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Thailand committed to fighting human trade despite Tier 3 ranking

BANGKOK, 27 July 2015 (NNT) The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reacted to the United States’ decision to keep Thailand in the Tier 3 Watch List on human trafficking for another year, affirming that the Kingdom has been making huge progress in eradicating the problem.

The US has released its 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, in which Thailand is maintained in the Tier 3 Watch List for the second consecutive year after its downgrade from Tier 2 last year. In response, Mr Sek Wannamethee, Director-General of the Department of Information and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, cited the latest report as an inaccurate reflection of Thailand’s efforts and achievements in its combat against human trafficking over the past year.

The Spokesman insisted that, since the incumbent government came into office, the anti-human trafficking mechanism has been completely revamped, resulting in concrete improvements in many aspects. Policy-wise, he said the problem has been included in the national agenda while a number of related laws and regulations have been amended.

Law enforcement has also been intensified, leading to the arrest and prosecution of many culprits, one of whom is a senior army officer. Meanwhile, over 1.6 million foreign workers have been properly registered in a bid to prevent them from falling prey to human traffickers while cooperation has been established both bilaterally and multilaterally with neighboring countries in order to rid the region of trafficking activities.

Although Thailand will continue to be in the bottom tier for one more year, Mr Sek was adamant the country will remain determined and devoted to putting an end to the problem of human trafficking.


Uthai Thani farmers apply HM's Sufficiency Economy, beat national drought

UTHAI THANI, 27 July 2015 (NNT) The governor of Uthai Thani province spoke with local farmers who used His Majesty the King's Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy to manage their crops and mitigate drought that has crippled the nation's agriculture.

Governor Somchai Leartpongpakorn visited Moo 5, Thung Yai sub-district, Mueang district, where farmers have applied the King's message of sustainable living. Locals created an eight-rai reservoir, where rain water was collected during last year's monsoon. Then during the dry season, water is distributed to a system of smaller one-rai pools to irrigate 20 rai of rice paddies. Finally, the leftover water is pumped back into the main reservoir.

To conserve water further, the farmers employ alternate wet/dry irrigation (AWDI). As the farmers explained, the AWDI method involves inundating rice paddies with water 5 cm deep, allowing the field to dry, then following up with water 15 cm deep and adding fertilizer. They claimed that the AWDI method enhances nutrient uptake by the soil and crops.

The farmers also took the opportunity to grow flowers along walkways and partitions that can be sold for extra income, as well as vegetable gardens for their own use.


Government supports setting up of new website to promote reform

BANGKOK, 28 July 2015 (NNT) The government has expressed its support for a proposal to introduce a new website to promote the present efforts at reform.

Member of the National Reform Council Pattareeya Sumano, who is also the chairwoman of the subcommittee for the promotion of internal communications and image, said that the government of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has offered support and cooperation for the planned setting up of the website “Online Voice of Reform”.

Ms. Pattareeya said that the government has made clear that once up and running, the website will be a channel for all state agencies to publicize and promote the works of the NRC and the National Legislative Assembly, the Constitution Drafting Council, the Cabinet and the National Council for Peace and Order – collectively known as the Five Rivers.

She added that the public will soon receive an update through various media, from newspapers to radio and online media which will enable them to gain a better understanding of the work of all bodies working on reform in Thailand.


Vietnam strives to reduce spread of hepatitis

 The Ministry of Health (MOH) has promulgated a plan on viral hepatitis prevention for the 2015-2019 period to reduce the spread of hepatitis viruses and improve community access to screening, treatment and care services, reports Tran Dac Phu, Head of the MOH’s Preventive Health Department.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that about two billion people worldwide are infected with the hepatitis B virus and around 130 – 150 million people were chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus, in 2014. About one million people die every year as a result of the viral disease, or 2.7 percent of all fatalities globally.

Hepatitis B and C viruses are major causes of liver cancer and cirrhosis. An estimated 57 percent of cases of liver cirrhosis and 78 percent of cases of primary liver cancer result from hepatitis B and C virus infections.

According to the Preventive Health Department, 8-25 percent of people in certain population groups in Vietnam have hepatitis B and some 2.5 – 4.1 percent of such population groups test positive for hepatitis C.

Chronic hepatitis remains a major public health problem and liver cancer is the most common cause of cancer mortalities in Vietnam.

A hepatitis B vaccine has been used in the country’s Expanded Programme of Immunisation since 1997 in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

It has been given to children under one year old nationwide since 2003 with a coverage rate of over 90 percent.

Since 2006, the vaccine has been applied to newborns within the first 24 hours after birth. Pregnant women are also encouraged to be screened for hepatitis to prevent mother-to-child transmissions.


Vietnam to attend Seoul int’l harmonica festival

Five members of the Vietnam Harmonica Orchestra will set off for the Seoul International Harmonica Festival in the Republic of Korea (RoK) on July 29.

This is the first time that a Vietnamese harmonica troupe has attended an international harmonica event.

The annual festival in the RoK, the third of its kind, is being hosted by the Korea Harmonica Education Association to foster international exchanges among world-class artists.

Vietnamese artists will perform traditional pieces of music such as “Bay den hoa binh” (Fly for peace) in the concert category, “Trong com” (Rice drum) in the trio category and “Chim K’Tia” (K’Tia bird) in the solo category.


SRT Commercial Center to be developed at Bang Sue Central Station

BANGKOK, 27 July 2015 (NNT) The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has set plans to develop its 218-Rai empty land plot in Bang Sue district as a new commercial center. The project is part of the under construction Bang Sue Central Station, a modern transportation hub in Thailand and Southeast Asia.

SRT governor Wutthichart Kalayanamitr said the property would be utilized for commercial purposes. With the concept of Transit Oriented Development, it will be developed as a mixed use community centered around modern transportation systems.

The project's master plan is expected to be completed in September this year.

Once completed, Bang Sue Central Station will link the Airport Rail Link, Blue Line MRT, Green Line BTS, long distance Train and high speed train. It will also connect Phahonyothin and Vibhavadi Rangsit roads.


BMA rushes assistance to drought-hit residents

BANGKOK, 27 July 2015 (NNT) The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is speeding up assistance to people who are affected by the drought crisis, along with its repair of damaged roads across the capital.

After a meeting of BMA executives chaired by Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra, BMA Spokeswoman Treedao Apaiwong revealed that the meeting was aimed to follow up on the drought situation within Bangkok. She said the executives acknowledged a report indicating that 362 households have been impacted by drought while over a thousand rai of farmland has sustained damage from the water shortage and seawater intrusion.

The board thus assigned the Department of Drainage and Sewerage to coordinate with the government in providing help to the drought victims and relieving their plight, especially by disseminating knowledge addressing the cultivation of alternative crops that are resistant to dry conditions.

