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PM sets integrated water management as long-term agenda

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has confirmed the government is laying down a long-term plan on integrated water management in an attempt to avert drought problems in the future.

Following the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Prayut revealed that the attendants discussed and placed importance on the prevention of drought and management of water resources in an integrated manner, agreeing to include the matter into the long-term national agenda to be implemented through the year 2026.

In the initial stage, the premier said related officials are dredging waterways and expanding reservoirs in order to increase water storage capacity and enable the irrigation system to support the agricultural sector more effectively.

As for the assistance of drought-affected farmers, the Ministry of Interior is organizing a supplementary job program for them while there is also a plan to give out compensation for the damage on crops and produce. In the meantime, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has been assigned to disseminate knowledge about the cultivation of alternative crops so as to alleviate the impact from water shortage.

Gen Prayut admitted he is concerned about the creation of understanding among the people regarding the government’s reduction of water discharge from reservoirs during the drought crisis, saying it is part of the measure to ensure sustainable water supply for the country. He also asked agriculturists to have trust in the government’s ability to take care of them.


Metro Police kicks off Crime Zero emergency button campaign

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) The Metropolitan Police Bureau has launched the Crime Zero campaign with the installation of the emergency call button at oil stations, in an attempt to reduce criminal activity.

The Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau Pol Maj Gen Chantawit Ramasut, along with PPT Plc Senior Executive Vice President of Oil Business Unit Chavalit Punthong, has officiated over the launch of 'Crime Zero' emergency button campaign at the PTT oil station on Pheu Sawasdikarn Vibhavadi Rangsit Road in Bangkok.

The Crime Zero campaign will see the installation of emergency call buttons at 9 PTT oil stations during the initial pilot phase. Once the emergency button is pressed, siren alarms will go off, while visual records from closed circuit cameras and notifications via mobile phones will be sent to the police force.

This campaign aims to reduce criminal activity to zero percent, through suppression efforts, while the PTT will be shouldering all expenses for the installation of the emergency buttons.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau is set to expand this service's coverage onto other PTT oil stations in the future.


More fishing boats sail out with Port-in, Port-out reports

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) More fishing vessels weighing over 30 gross tonnes will be resuming operations in consistent with the Port-in and Port-out reports, the MOAC Minister says.

The Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Petipong Pungbun Na Ayudhya reveals that the overall fishing situation in 22 seaside provinces has begun returning to normal conditions. More vessels are sailing out to fish, with the exception of some rough sea areas, where small boats' operations have been prohibited during this time.

He has said that the number of operating vessels that are larger than 30 gross tonnes has increased. The Port-in and Port-out reports the current number at 2,558 vessels.

Fish markets and ice factories have resumed business as usual, with more catches entering the market. Overall prices remain at normal rates, with the exception of some areas where vessels are still prohibited from operating due to harsh sea conditions.

The MOAC Minister has added that vessels owners who have not registered their vessels to obtain fishing licenses, log books, employees registers, work permits, certificates, and install the Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) should contact the Provincial Fisheries Offices to complete the process within 31 July 2015.


Cabinet approves transfer list of high-ranking Interior officials

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-cha has approved the annual reshuffle of high-ranking Interior Ministry officials at the cabinet meeting today.

Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda had proposed to the meeting a list of high-ranking officials to be transferred. Among those having been promoted is director-general of the Department of Provincial Administration Kritsada Boonraj, who is now appointed Permanent Secretary for Interior, whereas a deputy permanent secretary for Interior, Mr. Arthit Boounyasophat, will replace Mr. Kritsada in his old job.

Three other deputy Permanent Secretaries for Interior, namely Mr. Charin Chakkapak, Mr. Maitri Inthusut and Apinan Suethanuwong are appointed the Director-General of the Department of Local Administration, the Director-General of the Community Development Department , and the Director-General of the Land Department, respectively.

Four provincial governors from Narathiwat, Chainat, Ubon Ratchathani and Nakhon Sawan are appointed new deputy permanent secretaries for Interior.

Mr Kritsada Boonraj will be the first top official of the Interior Ministry who was graduated from Ramkhamhaeng University’s Political Science faculty. His predecessors were graduates from either Chulalonkorn or Thammasat universities.


Pre-paid mobile registration must be made within 31 July

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has stressed that the registration of pre-paid mobile numbers must commence before the deadline on 31 July 2015, users are urged to check their status by dial *151#.

The NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith has revealed that all pre-paid mobile number users are required to register their numbers within 31 July 2015. Users can check whether their number has been registered or not, by dialling *151# on their mobile phone to receive the response text message indicating the status.

The registration of pre-paid numbers can be made at all registration points with the NBTC logo, via ‘2 takes’ application, at 7-11 stores, at carrier service centres, and at local administrative organization offices that provide civil registration services.

The NBTC Secretary-General has said that the registration is free of charge, and will be carried out with information security protection. The registration will provide an upgraded secure mobile service as the number cannot be used in criminal activities, and provide users with the right to maintain their numbers. This number registration will not convert the service into the monthly post-paid packages.

He has also mentioned the result of mobile services fees in ASEAN, that Thailand’s call rate is the third cheapest only behind Brunei and Singapore, while the mobile internet fees in Thailand is ranked at the forth among ASEAN countries.


Former BKK Police Chief summoned for questioning related to firearm possession through airport security

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) The Royal Thai Police has revealed that a former Bangkok Police Chief will be summoned for questioning after receiving his testimony from Japanese prosecutors.

Royal Thai Police Chief Pol Gen Somyos Poompanmuang said that former Bangkok Police Chief Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit Thoopkrachang will be interrogated after his testimony arrives from Japan, where the offense occurred.

