors and localities to promote aggregate strength, to enhancing the quality of counsels and recommendations on and the implementation of policies towards the Army and Army rear and the  “Repaying gratitude” movement, to focusing on the effective implementation of Directive No. 368-CT/QUTW dated 12 June 2016 by the Standing Committee of the Central Military Commission on strengthening leadership and direction in the policy work towards the Army and Army Rear in the 2016-2020 period.

- Continuing to keep a close eye on reality  to actively counsel the Party and State to draw up, amend and perfect legal normative documents on entitlements and policies towards soldiers in service and the Army Rear so as to meet the requirements of military build-up and national protection amidst growing international integration.

- Furthering counsels and recommendations on new policies peculiar to the Army to contribute to building a revolutionary, regular, elite and gradually modern army while dealing with backlogs of policies. Based on results and experience gained, the Department will continue to direct the full implementation of the policy work towards the Army and Army Rear alongside ideological, organizational and mass mobilization work, thereby promoting the aggregate strength of the entire sectors, Army and people.

- Speeding up dealing with backlogs of policies towards war invalids and martyrs, people who participated in resistance wars, border defense wars and performed international duties so that none of them is left unattended.

- Continuing to advise on measures to enhance the effectiveness of the implementation of Project 1237, with a focus on promoting international cooperation .

- Actively cooperating with relevant agencies in inspection and supervision to avert negative practices and mistakes in the process of appraisal and approval of policies for beneficiaries.

- Constantly reviewing to draw  lessons on the implementation of the policy work, spreading and multiplying initiatives and outstanding examples while opportunely remedying shortcomings in the implementation of the policy work.

In the immediate future, the Department will focus on activities to celebrate the 70th anniversary of War Invalids and Martyrs’ Day (27-7-1947 / 27-7-2017) to positively contribute to raising public awareness of the effectiveness of the policy work implemented by the Party and State and of national traditions of  “Remembering the source while drinking water” and “Repaying gratitude”.

Fully aware of its tremendous honour and enormous political responsibility, the Department of Policies will continue to bring into full play its traditions and experience, striving for successful fulfilment of its assigned tasks to match its  position as the top military agency for counselling and directing the policy work towards the Army and Army Rear.

Maj Gen Tran Quoc Dung, Director of the Department of Policies under the General Department of Politics

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