The meeting was also informed of drought-induced damage, such as cracking and subsidence, on a total of 19 roads in Bangkok. Related units have already been instructed to fix the roads and some of them are expected to be ready for normal use again in August.


45,000 people get Bike for Mom souvenirs

BANGKOK, 27 July 2015 (NNT) Around 45,000 cyclists have received T-shirts and pins for the “Bike for Mom” bicycle ride at the Royal Thai Army Stadium over the past weekend. The number of people who showed up was higher than the registered cyclists by 5,000 people.

Gen. Pisit Sitthisarn, the chairman of the "Bike for Mom” organizing committee, said on Sunday alone, the pins were given to 12,789 people. From Saturday to Sunday, a total of 15,000 t-shirts and 27,789 pins were given to the registered cyclists. They also received free meals from the organizers.

The pins are printed with the initials of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Crown Prince.

Another 100,000 “Bike for Mom” pins will be given to those who sign up to witness the royal procession. They can register online or in-person with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration from 29 July to 5 August 2015.


NRC to hold seminar on water management

BANGKOK, 27 July 2015 (NNT) The National Reform Council (NRC) committee on environmental reform will hold a seminar on water management on July 29.

Mr. Pramote Mailkad, Chairman of the NRC committee on natural resources and environmental reform, revealed that it will will organize a seminar on Wednesday under the theme, “Time to Reform Water Resources Management." The seminar is being held at Hotel Mercure Bangkok to gather opinions on how to move forward with the country’s water management strategy.

He indicated that the problem of water management in the country is three-fold. He blamed vague state policies, a lack of related agencies, and no legal framework for water management.

The NRC committee chairman recommended a national water management policy, a mechanism for public participation, and revision of current regulations. A draft law to facilitate these goals has been already passed by the NRC and awaits Cabinet approval.


Songkhla hosts public hearing over coal power plant, amid tight security

SONGKHLA, 27 July 2015 (NNT) A public hearing has been held in Songkhla province amid tight security, regarding the construction of the power plant in Thepa district.

Songkhla residents, religious leaders and other stakeholders have attended the forum, which will conclude tomorrow. Public opinion is being surveyed ahead of the construction of the coal power plant and its sea port.

Security has been reinforced around the event. Roads between Hatyai city and Pattani province have been closed due to safety concerns while the forum is taking place.

The first day of the forum focused on the construction of the coal power plant and its environmental impact, while tomorrow will center on the accompanying sea port.


Pickup truck owners warned not to add any rooftop extensions to their vehicles

BANGKOK, 27 July 2015 (NNT) The Department of Land Transport (DLT) has said it is illegal to install a metal structure on top of the pickup truck in an attempt to carry more items as it would pose danger to other vehicles on the road.

DLT Deputy Director General Suchart Klinsuwan said it would be illegal to attach any protruding equipment to pickup truck.

According to him, many pickup truck owners have installed a basket-like rooftop extension to the vehicle's rear section for commercial purposes.

Quite often the extension is mounted separately to the vehicle, which could pose danger when used to carry large and heavy items. Without a proper structural support underneath the extension, it could easily break and come off while the vehicle is traveling on the road.

The Deputy Director General said any modification to the truck should be in line with the regulations in order to assure road safety.


NBTC urges public to use digital TV coupons by July 31

BANGKOK, 27 July 2015 (NNT) The National Broadcasting Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) is urging homeowners to quickly obtain a digital TV coupon before the end of this month.

According to the broadcasting regulator, those who have picked up the 690-baht digital TV coupon during the first and second distributions are encouraged to exchange it for a set-top box before July 31, when the coupon expires.

There are reportedly 42 provinces, including Bangkok and its vicinity, where people are entitled to the latest round of digital TV coupons. They are advised to visit the nearest post office to receive the coupon or call 1200 for more information.


Drought crisis abates in several parts of the country

BANGKOK, 27 July 2015 (NNT) Continuous rainfall has relieved the drought situation in several areas of Thailand. As dams were replenished, many farmers returned to rice growing.

In Khon Kaen province, rainfall has been raising water levels at the Ubonrat Dam at an average of three million cubic meters per day. Nearly 60% of its 643 million cubic meters is deemed fit for public consumption. Approximately 2.5 million cubic meters is being released into streams for agricultural use.

In Nakhon Ratchasima province, Lam Takhong Dam has received only one million cubic meters of water from rainfall. Officials at the dam have assured there is enough water for household consumption, despite lower-than-expected water levels.

In Nakhon Phanom province, people living along the Mekhong River have been warned to be ready to evacuate, as the water levels are rising quickly. Two weeks of continuous precipitation have also contributed to strong currents in the river. Ferry operators are urged to be extra cautious when navigating the river.

Despite the recent rainfall, several months of drought have left 500,000 rai of rice paddies dessicated. Meanwhile, crops grown in another 500,000 rai have reportedly survived the water shortages.

The Meteorological Department has forecast more rain in the North. More water is expected to be added to the dams. However, meteorologists have warned people not to become too complacent. The public is urged to continue conserving water.


Ministry of Culture to hold textiles exhibition celebrating HM the Queen

BANGKOK, 25 July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Culture is set to hold Thai textiles exhibition at the National Museum in Bangkok as tribute to Her Majesty the Queen on 14 August, the Minister of Culture has said.

The Minister of Culture Vira Rojpojchanarat has revealed that the Ministry will be hosting the Thai textiles exhibition as tribute to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on 14 August 2015, at the National Museum in Bangkok.

The exhibition titled ‘Wichitbhusapattraporn’, will feature rare Thai textiles and textiles from mountain tribes and other Thai ethnic groups, along with Thai textures from 40 National Museums in other provinces. The Ministry’s officials and the general public are free to submit their own rare textiles, to be put on display at this exhibition.

The exhibition will then be developed into a permanent textiles museum situated in the Bangkok National Museum in 2016 from the initiation of the Prime Minister.

The Minister of Culture has said that another textiles exhibition, titles ‘Thai Textiles, Thai Identity’ will also be held at Siam Paragon shopping center on 19-23 August 2015, showcasing the evolution of Thai textiles which dates back up to three thousand years.

He added that the Ministry will also hold the Thai Textiles Marketplace event at Khlong Phasing Krung Kasem Canal next to the government house. This event will allow the public to see and purchase textiles and clothes gathered here from all over the country, directly from the manufacturers themselves.


Moms can register to receive new-born subsidy from Sep

BANGKOK, 25 July 2015 (NNT) The government is set to provide pre-registration for mothers to access the new-born subsidy on 1 September 2015, while the subsidy program will begin in October.