Both testimonies conducted in Japan and Thailand will be compared as part of the police investigation. Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit will visit police headquarters on July 27.

He will be asked a series of questions regarding the incident where a sidearm was found on his person while boarding the plane. Depending on the results of the investigation, the former police chief could face several charges. Testimonies have been collected from 14 eyewitnesses.


CDC will accept 30 day work timeframe extension

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) The Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) says it would definitely accept a new 30 day extension to its work time frame, as much still remains to be done.

CDC Spokesperson Gen Lertrat Ratanawanich said there remain numerous sections and procedures that need to be considered, such as the rearrangement of sections, ensuring continuity of various provisions as well as matters of reform and reconciliation which have yet to be completed. The CDC must then also publicize its reasoning behind its various amendments all within its work time frame.

Gen Lertrat said the CDC would have no reason to deny a 30 day extension. He noted however that the 30 days included numerous public holidays and that the CDC would realistically be left with around 20 additional working days.


DWR urges Thais to reduce daily water consumption by 1L

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) The Department of Water Resources (DWR) said Thailand could save as much as 60 million liters of water per day if everyone reduced daily water usage by one liter.

DWR Director General Jatuporn Burutpat said it is important that everyone is using water wisely, as climate change intensifies.

Water consumption in Bangkok is among the highest in the country, at around 4-5 million cubic meters per day. Government organizations and businesses are said to consume the largest amount of water. Meanwhile, household consumption reportedly averages 200 liters per day.


Rainfall to decline as monsoon leaves Thailand

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) Meteorologists say the amount of rainfall in Thailand will now start to decline.

Nevertheless, the Meteorological Department, advises that flood warnings remain in place for residents of the Northeast, as a monsoon trough moves across the upper part of the country.

The department has advised fishermen in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand to take precautions when leaving port. The southwesterly wind remains strong on both sides of the southern peninsula, and waves could reach a height of 2-3 meters.

However, Thailand will begin to see a decline in the amount of rain from Wednesday, when the southwesterly wind is expected to weaken. The monsoon trough will also move toward parts of Myanmar and Laos.


Campaign to set up drinking water donation centers for drought victims to be proposed to the Cabinet

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015, (NNT) M.L. Panadda Diskul, Permanent Secretary to the Prime Ministers' Office, is expected to propose to the Cabinet a campaign to establish drinking water donation centers for drought victims in 53 provinces. Similarly, several provinces have launched drinking water distribution centers.

According to M.L. Panadda, if the campaign is approved, then it would accept donations in forms of cash, drinking water, and water purification equipment.

Meanwhile, the provinces of Nakhon Phanom, Singburi, Phitsanulok, and Lopburi have erected royally bestowed drinking water distribution centers to relieve drought-affected areas. Those interested can contact their provincial administration offices for more information.

The program was initiated out of His Majesty the King’s concern for the drought-affected public.


Major dams remain structurally sound, despite drought

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015, (NNT) According to the Engineering Institute of Thailand Under His Majesty the King's Patronage (EIT), the country's four major dams remain structurally sound despite experiencing an extreme change in water level due to drought.

The four dams are Bhumipol, Sirikit, Kwai Noi Bumrung Dan, and Pa Sak Jolasid Dams.

Representatives from EIT, the Irrigation Department and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) made the joint announcement. They said that before discharging water from a dam containing only a minimum level of water, they would have to make sure that its structural integrity would remain intact.

In addition, the officials would only discharge water from an electricity generating dam that had a minimum level of water in it, in emergency cases. Such situations involve preservation of the ecosystem, agricultural & household sector emergencies, and electricity generation.


Thailand-Bhutan Parliamentarians Friendship Group completes election of new chairman

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) Members of the parliaments of Thailand and Bhutan have completed the election of the new chairman of their friendship group.

The Thailand-Bhutan Parliamentarians Friendship Group has resolved to elected Admiral Polwat Sirodom, a member of the National Legislative Assembly, as their new chairman.

The group also elected Air Chief Marshal Chalee Chanruang as the vice chairman, along with a number of NLA members as advisors, secretary-general and members of the administrative team.

The Thailand-Bhutan Parliamentarians Friendship Group has been formed to enable exchange of information and promote cordial relations between members of Thai and Bhutanese parliamentarians, which have grown stronger since 2008 when Bhutan adopted the parliamentary form of government.

Earlier in April, former group chairperson Pilaipan Sombatsiri led the Thai delegation to a bilateral meeting in Bhutan and the meeting has assured all that the ongoing political changes in Thailand will not affect good relations between the two countries.


Water level in several dams starts to recover

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015, (NNT) Recent rains have brought a rise in the water level of various dams, while rejuvenating the agricultural sector in the northern region.

The water level of the Kwai Noi Bumrung Dan Dam yesterday had increased by 1.9 million cubic meters, and now exceeds the 100 million cubic meters mark. About 57 million cubic meters of water can be distributed to the local population; the amount is equivalent to 10.71 percent of its total 939 million cubic meters capacity.

The increased volume of water is attributed to recent rainfalls in several districts in Phitsanulok Province. The Kwai Noi Bumrung Dan Dam discharges about 1.7 million cubic meters of water daily.

Meanwhile, farmers in the provinces of Phrae and Nan have resumed rice farming operations after the recent rain. Phrae has already declared its eight districts drought-free.

According to the Irrigation Department, it has discharged water for both consumption and agricultural purposes, since rainfall replenished the water level in Bhumipol and Chao Phraya dams. The department said farmlands that had already planted seed longer than six weeks ago, would receive water first. It assured the public that the agency would continue to monitor the situation closely.


EGAT’s labor union asks NRC to oppose planned restructuring of its system

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) Members of the labor union of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand have urged the National Reform Council to oppose the planned overhaul of the power producer’s system.

