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Vietnam mulls financial reward for childbirth in aging populace

Vietnam mulls financial reward for childbirth in aging populace

Friday, October 29, 2021, 10:28 GMT+7
Vietnam mulls financial reward for childbirth in aging populace
A family in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

A draft version of Vietnam’s Law on Population looks to incentivize birth rates in places with an aging population, including Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong Province, with a one-off bonus for each child delivery.

The Vietnamese government will encourage each household in low-fertility regions to have at least two children, according to the bill.

They will offer a reward of no less than a month of the minimum wage for a woman’s first childbirth, or no less than two months of minimum wage for her second child delivery.

As prescribed in a government decree this year, a minimum monthly wage in Vietnam can range from VND3-4.4 million ($132-194), depending on each region’s economic status. 

This means a mother in Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest economic hub that applies the highest wage level, will receive some VND8.8 million ($387) after delivering her second child. 

A pair of parents having at least two children will have their kids admitted to public kindergartens and elementary schools by the government.

They will also have their tuition waived when attending public middle schools.

The draft law also proposes intervention measures for high-fertility regions, such as a bonus for any ethnic minority woman, or any woman married to an ethnic minority husband, who has had two children and does not plan to have more. 

The proposal also advocates for free supplies of birth control for women, as well as orientation sessions for soon-to-be-married couples.

This is the first time Vietnam has ever proposed a reward bonus for childbirth after many provinces and cities, most of which are located in the south, have seen the birth rate plunging in recent years.

As per the document, 21 provinces and cities in southern Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Khanh Hoa, Ben Tre, and Da Nang, are reporting a birth rate of less than two children per mother, which is Vietnam’s replacement level fertility, or the rate at which the population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next, without migration.

In recent years, the fertility rate in Ho Chi Minh City has dropped to 1.3-1.5, the lowest in the country.

A decision issued in April 2020 by then-Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc encouraged people to marry before they are 30 and bear children early.

Women should have their second child before 35, it suggested.

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