The Prime Minister’s Office Deputy Spokesman Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd has revealed the Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered officials in all related agencies to publicize the new-born children subsidy campaign among pregnant mothers in poor families, so that they are aware of their rights to claim the government's 400 baht monthly subsidy.

Eligible mothers, including women with pregnancy, can register by 1 September 2015 to claim their benefits in October. This subsidy aims to provide mothers valuable time with their new-born infants.

The Prime Minister also reportedly thanked operational officials, and the Family Doctor teams from the Ministry of Public Health, who were the first unit that was responsible in taking care of the mothers and children in this campaign.

He has also asked officials in all units to review their operational procedures for maximum efficiency, and to give their best effort towards this program, as the policy is considered an important part in the creation of the nation’s human resources.

The PMO’s Deputy Spokesman has further said that the new-born children subsidy campaign will provide 400 baht monthly subsidy for children being born from 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016 to poor families, to encourage better healthcare access for new-born children.

The cabinet has approved an initial budget of 600 million baht for this subsidy program


BMTA to offer free bus trips to 9 temples during July 30-31

BANGKOK, July 2015 (NNT) To enable Buddhists and city people to observe Asalha Puja and Buddhist Lent Day, the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) will be offering free bus trips to nine best-known temples of the capital city during July 30-31.

The BMTA is preparing 20 non-air-conditioned buses to serve the public from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Interested persons can hop in buses showing signs that say free bus rides to temples on Rattanakosin Island, waiting to lift passengers at Bangkok Bus Terminal and Wat Saket.

The itinerary consists of the Marble Temple, Wat Sam Phraya, Wat Bowon Niwet, Wat Chana Songkram, Wat Mahathat, Wat Pho, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Sutat and Wat Saket.

BMTA officials will also on duty along the route to the destinations as well as at the temples to facilitate passengers.


Aviation agencies urged to boost personnel quality

BANGKOK, July 2015 (NNT) Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong has asked all aviation-related agencies to speed up the improvement of their personnel’s abilities to boost the country’s aviation industry.

During his speech for a national academic aviation conference, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong said the government had a policy to strengthen the aviation industry. One of the missions is to upgrade existing airports to develop the country into the regional flight hub. ACM Prajin commented that the expansion of aviation industry requires enhancement of all types of resources, be they aircraft, services, maintenance systems and workers.

According to ACM Prajin, related agencies need to pay importance to development of their human resources by enforcing internationally-approved operation standards and launching training to bolster their personnel’s abilities. The Minister added that production of efficient staff is a worthwhile investment, for it can raise the country’s competitiveness and reduce foreign employee imports.

The Aviation Training Association speculated that the aviation industry may need more than 200,000 pilots and technicians of the same number in the next 20 years, adding that training courses will likely be adjusted to better serve the need of the airline business.


TCEB promotes its Thailand MICE Mart campaign in Phuket

PHUKET, 27 July 2015, (NNT) The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has revealed its plan to promote the southern island province of Phuket as the best location in the region of the Andaman Sea, for Meetings, Incentive events, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE).

TCEB Vice President Supawan Teerarat, announced the strategy, as the province launched the 2nd Thailand MICE Mart last week. She said the fair gives an opportunity for 34 MICE related operators, such as hotel and resort owners, in the province to conduct business matchmaking with corporations from both Phuket and Bangkok.

According to the Vice President, last year Phuket was able to generate more than 500 million baht in tourism revenue from approximately 70,000 MICE travelers.

Meanwhile, Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong told reporters that the province is developing necessary infrastructure projects and working with the private sector in order to facilitate the activities of MICE businesses and build confidence among tourists. He said such projects cover the province's airport expansion and other public facility upgrades, which are expected to be completed by February next year. The improved facilities would be able to handle 12.5 million travelers a year, said the governor.


RTP to take action against teen street racing and bars near education institutes

BANGKOK, 27 July 2015, (NNT) The Royal Thai Police is determined to tackle the issues of teen street racing and bars operating near education institutes.

According to the Royal Thai Police Spokesperson, Pol. Lt-Gen Prawut Thavornsiri, the majority of entertainment venue operators in Bangkok are willing to obey the new regulation calling for all establishments offering alcoholic beverages to be located away from education institutes by at least 300 meters.

Warnings will be given to venue operators who breach the regulation and arrests will be made if they defy the law.

Initially, entertainment venue operators in the capital and its vicinity have been in compliance with the authorities's order, said Pol. Lt-Gen Prawut; however, those in the provinces would be reminded of the seriousness of the offence.

Speaking on the topic of teen street racing, the spokesperson said parents would from now on be held responsible for their kids repeated offense, adding that parents or the child guardians can request helps from police or the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, if needed.


Auction date for the government's inferior rice stock postponed

BANGKOK, 27 July 2015, (NNT) The Ministry of Commerce has delayed the auction date for inferior rice in its stockpile, from the end of this month to the beginning of next month, allowing more time for officials to conduct a thorough survey and separate quality grains from inferior ones.

According to Commerce Minister General Chatchai Sarikanya, he has ordered ministry officials, academics, the National Farmers Council, surveyors, rice sellers, and the Thailand Development Research Institute to inspect silos where government's rice has been stored .

These officials are to thoroughly inspect 1.29 million tons of the supposedly low quality rice in the ministry's stockpile as well as estimating the cost of improving the grains for various purposes.

After the examination, the officials would determine whether the rice should be sold in smaller portions or as an entire silo. They would also separate inferior grains from the rice to be sold for public consumption.

Auction winners have been told to strictly use these grains for particular purposes, the Minister said, adding that his ministry would later conduct follow-up inspections to make sure that the low-quality rice would not be sold for public consumption.

General Chatchai also disclosed that the auction of around 400-500,000 tons of quality grains scheduled for next week would go ahead as planned.


NRC committee visits Ubon Ratchathani to observe way of life along Chi River

UBON RATCHATHANI, 27 July 2015 (NNT) The National Reform Council (NRC) committee for the reform of social values, arts, culture, ethics and religion visited Ubon Ratchathani over the weekend to observe the way of life of those living along the Chi River.

Naowarat Phongphaibun, chairperson of the committee, led its members in observing the way of life along the Chi River, which predominantly consists of weaving, basketwork, rice growing and fishing. The committee members also listened to the locals for information. The main purpose of the weekend visit to the plains of the Chi River was to collect information on the conservation and continuation of the local way of life, in order for the information to be used to draft an Act on a national arts and culture council.

The committee also participate in a seminar to collect opinions on the direction of arts and culture reform for the next 10 years, in which emphasis was especially placed on the economic and social significance of the culture found in the plains in Ubon Ratchathani close to waterways.


Khao Kheow's blue wildebeest family grows

CHONBURI, 27 July 2015 (NNT) Khao Kheow Open Zoo is inviting holidaymakers to plan a visit to glimpse into the cuteness of the zoo's blue wildebeest family, which has recently grown with the addition of a newborn calf.