Chairman of the NRC’ s committee on electricity reform leader Wiboon Koohirun on Monday accepted a letter from representatives of the Labor Union of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand as regards issues they wished the reform council would be able to help.

According to the Vice President of the EGAT’s Union, Somyos Jiewkok, they are opposing the planned separation of the power producer’s distribution and system control sections from the EGAT.

The Union feels that the liberalization of the power business still lacks supporting studies and understanding related to the country’s power production, he said.

They are urging the NRC to be careful while pursuing the implementation of such policies in order for Thailand not to fail like some countries have.


MOPH meets on the IVF baby protection law

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015, (NNT) The Ministry of Public Health yesterday met on the implementation of a new In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) baby protection law.

The Deputy Director-General of the Department of Health Service Support Dr. Thares Karasnairaviwong chaired the meeting which discussed the details of the new law that will go into effect on July 31st, 2015.

The law will provide legal guidelines for medical institutes and personnel to follow in conception of IVF babies. It covers the definition of an IVF baby's legal parental status, while preventing research about the IVF technology for unintended purposes.


PRD executives hone biking skills for Bike for Mom event

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) Personnel of the Public Relations Department (PRD) on Monday brushed up on their cycling skills in preparation for the Bike for Mom nationwide cycling activity.

PRD director-general Apinan Juntarungsri, deputy directors-general Chamlong Singtongam and Charoon Chaisorn and former PRD senior officials yesterday led department personnel in cycling around the compound of the PRD's headquarters in Soi Ari, Bangkok. Aside from the PRD personnel, members of the Public Relations Society of Thailand also participated in the session. Cycling two laps around the PRD compound, the group covered a distance of 3.6 kilometers.

Bike for Mom cycling activities, to be hosted in commemoration of Her Majesty the Queen's 83rd birthday anniversary on August 12, will be taking place at various sites nationwide on August 16.


Dusit Zoo welcomes new douc langur and ruffed lemur

BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) With open arms, Bangkok's Dusit Zoo welcomes its newest members, a newborn douc langur and a ruffed lemur.

The female ruffed lemur, named Khapu, was born on May 2. It was the first ruffed lemur to be born at Dusit Zoo. Weighing between 3.3-3.8 kilograms when fully grown, the ruffed lemur is a species of primates which inhabits the tropical rain forests of Africa.

The female douc langur, born on May 9, has been named Fon (ฝน). The douc langur is a rare species that is close to extinction. Hailed by some conservationists as the most beautiful species of primate, the douc langur's fur is of five colors. In the wild, the animal lives high up on trees in tropical rain forests as well as mixed deciduous forests in Indochina. Dusit Zoo is the most successful breeder of douc langur in Asia.

The World Conservation Congress (IUCN) has listed both species in its Red List of Threatened Species, meaning both animals are critically endangered. The animals are also listed in Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an appendix reserved for species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals and plants.

Both species are being displayed at Dusit Zoo.


Gen Prayuth visits Rayong Province

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha has visited Rayong Province to meet with fruit farmers and to discuss policies that would add value to agricultural products.

The Prime Minister, along with members of the Cabinet, met with local fruit farmers in the area and attended the release of a report on the local fruit economy. They were greeted by the Governor of Rayong Province as well as over one thousand local residents.

Gen Prayuth announced that the government will work to increase the value of agricultural products by making the province the center of exports in the eastern region and to make Rayong a hub for various markets including fruit, vegetables, seafood and souvenirs for tourists.

The Tapong District Administration asked for a budget of 32 million Baht to develop its markets into functioning trading hubs as envisioned by the Prime Minister. Gen Prayuth agreed to consider the proposal.


Tap water crisis in Bangkok is now over, MWA Governor says

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) The Governor of the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) has affirmed that the tap water crisis in Bangkok has subsided, while the public should still conserve water usage.

The MWA Governor Thanasak Watanathana has said that the current tap water status in Bangkok has passed the crisis level, with tap water production and supply sufficient for the entire rainy season. The amount of fresh water availability is now high enough to push seawater away from the pump stations.

He assured Bangkok residents that the city's tap water will no longer be salty, while the highest saltiness level in tap water during previous days have reached 0.5 grams per liter, which is slightly above average value and is considered safe.

He also mentioned that even though the situation has returned to normal, but the general public should continue to use water sparingly. He also addressed that the weak flow of tap water in some areas has been caused by maintenance. He assured that maintenance will be done only in crucial cases, while all routine maintenance efforts will be postponed.

The MWA Governor has added that the MWA will be hosting a campaign to encourage the public to save water and give souvenirs to users who have reduced their water consumption by 10 percent and no less than 5 cubic meters. There will also be special souvenirs for the top five water savers in each categories.


Ayutthaya launches consumption water distribution center

AYUTTHAYA, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Ayutthaya Province has established the royally bestowed distribution center of water for consumption to relieve the drought affected public's concerns.

The Governor of Ayutthaya Apichat Todilokvech today officiated the opening of the royally bestowed consumption water distribution center by the Rajaprajanugroh Foundation under the Royal Patronage, to help ease the effects of the drought among the general public.

He said that this campaign was initiated from His Majesty the King’s care for the drought affected public. The water distribution center, located at the Special Education Center in Nakhon Luang District, has been established from the cooperation between the Ayutthaya Special Education Center, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Education.

He also expressed his gratitude towards His Majesty the King’s kindness in the name of the people of Ayutthaya Province.

The center is also supported by two mobile clean water treatment vehicles from the Ayutthaya Provincial Administrative Organization, with an accumulated clean water production capacity of up to 8,000 liters per day.

Ayutthaya is among the 12 provinces in the central region currently affected by the drought disaster.


