Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 has fined 29 people for urinating in public this month in the latest crackdown on a range of violations that "affect the city’s image."
Phan Trong Hung, an official of District 1’s Urban Management Division, said most of the violators apologized and promised not to repeat their act.
Those who committed the act for the first time were fined VND200,000 (US$9) and ordered to clean the spots they had urinated on with water, he said.
Anyone who repeat their act will be fined VND300,000 ($13.40), as stated in a government decree. The decree was introduced in 2013, but public urination bans are not strictly enforced in most of the country.
Ho Chi Minh City seems determined this time. After signing the tickets, violators are required to come to the city’s State Treasury to pay the fine within 10 days. If they fail to do so, the district government will inform authorities of the places they are based in of their violation.
If they still refuse to pay, enforcement measures will be applied, including the seizure of property or deduction of salary. In serious cases, offenders can have their faces and names publicized.
Doan Ngoc Hai, deputy chairman of District 1 People’s Committee, said the district launched the latest crackdown on acts such as public urinating, littering and public smoking following the city government’s order to improve the city's image.
He said enforcement officers will use cameras and mobile phones as well as security cameras to record the violations.
Public urination is quite common in the city, and across Vietnam, where there is a fundamental lack of public toilets.
There are more than 200 public toilets in the city, many of which fail to meet required hygiene standards, and many residents tend to choose to either restrain themselves or simply sneak behind a tree, a wall or a bus to relieve themselves.