The zoo's veterinarian team, having inspected the calf after birth, assured that the calf was healthy. The calf was constantly by its mother's side, and was feeding on the milk of its mother.

The blue wildebeest is a large mammal whose head resembles that of a bull while its body is leaner and resembles a horse. Blue wildebeest herds normally comprise 80-100 members. The herds roam the grasslands and sparse forests of eastern and southern Africa. The gestation period is usually eight months, and only a single calf is born each time.

Visitors can enjoy the blue wildebeest family at the zoo's African savanna zone.


Nakhon Nayok locals oppose the new industrial city plan

NAKHON NAYOK, 27 July 2015, (NNT) Some of the people of Nakhon Nayok Province oppose a new industrial-oriented city plan, which could be implemented in 2017. They have signed a petition asking related agencies to reconsider the project.

The residents opposing the plan yesterday gathered at the province's Suan Luang Rama IX Public Park, lead by a group called the Network of Nakhon Nayok Citizens.

The new city plan would allow the establishment of industrial factories, such as petrol refineries and asbestos processing plants, in the province's green areas.

The group demanded that the provincial administration maintain the province's natural beauty and keep it free of industrial developments.

The petition listing the names of those who oppose the new city plan will be submitted to the Governor of Nakhon Nayok, the provincial Office of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, the Office of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Personal Affairs Division of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.


Bike for Mom t-shirt and pin collection runs smoothly during weekend

BANGKOK, 26 July 2015 (NNT) The collection of commemorative t-shirts and royal pins for the "Bike for Mom" participants at the Royal Thai Army Stadium during this weekend ran smoothly without a need for road blocking as earlier planned.

Gen Pisit Sitthisarn, chairman of the "Bike for Mom” rally organizing subcommittee, revealed that people needed to queue up twice, first for their registration and verification and the second time in the afternoon for collecting the souvenirs. The 40,000 participants each received a set of t-shirt and pin. Fifteen thousand participants reportedly picked up their souvenirs on Saturday, and the rest did so today.

Registered cyclists from different parts of Bangkok coming to the Royal Thai Army Stadium said that they were so proud to be part of the rally. Some of them meant to join the event as it was held only once a year; others felt the same although they could not get a t-shirt.

There were also a wide range of sideline activities available for cyclists such as exhibitions in honor of the Queen and free health checks.

Vibhavadi Rangsit Road was not blocked as planned earlier. Police were deployed along the road from the Veterans General Hospital to Sutthisan Intersection to manage traffic flow during the event and they did it well.


Prime Minister eyes to boost Thai competitiveness

BANGKOK, 26 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has called for cooperation from the public, private and civil sectors in pushing forward an action plan of the National Committee on Competitive Advantage (NCC), a national body who maps out path of Thai competitiveness in the world’s stage.

The Prime Minister made the call while chairing the NCC's second meeting of 2015, saying competitiveness building is a task that needs continual integrated efforts. The NCC comprises six sub-committees in charge of economic stability, human resource development, administrative and customs practices. It takes role in drawing up plans that synchronizes with the national strategy on "Stability, Prosperity, Sustainability” and the Twelfth National Economic and Social Development Plan.

The second meeting of the NCC approved the action plan proposed to create a follow-up mechanism to assess and measure achievements of the plan in every three months. It hoped to reach a concrete achievement within two years.

At an early stage of the plan, the NCC would emphasize on the promotion of private sector’s competitiveness and productivity, the value adding process of products and services of potential economic clusters, and the development of human resources and infrastructure.


Farmers in Phrae begin rice cultivation as a little rain resumes

PHRAE, 26 July 2015 (NNT) Farmers in the northern province of Phrae have begun rice cultivation after scattered showers were seen all over the area in the past several days, bringing in more water to agricultural lands and the Yom River.

Water record at Huai Sak Station on the Yom River in Song District showed a height of 1.18 meters on Sunday (26 Jul) with the flowing speed of 14.42 cubic meters per second.

Mae Yom Reservoir under the Mae Yom Water Distribution and Maintenance Project, with its longest concrete reservoir in Thailand, is receiving 16.5 cubic meters of water per second.

Phrae Governor Sak Somboonto says that the drought disaster in the province has ended but it is still under the effect of an ongoing dry spell. Due to rain suspensions, 91,780 people in 37,200 households living in 62 subdistricts in eight districts have been affected. The shortage of rain has threatened 4,770 rai of corn plantations, 4,960 rai of rice plantations, and 100 rai of garden crops. A preliminary survey of the damage included 4.15 million baht loss of income.


NRC stresses South’ s need to boost power production

BANGKOK, 26 July 2015 (NNT) A member of the National Reform Council (NRC) has highlighted the need for Southern Thailand to increase its power reserves to handle its rapidly growing demand.

In the wake of the recent outcry by the anti-coal power plant group in Krabi Province, NRC member for energy Mr. Manoon Siriwan commented that Southern Thailand could face power shortages in the next few years, if the region still relied on existing sources only.

According to Mr. Manoon, Southern provinces’ power usage has jumped five percent per year or about 200 megawatts, which is the second highest of the country following Bangkok. With the ratio of the yearly electricity production to consumption being 2,800: 2,300, there is the possibility that the region might experience an energy crisis in three years’ time.

However, the NRC member did not state openly if he advocated the much-debated construction of a coal power plant, but suggested that critics of coal-derived power help look for new energy sources that were more sustainable.

Mr. Manoon, also an energy expert, remarked that the palm oil-based energy production recommended by conservationists could be an eco-friendly alternative, but it could lead to price fluctuation in the event of material shortages. He indicated that consumers would bear the brunt of the unpredictable cost of this kind of renewable energy at the end of the day.


NLA member holds public meeting on national reform in Chumphon

CHUMPHON, 26 July 2015 (NNT) Maj Gen Kolchai Suvanboon, a member of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), held a meeting on national reform with local residents in Chumphon at the Central Agricultural Market in Wangmai, Mueang District.

At the meeting, he told the people that national reform was a must as it was demanded by all groups of activists in the recent political developments. The country was beset with economic, social and many other problems, prompting the need to overhaul the whole system.

"Many problems and obstacles derived from outdated laws and regulations that could not keep pace with the fast-changing society. NLA, as the legislator, must take a leading role in strengthening the legal foundation of the country," noted Maj Gen Kolchai.

He said his meeting with local people during the weekend was not the duty of an NLA member, but he found that it gave him a chance to directly explain the reform process to locals and learn the actual problems in localities. It helps create a better pulic attitude towards the NLA and the national reform. He stressed the information gained would be useful to his consideration and decision making in the law-making process.