Ministry of Commerce:Thai rice export to meet 2015 target

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Commerce expressed confidence that Thai rice will meet its annual export target, despite the ongoing drought crisis.

The ministry forecast that the price of Thai rice in the second half of the year is expected to rise, due to low supplies stifled by the dry season. The drought has hit many rice producers in the region, and a number of countries began to import rice for fear of further drought.

Despite high overseas demand, the ministry has insisted that the government needs to take a conservative approach and and maintain reserves of at least five million tons to ensure food security.

Many countries in the region are expected to vie for Thai rice imports under government-to-government and private contracts. The Philippines, for example, is expected to open rice bidding soon, in order to ensure adequate supply amid region-wide drought. The ministry is confident that Thailand will be on target this year and export 10 million tons of rice.


Thailand hosts JTC meeting with Vietnam until Wednesday

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Thailand is hosting the second meeting of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC) from Monday to Wednesday, which is aimed at promoting bilateral trade and investment.

Thailand and Vietnam’s Ministries of Commerce will attend the meeting, which will discuss cooperation on rice and rubber trade, information exchange, and logistics services. The Kingdom will also persuade Vietnam to join the International Rubber Consortium Ltd (IRCo) during the meeting.

Both countries hope to expand bilateral trade to $20 billion over the next five years. Current trade volume as of last year is worth $10 billion.

Vietnam is Thailand's fourth-largest trade partner in ASEAN and the 11th-largest globally. Key exports include finished oil, plastic pellets, cars and car parts, rubber products, and fresh and processed fruits.


Japan to invest in industrial estate in Ratchaburi

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Japan is prepared to invest in the establishment of an industrial estate in Ratchaburi, which is to be modeled after Kitakyushu city in Japan.

Ratchaburi provincial authorities paid a visit to the Japanese city and were welcomed by Kitakyushu mayor Kenji Kitahachi. The Thai representatives were shown the city’s environmentally friendly designs and industrial waste management.

The city of Kitakyushu has drawn attention nationwide for an environmental protection campaign it began in the 1990's. Japan harnessed the joint efforts of government, private enterprises and local residents to overcome pollution and other environmental problems: it has since dramatically improved the city’s environment.

Japanese investors from Kitakyushu city are hoping to use the city’s environmental prototype to create the industrial estate in Ratchaburi.

Japan has been the top foreign investor in Thailand at more than 100 billion baht each year, out of the total foreign investment of around 300 billion.


AOT beefs up baggage screening at Don Muang

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) has stepped up baggage screening at Don Mueang airport in a bid to comply with measures from the Department of Civi Aviation (DCA).

The AOT has apologized for the inconvenience caused by the heightened security measures. All bags, both luggage and hand-carry bags, are now required to be scanned through X-ray machines before entering airline check-in areas.

After a recent security audit of the airport, the DCA has determined that the existing measures may not have been stringent enough. The new screening system has been put in place since July 17.

The newly implemented procedure has added 1 hour and a half to the amount of time spent at security checks. Passengers are urged to arrive earlier for their flights at the airport due to the beefed up measure.


Highway Department states that all canal-side roads at risk of collapsing during drought

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) The Provincial highway authorities have warned that all canal-side roads are in danger of collapsing as the drought crisis has dried up canals across the country.

Motorists are advised to drive slowly and with caution alongside canals. Truck drivers are urged to avoid certain routes due to strong possibility of subsidence.

Many canals in Pathum Thani have dried up, leaving barely any traces of water. A number of cracks have been reported on canal-side roads, but vehicles have not yet been prohibited to pass through.

Local highway units have prepared mobile teams to survey warning signs in risky areas. Residents living near canals are also urged to look out for signs of a road collapse and report them to the Rural Road department hotline number 1146.


NRC’s Wanchai Sonsiri pleased with CDC work overall

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) National Reform Council (NRC) member Wanchai Sonsiri has praised the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), as the panel endeavors to incorporate NRC proposals into the constitution.

He expressed confidence that the CDC is doing its best for the benefit of the country and to solve its longstanding problems.

Mr Wanchai also said he would agree with the CDC, should it request to extend its work timeframe by another 30 days for additional review of the constitution.

He said he personally believes the country should take the opportunity to work on solid reform measures and should not be too hasty to hold a new election, as incomplete reforms may fail to prevent old problems from resurfacing.


CDC has finalized most of the new constitution

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) Second Vice Chairman Manich Suksomchitra said the panel has finalized the main bulk of the new constitution and is fine-tuning the specific details of some sections.

The next process will entail an examination of all sections to ensure no contradictions and that they complement each other.

Mr Manich revealed that the drafting body will hold a meeting tomorrow to determine whether it would like to request an extension on its deadline.

The CDC will also invite representatives from the National Reform Council and the Cabinet who previously submitted amendment proposals to hear how the charter drafters have incorporated their recommendations in the final draft of the new constitution. The hearing is expected to take place between August 17-19.


Police monitor efforts to combat illegal fishing in Rayong

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) The Deputy Police Commissioner General said he has been following efforts to prosecute illegal fishing activities in Rayong province and has bolstered the capacity to monitor inbound and outbound vessels in the area.

Pol Gen Aek Angsananont visited Rayong province’s center for monitoring sea traffic in the area and was briefed on the local labor conditions.

A report revealed major issues in the area, including incorrect fishing licenses and ships run by foreign workers. The law requires that only Thai nationals captain the crew. However, the report did reveal increased cooperation from fishermen in the area.

Pol Gen Aek ordered local law enforcement officers to organize special operations and expedite prosecution and immigration procedures.


DDPM says water situation improving across 38 provinces

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) The Department of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has revealed that nine provinces continue to suffer from the drought crisis.

