On 27th October 2021, the Government issued ‘Decree No. 93/2021/ND-CP’ detailing the mobilization, receipt, distribution and use of voluntary contributions towards relief from natural disasters, epidemics, incidents, and providing financial aid to patients with critical illnesses. This Decree replaces’ Decree No. 64/2008/ND-CP’ and will take effect from 11th December 2021. The promulgation of this above Decree led to overcoming major obstacles to charity activities in Vietnam. It has created a stronger legal corridor for organizations and individuals to mobilize, receive and distribute voluntary contributions and also for those supporting such charitable activities.
The following article hall refer to the outstanding provisions of ‘Decree No. 93/2021/ND-CP’ in mobilizing, receiving and distributing voluntary contributions made by individuals.
1. Individuals regulated by the decree
‘Decree No. 93/2021/ND-CP’ (“New Decree”) has added more subjects who can mobilize, receive and distribute voluntary contributions. Apart from ‘Central Committee of the Fatherland Front’, and ‘Vietnam Red Cross Association’ at all levels and the agencies/units run by these organizations, central and local mass media agencies, social funds, and charity funds, the new Decree adds the following subjects:
- Enterprises, cooperatives and other organizations with legal status have the right to participate in mobilizing, receiving and distributing voluntary contributions to overcome difficulties caused by natural disasters, epidemics and incidents, and support patients with critical illnesses.
- Individuals with full civil act capacity are entitled to participate in mobilizing, receiving and distributing voluntary contributions to overcome difficulties caused by natural disasters, epidemics and incidents, and support patients with critical illnesses.
So, ‘Decree No. 64/2008/ND-CP’ (“Old Decree”) did not who were allowed to conduct charity.
In recent years, individuals making charitable donations have risen but there were no regulations governing the mobilization of such individual contributions. Absence of regulation without ban on such activities encourages individuals to do charity leading to individual philanthropy without principles, inconsistency, and charity profiteering. This causes distrust and bad opinion among the society.
Thankfully, the new Decree has created a legal basis for managing the mobilization and donation of money by individuals, in line with moral and ethical principles.
2. Regulations on mobilizing and receiving voluntary contributions of individuals
2.1. Liability of notification
Firstly, when mobilizing, receiving and distributing voluntary donations to provide relief activities during natural disasters, epidemics and incidents, individuals are responsible for announcing such activities on the media. The notice must include details like:
- Purpose, scope, method and form of mobilization.
- Receiving account (for money), receiving location (for kind).
- The individual must have commission period within which the voluntary contributions must be distributed.
Second, the individual must send a notification letter to the commune-level ‘People’s Committee’ at the place of his/her residence in prescribed form to help monitor and provide information at the request of organizations and individuals contributing or receiving. This also helps the authorities to guide, monitor, inspect, examine, supervise and handle violations. The notice includes information as disclosed in the social media.
2.2. Requirements to be met by individuals to call for charity
When mobilizing, receiving and distributing voluntary contributions to support natural disasters, epidemics, and incidents, individuals are responsible for complying with the following requirements:
- Individuals must open separate accounts at commercial banks for each campaign to receive and manage all voluntary contributions.
- They must arrange suitable places to receive, manage and preserve in-kind donations and voluntary contributions during the receiving period.
- They must provide the receipt for voluntary contributions received in cash or in kind upon request of the contributing organization or individual.
- They shall not accept more voluntary contributions after the end of the notified period.
- They shall notify the place of opening the bank account for cessation of receiving voluntary contributions.
3. Regulations on distribution and use of voluntary contributions
After mobilizing and receiving voluntary contributions, individuals must perform the following tasks:
- Notify the People’s Committee where the contribution is received (province, district, commune level. If necessary, individuals can contact the provincial People’s Committee for support and guidance).
- Coordinate with the People’s Committee to determine the scope, audience, level and time of support and ensure the distribution and use of voluntary donations in accordance with the notification. The Decree also stipulates that individuals must coordinate with the People’s Committee to handle contributions with conditions and specific addresses in accordance with the
- For the remaining contribution, the requested individual must comply with the following rules:
- Agreement with contributing organizations and individuals regarding the plan for distribution and use; or
- Transferring to ‘Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees’ to implement social security policies in compliance with the goals of the contributing organizations and individuals.
- Borne the expenses of mobilizing, receiving, distributing and using voluntary contributions (except in cases where the contributing organizations and individuals agree to pay from voluntary contributions).
4. Publicity and information about the mobilization, receipt, distribution and use of voluntary contributions of individuals
Individuals performing volunteering activities through advocacy and receiving voluntary contributions are responsible for providing transparent information as follows:
- Must summarize and publish the expenses for mobilizing, receiving, distributing and using voluntary donations in case these expenses are not self-financed.
- Must ensure transparency by opening a logbook with full details about the receipt and distribution of voluntary donations in-kind and those receiving such donations, and locations including conditional receipts and specific addresses (if any).
- Publish on the media and send the results in writing to the People’s Committee of the commune for public posting at the agency’s headquarters within 30 days.
The content and time of publication are also specified as follows:
- Letter on calling and mobilizing organizations and individuals to contribute money and in-kind voluntary contributions – right after being promulgated.
- Period, place and method of receiving money and kind of voluntary contributions – from 1-3 days before the starting implementation.
- Results of mobilizing, receiving and distributing voluntary donations:
- Publish the total amount of money and artifacts mobilized and received no later than 15 days after the receiving period.
- Publish the total amount of money and in-kind that has been distributed and used within 30 days after the distribution and usage period.
- Objects, policies and levels of support – from the beginning of implementation and distribution of money and in-kind contributions for voluntary contributions.
- Must provide information at the request of competent authorities in accordance with the law.
Thus, the provisions of ‘Decree 93/2021/ND-CP’ have laid down the legal requirements for individuals calling for charity, creating favorable conditions for individuals to mobilize, receive, distribute, and utilize voluntary donations for charity. This ensures the spirit and fairness of charitable activities. On the other hand, the promulgation of the above regulations also helps state agencies to manage this sensitive field effectively and synchronously, avoiding inequities in the process. Most importantly, this prevents distortion and profiteering from volunteer work.