Misinformation main cause of conflicts in Thai society

BANGKOK, 26 July 2015 (NNT) The Reconciliation Center for Reform has arranged forums on reform in 11 fields during the first six months of the 2015 fiscal year. It found that people thought the main reason of conflicts in the Thai society is misinformation.

The Reconciliation Center for Reform was an initiative of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha whose main policy is to create reconciliation and unity among Thais. The center’s forums held nationwide since last year have concluded opinions voiced by the participants. Most of them blamed the conflicts on misinformation and agreed that the government should finish reforming the country in a stable and sustainable manner before a general election

More than 3,300 forums and 11 fairs to promote unique Thai characteristics have been organized with the objectives to promote civic virtue and national unity.


Ministry of Transport to quicken MRT Purple Line launch

BANGKOK, 26 July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Transport has decided to quicken the launch of Metropolitan Rapid Transit Purple Line, as the construction is nearing completion.

According to Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, the opening of the MRT Purple Line will be either in April or May 2016, instead of August 2016 as previously planned.

During his trip to Japan in April, ACM Prajin discussed the Ministry of Transport’s plan to reschedule the inauguration of the new MRT route with the Japanese company which undertakes the construction of carriages. The firm agreed to speed up their work to meet the new time frame.

The first batch of three trains is expected to reach the country in September for a test run in December. However, ACM Prajin said the Mass Rapid Transit Authority was still non-committal about the plan, since the operation of the trains also depends on readiness of the safety system and personnel.

The 23-kilometer MRT Purple Line runs from Bangkok’s Bang Sue District to Bang Yai District in Nonthaburi Province. Its launch is aimed at facilitating residents who have to commute between the suburb province and Bangkok and vice versa.


Education ministry setting up center to promote Thailand as education hub

BANGKOK, 26 July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Education is establishing a center to develop Thailand as the education hub of ASEAN. The center will coordinate ASEAN-related affairs and implement the association’s policies at the local level.

Deputy Government Spokesman Maj.Gen. Sansern Kaeokamnerd said the goal of the ministry’s development of Thailand as the ASEAN education hub was to internationalize education in the junior-high and high school levels. These schools must be prepared to provide education for both Thai and foreign students in ASEAN. The center would also act as a source of information and research on ASEAN and train people to handle competition at the regional level, Maj.Gen. Sansern added.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha agreed with the establishment of the center which was in line with the government’s national reform efforts and preparations for the AEC, said the deputy government spokesman.


Heavy rains forecast in Northeast

UBON RATCHATHANI, 26 July 2015 (NNT) The Meteorological Department has forecast heavy rains in the Northeast during this week.

The monsoon trough which passed through the upper North of Laos and reached the equatorial trough in the upper North of Vietnam will cause cloudbursts in 60-70 percent of the region between July 26 and 30.

Farmers are advised to prevent their paddies from blast disease and keep their cattle away from muddy or wet ground and the weather condition during the period will be conducive to foot-and-mouth disease.

Other regions will experience cloudy sky and scattered thunder showers in 30-40 percent of the areas during today and tomorrow.


Blue t-shirt sales surge, as Bike For Mom nears

RATCHABURI, 26 July 2015 (NNT) Blue t-shirts with a Bike For Mom logo have become hot items for many Thai people, as the eagerly-awaited tribute activity for HM the Queen is approaching.

People who failed to register for the Bike For Mom cycling activity are browsing around the shops to snap up blue t-shirts carrying the campaign’s symbol or any phrases showing their love for Her Majesty the Queen. Prices range from 100 to 350 baht apiece.

The skyrocketing demand has led to some outlets selling out their stock. Meanwhile, garment factories are speeding up their production of blue t-shirts to meet the trend. Still, extra outputs are not enough to satisfy buyers’ craving for Bike For Mom t-shirts.

Bike For Mom is scheduled for August 16 across the country. Participants are to cycle along designated routes as a tribute to Her Majesty the Queen. The project is aimed at celebrating the 83rd birthday anniversary of HM the Queen on August 12.


DDC warns of spread of Dengue

BANGKOK, July 2015 (NNT) The spread of mosquito-borne virus is warned throughout the country after over 35,000 cases of dengue fever were found in the past seven months.

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) has issued a warning for people to monitor the illness which might happen due to the water storing habit of people during the currently long period of drought.

An alert is also given on upcoming rains which can cause dengue to spread. Mosquito eggs laid on disposed containers or soil surfaces can hatch months or years later whenever they are flooded with water. The larvae can hatch within 30 minutes before turning into adult mosquitoes within a period of 7 days.

According to the DDC, there are 35,591 cases of dengue fever reported from 1st January to 21st July this year with 26 deaths. Most cases of infection were found in a group of students aged between 10 and 14 years, following by 5-9 years. The most affected areas are Tak, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Phetchaburi provinces.

This year, there are two times more of reported cases of Dengue Fever than last year, an official says. The Department expected around 60,000-70,000 cases to be found by the end of the year.

The dengue fever is a blood-borne virus found mostly in Southeast Asia. Most symptoms include high fever, body rash, severe headaches, dizziness, muscles and joint pains with no runny nose. Hospitalization is required for the treatment.

According to Dr. Sopon Mekthon, the DDC Director-General, the Department prepares to fight against the disease spread with environmental management plan, stepped-up communication with the people and organizing provincial teams to monitor the situation. The public are now urged to spray mosquito repellents both inside and outside the premises. The government sector will conduct war room conferences and prepare medical personnel for the campaign.


Government to launch a Mothers' Fair near Govt House

BANGKOK, July 2015 (NNT) To celebrate the Mother’s Day festival, the government is preparing to hold a fair especially geared to mothers at Klong Padung Krung Kasem.

The Ministry of Industry has been assigned to be the main organizer of the event while the Ministry of Culture and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will be the key supporters. Objectives of the program are to commemorate the August 12 birthday anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen, raise awareness of the role of mothers and promote mother and child industries.

The event will bring together selected producers and distributors of mother and child items and services, which will be offered at affordable prices. The fair will take place from August 3 until 23 at Klong Padung Krung Kasem beside Government House. Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha will chair the opening ceremony.


"Healthy City, Community Way of Life Fair” remains crowded with beauty product fans

BANGKOK, July 2015 (NNT) The "Healthy City, Community Way of Life Fair” held at Klong Phadung Krung Kasem Canal remained crowded with visitors buying a wide range of health products.

Highlights of this week were herbal products for beauty. Numerous beauty salons put up booths to demonstrate their products and provide such service as facial spa, facial treatment with herbal ball, belly burning, and even such healthy menus as mixed-mushroom spicy salad for men and cowslip creeper salad for women.