DDPM Director General Chatchai Promlert said that water shortages previously reported in 38 provinces have now subsided. More than 145,000 homes in Nan and Nakhon Ratchasima are still coping with the crisis.

Meanwhile, seven other provinces, which include Phrae, Chonburi, Sukhothai, Pathum Thani, Phichit, Phitsanulok and Phetchabun, reported not enough rainfall.

The Ministry of Interior, the Royal Thai Army and provincial authorities have been collaborating to provide emergency water relief to homes and farmland. People are urged to use water wisely.


Nakhon Sawan farmers agree to stop pumping water from river

NAKHON SAWAN, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Farmers in three subdistricts of Nakhon Sawan have vowed not to pump water from the Ping River to help those coping with the drought crisis in the lower Central Plains.

The farmers in Tha Ngio, Hu Kwang and Ang Thong subdistricts have said they will stop pumping the water from the Ping River into their rice paddies for 15 days.

The leader of each district has resolved to temporarily suspend the activity to allow water to flow to provinces downstream. Residents in low-lying areas of the Chao Phraya River have been suffering from water shortages.

More than 15,000 rai of rice paddies will have to go without water for half a month as a result of their decision. However, the farmers will begin to pump water again if the situation does not improve.


Meteorologists forecast more rain in Thailand

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) The Meteorological Department has forecast that there will soon be more rain in Thailand.

With a monsoon trough moving across the North and the North East of the country and another gaining power in the Andaman Sea, more precipitation can be expected resulting in heavy rainfall in some areas.

Meanwhile sea conditions are not ideal at this time of year in the Andaman Sea off Phuket province and other lower coastal provinces. Fishermen are advised to take precautions when leaving the shore as waves could reach a height of 3 meters.


NLA subcommittee suggests delaying petroleum grants until relevant laws are updated

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Dr. Poldej Pinpratheep, deputy chairman of the National Legislative Assembly's (NLA) input-seeking subcommittee, has expressed the view that the upcoming round of petroleum concession granting should be delayed until relevant laws have been updated.

Speaking at a seminar on the draft petroleum bill and relevant laws, Dr. Poldej said that the draft laws did not cover all aspects relevant to petroleum concession, and that it would be of benefit to gather public opinion before the draft bill is forwarded to the NLA for processing. He said doing so would ensure the highest gains for the public and the government and also ensure the legitimacy of the bill.

The NLA's study panel on law enforcement problems, after studying the problems associated with the enforcement of the B.E. 2514 Petroleum Act and the B.E. 2514 law on monetary gains from petroleum, expressed its view that the laws should be improved before the new round of petroleum concession granting takes place. It also suggested that information relevant to petroleum affairs be divulged to the public


NLA to go over 4 urgent matters on Thursday and Friday

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) National Legislative Assembly (NLA) President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai has scheduled meetings of NLA members on July 23 and 24 for the purpose of deliberating four urgent matters.

The year's 45th and 46th meetings of the NLA will commence at 10 am on both days. NLA members will be deliberating the draft law on protection of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO), which was proposed by the Cabinet; the draft bill on prevention and mitigation of teenage pregnancy; the draft bill on working capital, which has already been reviewed by the NLA's extraordinary committee; and the draft bill terminating the B.E. 2552 bill on the exchange of agricultural goods futures.

NLA member Wanlop Tangkhananurak will also post an inquiry over monetary problems at the fund for the assistance of teachers and education personnel.


Nong Khai holds a workshop for drivers planning to work in Laos

NONG KHAI, 20 July 2015, (NNT) The Office of Land Transport in the northeastern province of Nong Khai on Sunday held a workshop for drivers who are looking to work in Laos.

According to the organizers, the first-of-its-kind event was attended by 40 local truck, passenger vehicle and personal car drivers. The program is in line with the government's project to improve the driving skills of Thais when driving in foreign countries.

The workshop is aimed at providing basic knowledge about the Laotian traffic laws and culture and immigration regulations for those interested in driving or working in foreign countries. The organizers hope to improve the quality of Thai drivers before they leave for Laos to seek employment opportunity there.


PM urges all agencies to help conserve water

BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Prime Minister has urged all state agencies to help conserve water supply.

According to Deputy government spokesman Maj Gen Sunsern Kaewkumnerd, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has issued an urgent order to all state agencies to conserve water as much as possible given the supply is in crisis.

Gen Prayut stated that activities that consume a lot of water should also be put on hold until after the crisis has passed.

He also said that, although many feel they have money to pay for water bills, the current crisis means no one should be selfish.

The PM also urged businesses that utilise a lot of water, such as golf courses, swimming pools and hotels to first use the supply they have on hand.

For farmers, Gen Prayut said that the government would maintains a request for their cooperation in not diverting water from natural sources into their farms yet.


CDC Chairman: Final draft of new Constitution is not my dream charter

BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee has spoken out about his impression of the draft of the new Constitution.

According to the CDC Chairman, Borwornsak Uwanno, the latest mobile meeting of the charter drafters in Pattaya has drawn a conclusion on all key issues even though the discussion is not completely wrapped up as the results of the CDC’s meetings with all 18 committees under the National Reform Council have not been derived.

Concerning the extension of the CDC’s charter drafting deadline, Mr. Borwornsak said that the issue should be decided on July 21.

Although the charter drafters have maintained all four core principles of the draft Constitution, the new charter is not the version he has dreamt of because there are many provisions that he wishes to see included, the CDC Chairman said.

Nevertheless, Mr. Borwornsak assured that all charter drafters have done their best to make the new charter the true Constitution of the people.

When asked what would happen if the NRC decided to reject the draft charter, the CDC Chairman said that as he is now doing his best, he does not want to think how the future will transpire although a rejection may mean that he will not come back to take part in the drafting process again.