The Department of Health demonstrated many forms of exercises such as Thai hermit exercise, weight-lifting, rhythm dance for weight control. A hundred of visitors were given free bamboo baskets of medicines as a reward for getting diphtheria and tetanus vaccinations.

According to the Department of Thai Traditional and Complementary Medicine, there were almost 100,000 visitors to the event during the past sixteen days from 7-22 July, bringing over fifteen million baht to sellers. Herbal products with high demand were Wiping Spray containing Pomelo Peel Oil, skincare, soaps, cream and cosmetics made from herbs, especially turmeric and Blue Pea Flowers (Anchan), anti-aging foods as well as herbal drinks such as ginseng coffee mixed with ten herbs.

Most visitors agreed that the event gave them a good access to high quality products and simultaneously useful information on health care.


Southern Thailand still needs more power, PM emphasizes

BANGKOK, July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has insisted on the need to provide sufficient power for the southern region of Thailand due to rising demand.

His reiteration was made three days after over a hundred activists of the Save Andaman from Coal Network proposed three requests against a coal-fired power project in Krabi Province, near southern Thailand’s Andaman coast.

Gen Prayut said the government did not accept their requests but took them into account. He expected joint discussion with the opponents, believing that it would lead to the best solution to power shortage in the region.

He pointed out whatever source of power will be chosen, the government must raise public understanding about the power plant project. He stressed that an EIA process is still in need. Otherwise, the project is unable to move forward.

The government would re-consider building power plants that use alternative sources such as oil palms. However, it also needs to look into the volume of power from such raw materials and a pipe line system to be built.

He pleaded Thai people not to link the power plant project with political conflicts and not to take a hunger strike. The government has already listened to them and also expected them to hear its voice.

On the topic of the power plant auction scheduled for August 5, the Prime Minister said the bidding should be finalized after a joint discussion with all related parties.


NLA submits teen pregnancy legislation to Min of Health for consideration

BANGKOK, July 2015 (NNT) The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has forwarded legislation on curbing teen pregnancy to the Cabinet for consideration.

The NLA had deliberated the 28 section bill which seeks to provide adolescents with proper sex education at schools.

The bill was then submitted to the Ministry of Health for consideration, which will provide feedback and suggestions on the bill within 20 days in order for the NLA to finally hold a vote.


DSI inks deal with DTI to develop smartphone app

BANGKOK, 23 July 2015 (NNT) The Department of Special Investigation has signed an MOU with the Defense Technology Institute to develop a new smartphone defense application.

The DSI and the DTI have entered into a 5-year agreement to cooperate in the research and development of a map-based database, DSI Map Extend, that is hoped to better tackle crimes. The design of the smartphone application which is part of the database will be completed within a year's time.

The DSI has elaborated that as crime patterns become increasingly complicated due to technological advancement, the department aims to develop a more efficient tool to adapt to the changes. The application will allow members of the public to report crimes and to help the state monitor suspicious activities.

The app will be ready for the public to download for use at no charge by the end of this year. The trial will first be run on the Android platform before being re-launched on iOS.


Chiang Mai chosen to host ASOSAI meeting

CHIANG MAI, July 2015 (NNT) Chiang Mai Province will host the 50th Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions' (ASOSAI) Governing Board Meeting and an international seminar on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Office of the Auditor General.

The Auditor General Pisit Leelavachiropas today discussed with the Vice Governor of Chiang Mai Nawin Sinthusa-ard and head of the related agencies on the preparations to host the 50th ASOSAI Governing Board Meeting and the international seminar on the occasion of the Office of the Auditor General’s (OAG) 100th anniversary in Chiang Mai Province.

The meeting and seminar will take place during 11-19 February 2016 with participants from ASOSAI’s 42 Asian member countries. The event aims to strengthen cooperation of the OAG with domestic and international agencies. the OAG's staff will be promoted to enter an exchange program to learn on organizational moralities, that will enhance officials' readiness to operate on the international stage.

The Auditor General has said that Chiang Mai Province has been selected to host ASOSAI Governing Board Meeting, due to its beautiful natural scenery and traditions, values that are considered a great accommodate to this meeting.


Vietnam eyes more effective ASEAN cooperation

Vietnam is actively preparing for the inception of the ASEAN Community slated for the year’s end and maximising its opportunities for more effective cooperation.

ASEAN member states have so far achieved about 93 percent of the targets set out in a roadmap to build the community from 2009 to 2015, as reported at a meeting in Hanoi recently.

The function was held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the engagement of representatives from over 20 ministries and sectors involved in ASEAN cooperation.

Participants said Vietnam and other ASEAN member nations are working to realise remaining tasks to ensure the establishment of the ASEAN Community on schedule.

Vietnam has earnestly implemented ASEAN commitments and made active contributions to the bloc’s cooperation across fields.

The country has proactively promoted the solidarity and central role of ASEAN in resolving major challenges in the region and enhanced ASEAN relations with foreign partners.

Local ministries and sectors have launched a number of programmes such as film festivals on ASEAN, the 20 th anniversary of Vietnam’s participation in ASEAN and the ASEAN Week.

Participants agreed on key future tasks such as implementing programmes and plans to build the ASEAN Community, intensifying coordination and information exchanges, disseminating the benefits of the ASEAN Community and improving Vietnam’s cooperation efficiency in the bloc


PM to lead ministers in Bike for Mom rehearsal on July 28

BANGKOK, July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has voiced readiness to organize the Bike for Mom campaign, saying a rehearsal of the activity will be held for Cabinet ministers this July 28.

After chairing a meeting of the committee responsible for facilitating the Bike for Mom event, Prime Minister Prayut affirmed that much progress has already been made. He said he would like to see the event run smoothly as it is intended to give the public an opportunity to unite and pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on her 83rd birthday this year. Moreover, it is hoped to strengthen the people’s love for their mothers while concurrently promoting exercising and environmental conservation.

Personally, the premier has set a goal to complete all 43 kilometers of biking in the Bike for Mom event in Bangkok. He added that, after the Cabinet meeting on July 28, he will lead all ministers in rehearsing the activity before it officially takes place on August 16. However, he has not decided whether the rehearsal will be conducted only within Government House or around the compound as well.

In addition, Gen Prayut stated that bottled water under the Bike for Mom label has been received from His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. With His Royal Highness’s grave concern for drought-affected people, the government will promptly distribute the drinking water to those in need.


Vietnam’s Cultural Days in US to open next month

Vietnam’s Cultural Days will take place between August 8 and 12 in Washington D.C. and New York City, the US, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The event is being jointly held by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnam Embassy to the US and Permanent Mission of Vietnam to the United Nations.

At a press conference in Hanoi on July 21, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Vuong Duy Bien said the Minister Hoang Anh Tuan is scheduled to visit the US during the five-day event to boost cultural exchange between the two nations.

The event will launch with a premier folk music concert entitled “Huong Sac Viet Nam” (Fragrance and Colour of Vietnam) on the evening of August 8 at the Terrace Theatre in the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts, Washington D.C., followed by other two folk music nights at the Millennium Stage of the centre on August 10 and 11, he added.

The performance is expected to bring local audiences and overseas Vietnamese closer to Vietnam’s culture, people and landscapes.

A fashion show slated on August 9 at the Millennium Stage will take several collections of Vietnamese top designers – Minh Hanh, Lan Huong, Quang Nhat and Chula – to the catwalk.

A cultural show “Dem van hoa Viet Nam” (Vietnam’s Cultural Night) and a fashion show featuring the “ao dai” (Vietnam’s traditional long dress) will be also hosted in New York


Drinkers invited to take anti-alcohol pledge during Buddhist Lent

BANGKOK,July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Public Health is inviting people across the country to sign a pledge to stop drinking alcohol during the upcoming Buddhist Lent period.

At The Mall Shopping Center Ngamwongwan in Nonthaburi province, Minister of Public Health Dr Rajata Rajatanavin and Director-General of the Department of Disease Control Dr Sophon Mekthon together inaugurated an anti-alcohol campaign to mark this year’s No Alcohol Day. Under the slogan “Stop Drinking for Youth and Human Resources Development” granted by the Prime Minister, the event is aimed to promote public recognition of alcohol as a major cause of health problems, violence, accidents and premature death.

In compliance with the Cabinet’s resolution, the No Alcohol Day coincides with Buddhist Lent Day, which this year falls on July 31. Therefore, Dr Rajata encouraged all drinkers to pledge their commitment to refraining from alcohol consumption from now until October 27, when the Buddhist Lent will come to an end. The move is also to honor His Majesty the King on the occasion of his 88th birthday anniversary this December.

People can sign their pledge at local health promotion hospitals, temples, public schools and universities, the village headman’s office, community health centers or on the website www.thaiantialcohol.com. All the names will be presented to His Majesty the King following the Buddhist Lent period.

Other activities featured in the anti-alcohol event include seminars, Dharma talks and exhibitions by various organizations.


NRC’s sports reform committee proposes ideas and projects to help Thailand achieve excellence in sports

BANGKOK,July 2015 (NNT) The National Reform Council’s committee in charge of the reform of sports has proposed a series of ideas and projects to help Thailand achieve sporting excellence.

Vice chairman of the NRC’s sports reform committee Chutinant Bhirombhakdi and committee spokesman Gen Jira Komutpong, joined a news conference to provide an update on the reform agenda for sports, which has just received approval from the council’s main meeting.

They said the committee is in the process of adjusting the report on the reform as suggested by the meeting, which will be completed within seven days before presenting it for further deliberation. If green-lighted by the NRC, the report will go to the Cabinet for review.

The committee is also preparing three draft laws, including one related to the establishment of a national sports university, one concerning the national sports council and another which suggests several improvements for the related ministry, departments and divisions.

In the committee’s sports reform plan, a strategy has been devised that involves six points, 36 approaches and 99 projects — all of which adhere to the principle of “Sports for Security and the Promotion of Sustainable Prosperity” which aims at sporting excellence on a par with international standards and a modern sports management system, among many aims.


Moral support for polio cyclist who is riding from Phitsanulok to join Bike for Mom in BKK

PHITSANULOK, July 2015 (NNT) Deputy Police Commissioner-General and Royal Thai Police Spokesperson, Lieutenant General Prawut Thavornsiri, visited a polio patient who will ride a tricycle from Phitsanulok to pick up a Bike for Mom 2015 commemorative t-shirt and pin in Bangkok.

The polio patient, Khampha Keaojin, said he wants to participate in the event, in order to express love for the monarchy and Their Majesties the King and Queen. He also urged all to join his cause in the biking event on August 16th, 2015.

The Deputy Commissioner-General's visit is aimed at boosting moral of the disabled cyclist. Mr. Khampha will be joined by cyclists in Singburi Province on his way to Bangkok. He is expected to reach the capital tomorrow evening and will pick up his Bike for Mom commemorative t-shirt and pin in the morning of July 25.


Bike route commemorating HM the King's 88th birthday anniversary to be built

BANGKOK, July 2015, (NNT) A bike route will be built in commemoration of His Majesty the King's 88th birthday anniversary, which falls on December 5th, 2015, says the Minister of Transport.

According to the Transport Minister, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, the project is a joint effort of the Department of Highways, the Department of Rural Roads, and the Local Administrative Organization. The 182-kilometer-long bike route would start from Thammasat University's Sports Complex in Pathum Thani Province to Chao Phraya Dam in Chainat Province

The Minister said the route would promote bicycle use in everyday life, adding it would also attract tourists to the 5 provinces it passes through, which are Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Sing Buri and Chai Nat.

The route would be separated from the main road to ensure maximum safety for all cycling buffs. A minor rest area will also be built every 5 - 10 kilometers, with a larger one constructed every 15 - 20 kilometers. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.


Reservations for Ban Yang Yuen housing units to commence on August 28

BANGKOK, July 2015 (NNT) The National Housing Authority (NHA) has announced it will on August 28 start taking reservations for units within the 239 "Ban Yang Yuen" housing projects.

According to NHA governor Krishda Raksakul, the Ban Yang Yuen projects, which comprise projects with single homes as well as condominiums, are geared toward low-income people. The prices for those housing units start at between 230,000 baht and 500,000 baht. Buyers will need to put down just 1,000 baht upon reservation, and the monthly installment starts at just 1,500 baht. The NHA will also be seeking out offers of special interest rates from financial institutes for the buyers who will take out mortgage loans.

The NHA will take reservations for units within the Ban Yang Yuen projects during August 28 and September 6. Purchase of the units will be limited to households that earn no more than 40,000 baht per month.


Culture Minister invites Thais to partake in Buddhism Promotion Week

BANGKOK, July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Culture is encouraging all Buddhist Thais to join in the Buddhism Promotion Week .

Culture Minister Weera Rojpotchanarat announced that the Department of Religious Affairs is cooperating with concerned organizations, Sangha networks and the private sector in organizing the Buddhism Promotion Week during July 26-31. The campaign will coincide with Asanha Bucha Day and Buddhist Lent Day which will arrive at the end of this month.

The minister extended his invitation to all devout Buddhists, both in Bangkok and the provinces, to observe the occasion by practicing Dharma principles, donning white and going to temples to join candle-lit processions. People are also encouraged to abstain from all vices during the Buddhism Promotion Week and the Buddhist Lent period and decorate their homes and offices with the Dharmachakra flag.