Thailand, China celebrate 40 years of diplomatic ties

BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) Thailand and China have celebrated four decades of diplomatic ties between the two countries with a plan to heighten all levels of cooperation.

President of the Privy Council Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, over the weekend, chaired the official celebration of 40 years of Thai-Chinese diplomatic ties, which have seen several amicable cooperation in such areas as trade, investment and culture.

And during his special speech at the ceremony, Gen Prem said that, as a former government leader, he has been invited to visit China many times and he believes all the trips have helped keeping both countries’ ties strong.

He added that, even with the fast changes in political and economic conditions, communications between both countries’ private sectors have been cordial.

Gen Prem went on to say that cultural exchange should also help promote international relations and lead to the expansion of other areas of cooperation.

Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Ning Fukui said that, after 40 years of diplomatic ties, the Thailand-China relations look ready to be stronger and more secure, particularly in the areas of politics, economics and education.

China is now the biggest export market and trading partner of Thailand under the push from both governments.


Ratchaburi develops ties with Japan's Kitakyushu

BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Ratchaburi province strengthens relations with Kitakyushu city in Japan in the hope to develop the province as an environmental city.

Deputy Governor of Ratchaburi Ronnaphob Ruengphairote and entourage have officially visited Kitakyushu. They were welcomed by Kitakyushu Mayor Kenji Kitahashi who led them to see the city's environmental development projects, industrial waste disposal as well as the local people's way of life.

Kitakyushu used to be polutted but now it is a pollution-free, green city and an important economic town of Japan. Kitakyushu will be used as a model for creating an industrial town in Ratchaburi with a majority of investment from a group of investors from Kitakyushu.


CDC Chair satisfied with charter amendment in mobile meeting

CHONBURI, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) is satisfied with the adjustments of the draft constitution's articles, while the CDC is set to decide whether to extend its operating time frame or not on 21 July.

The mobile CDC meeting in Chonburi Province has concluded today's revision of the draft constitution's articles. The meeting’s minutes were compiled before members returned to Bangkok.

In this meeting, CDC members have decided to adjust several articles, as well as cutting about 20 articles from the draft constitution. The current draft constitution contains about 290 articles.

The provisions of 12 articles have also been adjusted in some parts, prior to additional adjustments expected in Bangkok. 16 suspended articles have also concluded matters regarding the qualifications of the House of Representative members and the Senate, impeachment protocols, and rights protection to members of the House of Representative and members of the Senate.

CDC Chairman Bowornsak Uwanno expressed his satisfaction towards the overall adjustments, adding that the changes retain the constitution's 4 main pillars, while the National Reform Council's (NRC) reception to the changes will be considered by the CDC later.

He insists that this draft constitution revision is the final draft, and that he will not join the next CDC should this draft be rejected by the NRC.

A CDC member Kanchanarat Leeviroj has said that this constitution has been drafted from all sides' input, adding that she is hopeful that this constitution will help solve national problems and lead to peace.

The CDC has scheduled a meeting on 21 July 2015 to determine whether the CDC needs to extend their operating time-frame for an additional 30 days or not.


Culture Minister set to enhance national treasure conservation exchange with Peru

BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Minister of Culture is satisfied with his visit to Peru and expects both countries to gear up on developmental exchanges in national treasure conservation.

The Minister of Culture Vira Rojpojchanarat has addressed that he is satisfied with his official visit to the Republic of Peru, as it marks the beginning of a cultural relations enhancement between the two countries that will further lead both nations to more cooperation in trade, investment, and tourism.

He has said that Thailand and Peru will initiate exchanges in museum development, ancient site preservation, and in contemporary arts and culture. Thailand is set adapt the management procedures that are similar to Peru's conservation of its World Heritage Sites. Thai academics and archeologists will be sent to study Peru's tribal civilization to find similarities between the two nations.

The Thai Musical and Traditional Dance performances, celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Peru has received much attention from the Peruvian public at all three shows. This indicates that the Peruvian public are eager to learn about Thai culture and ASEAN.

The performances' accomplishments will then be evaluated, while the number of Thai arts and cultural performances in South American nations are also expected to be increased.


‘Health City Community Lifestyle’ sees crowds of visitors

BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Health City Community Lifestyle event Sunday morning has welcomed more participants, while herbal products at the event were of high demand.

Crowds of visitors were eagerly waiting to enter the Health City Community Lifestyle event at Klong Phadung Krung Kasem Canal since the event's opening hours at 10am. Most visitors were interested in purchasing herbs and herbal products from the 100 shops featured at the event.

The event also features health and consultation services from folk wisdom, while the center stage Sunday featured a lecture on the benefits of Thai herbs from many agencies. The vaccination services for Diphtheria and Tetanus are also available at the event everyday until 26 July 2015.

Sunday's event marks the last day of the ‘Thai Communities, afar from Alzheimer’s’ theme, featuring activities that tend to Alzheimer’s patients and activities that provide education on the prevention measures for this disease. The event will conclude at 7pm.


Rainmaker unit to step up operations in Sa Kaeo

SA KAEO, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Royal Rainmaking Unit has increased the frequency of rainmaking operations to help relieve the agricultural damage caused from low precipitation.

The government has ordered the Royal Rainmaking Unit at the 602 ‘Wattananakhon’ Air Squadron to provide two daily rounds of rainmaking operations, in the attempt to induce precipitation to ease the drought conditions.

Rainfall shortages has continued to harm farms and their crops in Sa Kaeo Province which includes rice farms, tapioca farms, sugarcane crops, corn crops, oil palm crops, and fruit farms due to cultivation water shortages.

However in some areas in Sa Kaeo Province, namely the Muaeng Sa Kaeo, Khao Chakan, Wattananakhon, and Aranyaprathet Districts, the recent rainfall has provided the areas with sufficient water for cultivation.

Farmers in Sa Kaeo Province are urged to follow weather forecasts, reach out to the local administrative organizations should they need any help, and to attend the activities held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, initiated by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn aiming to provide relief to drought affected farmers and to help them find alternative sources of income.


Drought recedes in 38 provinces

BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) Drought disaster conditions have been lifted at 38 provinces, with only two provinces still categorized as drought disaster areas while seven provinces are still considered rainfall-shortage areas, the DDPM Director-General says.

The Director-General of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) Chatchai Promlert has revealed latest information on the current drought disaster situation, saying that the drought situation at up to 38 provinces has deescalated. Nan and Nakhon Ratchasima are the only two remaining provinces suffering from drought disasters.

The country's seven provinces namely Phrae, Chonburi, Sukhothai, Pathum Thani, Pichit, Phitsanulok, and Phetchabun were lifted from drought disaster areas, but has continued to experience rainfall shortages since 4 June 2015 until now.

The DDPM Director-General has stated that the Ministry of Interior is now working with the provincial, military, and other related agencies to provide water tankers to deliver both water for consumption and cultivation to the affected public, and asked for the public's cooperation in water conservation practices.

He added that the general public can call the 1784 Security Call Center for 24 hours should they need any assistance.


First provincial duty-free shop officially launched in Nong Khai

NONG KHAI, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The first duty-free shop outside Bangkok has been officially opened in the northeastern province of Nongk Khai bordering Laos, to facilitate anticipated rising visitors after the AEC.

The ‘Nongkhai Duty Free’ is run by Fortune Logistics Co., Ltd., a license holder approved by the Customs Department. With a 20-million-baht investment, the company has developed a 3.5-rai plot of land, one kilometer away from the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge near Nong Khai-Udon Thani Highway, for its purpose.

The duty free shop comprises two storeys covering 3,600 square meters of utility space.The first floor features a wide range of tobacco, alcohol and wines. The second floor is for cloths, leather products, belts and bags.

The duty free shop sells goods only to customers who are leaving Thailand. Passports are needed for making payment, and customers cannot use border pass for the purpose.

According to Customs procedures, after payment, customers will only take goods they bought at the Immigration Checkpoint on the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge. The customers cannot return to Thailand after they take the goods out.

If proving a success, similar duty-free shops will be expanded to other provinces, the managing-director of Fortune Logistics Co said.


Ministry of Interior to survey drought-hit areas nationwide

BANGKOK, 19 July 2015, (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Ministry of Interior to survey drought-affected areas across the country and allocate budget from the drought prevention fund to assist the local residents.

The Prime Minister on Friday said the drought situation in the Northeast had improved due to additional rainfall.

However, provinces in the Chao Phraya river basin still lacked water and local government units still need to explain to farmers the measures to mitigate drought.

He said the number of drought-hit provinces had decreased from 40 to 3 provinces currently. General Prayut added budget will be disbursed to compensate the affected people.


Bike for Mom rally rehearsal on Sunday morning goes smoothly

BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) A mini rehearsal on traffic arrangement for the "Bike for Mom" rally was conducted on Sunday morning between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. and went smoothly, said Deputy Commander of the Traffic Police Division Pol Col Pusit Witsetkamin.

Pol Col Pusit said that the rehearsal took place along the route which will be used for the rally in order to test readiness of the roads, biking directions, police deployment at different points for traffic flow management.

A major rehearsal is to be held on Sunday 2 August 2015, two weeks ahead of the rally which will take place on 16 August.

Main objective of the "Bike for Mom" rally is to celebrate the 83rd birthday anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen on 12 August 2015. Leading the ride will be HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.


NLA members meet locals in Ratchaburi for first-hand information

RATCHABURI, 19 July 2015 (NNT) A team of National Legislative Assembly (NLA) led by vice-president Peerasak Porchit has headed to Ratchaburi province to meet with administrative officials and local people.

The NLA members were greeted by Ratchaburi governor Surapon Sawangsak this morning. Both sides updated each other on the progress of their performance and discussed directions for the province’s development and solutions to problems regarding land encroachment, water management, garbage disposal, the growing number of refugees and transport.

The NLA team is also scheduled to hold a brainstorming session with local people later today to listen to their needs and problems and to collect their suggestions to be conveyed to officials concerned for use in their solutions.


PM to launch National Savings Fund on 18 Aug

BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is scheduled to launch the government’s National Savings Fund on 18 August 2015. The fund is aimed at financially assisting 30 million Thais who are not in the pension system.

Deputy Government Spokesman Sansern Kaeokamnerd said the National Savings Fund system was almost ready for release. The PM would accept the first application for fund membership by himself on 18 August 2015, said the deputy spokesman.

The National Savings Fund is the government’s policy to help self-employed workers, those outside of the government’s pension system or members of private funds. The fund will help them save for retirement with contributions from the government. When they are 60 years old, the fund will give them a monthly retirement payment until death.

People who are interested to apply for the fund may apply at Krungthai Bank, Government Savings Bank, and Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives nationwide using only their citizen ID card.


Agricultural and cooperatives minister follow up on drought solutions in central provinces

PATHUM THANI, 19 July 2015 (NNT) Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Pitiphong Puengbun Na Ayutthaya has traveled to Saraburi and Pathum Thani provinces to monitor the drought situation. The minister emphasized the government’s measure to prohibit farmers from pumping water in 22 provinces.