Many special activities will be made available for public members, including trips to temples along Bangkok Noi Canal and Maha Sawat Canal as well as an orchid plantation and local communities. Similar activities were also held last year and, besides the purpose of making merit, they were found to help generate income for residents and promote cultural learning.


South Korea gives nod to increase in Thai AirAsia X flights to Seoul

BANGKOK, July 2015 (NNT) The Minister of Transport has revealed that South Korea has agreed to allow Thai AirAsia X to conduct additional flights to and from Seoul, starting this October, reflecting the country’s trust in the safety of Thai aviation.

Following his recent meeting with the South Korean Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand, Transport Minister ACM Prajin Juntong disclosed that the Ambassador expressed thanks to Thailand for supporting a South Korean official in becoming the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization. On this occasion, the country also confirmed its cooperation with Thailand in the development of marine transport, particularly between the Port Authority of Thailand and the Busan Port Authority.

Furthermore, permission was granted by South Korea to Thai AirAsia X, Thailand’s low-cost long-haul carrier, to operate more flights between Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok and Incheon International Airport in Seoul in a show of confidence in the Thai Department of Civil Aviation’s ability to address the pending safety issue.

As a result, the airline is scheduled to adjust its flight frequency on the Bangkok-Seoul route from once a day at present to twice a day as of October 25 this year.


Health Dept works to expand its contraceptive service campaign "Be Sure"

BANGKOK, July 2015 (NNT) The Department of Health is determined to expand its contraceptive service campaign entitled “Be Sure” after a considerable number of pharmacists have well responded to the campaign, Director-General of the Health Department Dr.Porntep Siriwanarangsun said.

The Be Sure campaign calls for cooperation from pharmacies as an initial center for people to access birth control services. Pharmacists working in pharmacies across Thailand take a role of a consultant for family planning and contraception.

Since the project’s inception in 2014, the Health Department has conducted three training courses for five hundred pharmacists taking part in the campaign. Most of them work in Bangkok and the rest work in nearby provinces such as Ayutthaya, Saraburi and Chonburi.

After the training, they are able to give contraceptive advice to people in an easily understandable and correct ways based on a guidebook of the department.

Any pharmacist wishing to take part in the training can apply at the Bureau of Reproductive Health. They can search for more information at www.besurethailand.com.

One of the objectives of the campaign is to reduce unintended pregnancy among teenagers in Thailand. Surveys show the majority, or 46% of teenagers get pregnant because of inaccessibility to birth control services; 28% of them take birth control methods on an irregular basis. Moreover, most of the teenagers are reluctant to consult medical experts due to their embarrassment, which prevents them from appropriate contraception.

A total of 125,371 young females aged under 20 gave birth in 2013, or 334 people per day. Of that number, females aged under 15 gave birth to nine babies per day.


MOST to turn nationwide science parks to “Special Space for Innovation”

BANGKOK,July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has planned to turn state-run science parks nationwide to “Special Space for Innovations” where the private sector can invest in scientific researches and contribute to Thailand’s economic growth as a whole, revealed Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Pichet Durongkaveroj.

Mr.Pichet said that the initial project aims to build an innovative-based economic zone of Thailand where private sector uits can inject more budget for scientific researches and, in turn, get special privilege of tax exemption. It is also a forum for younger researchers to meet their peers, seek job opportunities as a researcher, scientist or inventor.

The government has motivated industrial estates to take part in the project. Once those estates contribute part of their areas to set up “Innovative Space”, they can enroll in the development of a sustainable production system for their own industries and at the same time get benefit from the government’s tax incentives and easier mobility around ASEAN.

The initiative of Special Space for Innovation has been proposed to the Committee on Innovation System chaired by the Prime Minister, and will soon be forwarded to the Cabinet after more details are added for completion.


 

DAILY UPDATE

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Thailand committed to fighting human trade despite Tier 3 ranking

Uthai Thani farmers apply HM's Sufficiency Economy, beat national drought

Government supports setting up of new website to promote reform

Vietnam strives to reduce spread of hepatitis

Vietnam to attend Seoul int’l harmonica festival

SRT Commercial Center to be developed at Bang Sue Central Station

BMA rushes assistance to drought-hit residents

45,000 people get Bike for Mom souvenirs

NRC to hold seminar on water management

Songkhla hosts public hearing over coal power plant, amid tight security

Pickup truck owners warned not to add any rooftop extensions to their vehicles

NBTC urges public to use digital TV coupons by July 31

Drought crisis abates in several parts of the country

Ministry of Culture to hold textiles exhibition celebrating HM the Queen

Moms can register to receive new-born subsidy from Sep

BMTA to offer free bus trips to 9 temples during July 30-31

Aviation agencies urged to boost personnel quality

TCEB promotes its Thailand MICE Mart campaign in Phuket

RTP to take action against teen street racing and bars near education institutes

Auction date for the government's inferior rice stock postponed

NRC committee visits Ubon Ratchathani to observe way of life along Chi River

Khao Kheow's blue wildebeest family grows

Nakhon Nayok locals oppose the new industrial city plan

Bike for Mom t-shirt and pin collection runs smoothly during weekend

Prime Minister eyes to boost Thai competitiveness

Farmers in Phrae begin rice cultivation as a little rain resumes

NRC stresses South’ s need to boost power production

NLA member holds public meeting on national reform in Chumphon

Misinformation main cause of conflicts in Thai society

Ministry of Transport to quicken MRT Purple Line launch

Education ministry setting up center to promote Thailand as education hub

Heavy rains forecast in Northeast

Blue t-shirt sales surge, as Bike For Mom nears

DDC warns of spread of Dengue

Government to launch a Mothers' Fair near Govt House

"Healthy City, Community Way of Life Fair” remains crowded with beauty product fans

Southern Thailand still needs more power, PM emphasizes

NLA submits teen pregnancy legislation to Min of Health for consideration

DSI inks deal with DTI to develop smartphone app

Chiang Mai chosen to host ASOSAI meeting

Vietnam eyes more effective ASEAN cooperation

PM to lead ministers in Bike for Mom rehearsal on July 28

Vietnam’s Cultural Days in US to open next month

Drinkers invited to take anti-alcohol pledge during Buddhist Lent

NRC’s sports reform committee proposes ideas and projects to help Thailand achieve excellence in sports

Moral support for polio cyclist who is riding from Phitsanulok to join Bike for Mom in BKK

Bike route commemorating HM the King's 88th birthday anniversary to be built

Reservations for Ban Yang Yuen housing units to commence on August 28

Culture Minister invites Thais to partake in Buddhism Promotion Week

South Korea gives nod to increase in Thai AirAsia X flights to Seoul

Health Dept works to expand its contraceptive service campaign "Be Sure"

MOST to turn nationwide science parks to “Special Space for Innovation”

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