The minister, the director-general of the Royal Irrigation Department and entourage on Sunday went to the Rama IX 9 reservoir in Pathum Thani to follow up on solutions to drought and water shortage in the Chao Pharaya river basin provinces. The minister said the reservoir had sufficient water for people in the Khlong 5 and Khlong 6 areas as well as some nearby areas in the province.

The Rama XI reservoir has the total capacity of 33 million cubic meters. It has provided water for more than 700 households and 20,000 Rai of farmland.

The minister also urged farmers in the 22 provinces to stop pumping water, saying there would be more water soon since the rains had started to fall.


Government succeeds in solving teacher shortages in small schools

BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The government has boasted of its success in solving teacher shortages in small schools with its satellite education program.

According to the government, its satellite teacher program has reached more than 15,000 schools across the country, giving children in remote areas more education opportunities. The latest survey indicates that assessment scores of primary and secondary students in most schools have markedly improved.

The government’s policy aimed at promoting vocational education also shows signs of success. The number of vocational school applicants has jumped by 26 percent this year, while those studying for high vocational certificates has risen by 8.48 percent.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has instructed related agencies to expedite their education reform, so that the country can achieve a quality and sustainable education system.


Drought eases off in Northeast, lingers in central region

BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) Continued rainfalls have eased drought problems in the Northeast, whereas the central region is still gripped by the prolonged dry season.

In the central province of Ang Thong, drought-hit farmers have stopped diverting water during this period, following the government’s announcement of sea water invasion expected between July 18 and 20.

Rajaprajanugroh Foundation has, meanwhile, launched water service centres in 53 provinces to help alleviate the situation in drought-stricken areas upon the suggestion of His Majesty the King. Villagers can acquire clean water at the centres for no charge whatsoever until the crisis is over.

While the arrival of rainfalls has yet to solve drought problems in the central region, it has revived farming in the Northeast. In Khon Kaen, local farmers are taking advantage of recent cloudbursts by speeding up their prolonged rice cultivation. In Ubon Ratchathani, thunder showers have lifted the water level in the Mekong River by two meters.

Despite the rainfalls, provincial governors in the Northeast have asked residents to continue to conserve water.


More water in Sukhothai

BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Sukhothai irrigation project has indicated that the rainfall in Sukhothai province added water to many reservoirs in the upper part of the country. Despite more water, the irrigation project still warns people to use water economically.

Director of the Sukhothai irrigation project Mongkhol Suphakai said good falls of rain last week in the province increased the water level in many reservoirs, especially Huay Tha Phae reservoir in Si Satchanalai district. The average rainfall in the areas north of the reservoir was measured at 37.5 millimeters.

The current water volume of the reservoir is 19.2 million cubic meters or 33% of the total capacity. The reservoir discharges 0.16 million cubic meters of water per day.

However, the combined water volume from all reservoirs in the district is not sufficient for 410,000 Rai of farmland in the province and the water is still reserved for consumption only.


 

DAILY UPDATE

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Back to Main Page

PM sets integrated water management as long-term agenda

Metro Police kicks off Crime Zero emergency button campaign

More fishing boats sail out with Port-in, Port-out reports

Cabinet approves transfer list of high-ranking Interior officials

Pre-paid mobile registration must be made within 31 July

Former BKK Police Chief summoned for questioning related to firearm possession through airport security

CDC will accept 30 day work timeframe extension

DWR urges Thais to reduce daily water consumption by 1L

Rainfall to decline as monsoon leaves Thailand

Campaign to set up drinking water donation centers for drought victims to be proposed to the Cabinet

Major dams remain structurally sound, despite drought

Thailand-Bhutan Parliamentarians Friendship Group completes election of new chairman

Water level in several dams starts to recover

EGAT’s labor union asks NRC to oppose planned restructuring of its system

MOPH meets on the IVF baby protection law

PRD executives hone biking skills for Bike for Mom event

Dusit Zoo welcomes new douc langur and ruffed lemur

Gen Prayuth visits Rayong Province

Tap water crisis in Bangkok is now over, MWA Governor says

Ayutthaya launches consumption water distribution center

Ministry of Commerce:Thai rice export to meet 2015 target

Thailand hosts JTC meeting with Vietnam until Wednesday

Japan to invest in industrial estate in Ratchaburi

AOT beefs up baggage screening at Don Muang

Highway Department states that all canal-side roads at risk of collapsing during drought

NRC’s Wanchai Sonsiri pleased with CDC work overall

CDC has finalized most of the new constitution

Police monitor efforts to combat illegal fishing in Rayong

DDPM says water situation improving across 38 provinces

Nakhon Sawan farmers agree to stop pumping water from river

Meteorologists forecast more rain in Thailand

NLA subcommittee suggests delaying petroleum grants until relevant laws are updated

NLA to go over 4 urgent matters on Thursday and Friday

Nong Khai holds a workshop for drivers planning to work in Laos

PM urges all agencies to help conserve water

CDC Chairman: Final draft of new Constitution is not my dream charter

Thailand, China celebrate 40 years of diplomatic ties

Ratchaburi develops ties with Japan's Kitakyushu

CDC Chair satisfied with charter amendment in mobile meeting

Culture Minister set to enhance national treasure conservation exchange with Peru

‘Health City Community Lifestyle’ sees crowds of visitors

Rainmaker unit to step up operations in Sa Kaeo

Drought recedes in 38 provinces

First provincial duty-free shop officially launched in Nong Khai

Ministry of Interior to survey drought-hit areas nationwide

Bike for Mom rally rehearsal on Sunday morning goes smoothly

NLA members meet locals in Ratchaburi for first-hand information

PM to launch National Savings Fund on 18 Aug

Agricultural and cooperatives minister follow up on drought solutions in central provinces

Government succeeds in solving teacher shortages in small schools

Drought eases off in Northeast, lingers in central region

More water in Sukhothai

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