BANGKOK, 1 May 2015 – The Royal Thai Police has launched the "Empowerment" strategic center, aiming to raise public participation in crime suppression and traffic solutions.

Speaking at the opening of the center on Friday, Pol Gen Chalermkiat Srivorakan, Deputy Police Commissioner-General said the project would draw public cooperation in combating crimes and traffic problems in their own community. They will be asked to keep a watchful eye on the situation in their neighborhood and inform the police of any suspicious movement. The information is expected to help the police tackle crimes faster.

Bangkok has been picked as the pilot site of the project which will be assessed every three months before more centers are considered in other provinces.

BANGKOK, 1 May 2015 - The president of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) says a revision of the 2014 interim Constitution is needed if a public referendum were to be staged.

NLA President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai said the interim Constitution has not authorized the NCPO Chief to hold a public referendum for the draft constitution, but gives the NCPO and the Cabinet the power under Article 46 to propose charter amendments to the NLA for approval. So the decision to make changes to the new Constitution solely rests on the law makers.

He concluded that if a referendum were to take place, the provisional charter must be amended first, through the utilization of Article 46. He added that Article 44 of the interim charter has been designed as a tool for the NCPO to carry out the 3-step roadmap to its goals, not for the NCPO chief to use power more than that invested upon him by the constitution.

Mr Pornpetch also seconded PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s comment that the issue concerning referendums should not be raised at the moment and will not be discussed at the next “Five Rivers” meeting.

BANGKOK, 1 May 2015  – The Department of Fisheries is set to introduce its Port in – Port out system to all 22 seaside provinces on May 6 in a latest bid to crack down on illegal, unreported and unregistered (IUU) fishing.

Starting from May 6 onwards, operators of fishing boats of 30 gross tonnage or over will be required to give Port in – Port out centers necessary details of their boats, such as vessels’ license code, fishing equipment and identities of crew members within 24 hours before departure and entry. The procedure applies to all outgoing to incoming boats.

The scheme was earlier piloted in the southern provinces of Chumphon, Ranong, Songkhla and Phuket during April. The results were proven satisfactory. The Department of Fisheries has already instructed its provincial agencies to boost their PR campaigns to prepare the fishing industry for upcoming fishery laws which will come into effect in June.

The Department of Fisheries expects that the Port in – Port out system coupled with intense efforts of related agencies will enable the country to solve IUU fishing and human trafficking within the six-month deadline stipulated by the European Union, leading to the EU withdrawing its yellow card issued to the country.

SURAT THANI, 1 May 2015 -The Department of Fisheries will introduce the port-in port-out system on May 6th in its attempt to resolve illegal unregulated and unreported fishing (IUU) in Thailand.

Department of Fisheries Director General Jumpol Sanguansin said the system will first be piloted on fishing vessels of 30 tons gross or more.

They will be required to notify authorities both before leaving and when returning from the sea voyages within 24 hours. They are to reveal the number of people working on board, the type of equipment they use and the species of their catch.

Mr. Jumpol said he is confident that the system will soon have the fishing industry under control as fishing vessels, their operators, and workers are obligated to obtain a license and work permits before they are allowed to leave the shore.

BANGKOK, 1 May 2015 – Thailand MICT and Japan MIC has signed an agreement on joint ICT development under the Thailand - Japan Summit framework, according to a Thai official.

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) Pornchai Rujiprapa has revealed the outcome of the bilateral discussion with Japan’s Minister of International Affairs and Communications (MIC) Sanae Takaichi on 30 April 2015 at the government house regarding both countries' cooperation on the information and communication technology (ICT) area.

At the meeting, both countries have discussed cooperation in utilizing ICT for disaster prevention, cyber security, postal service, public and private collaboration, and as well as cooperation within the ASEAN framework.

Thailand and Japan have also signed a joint communique on ICT cooperation between both states, while this agreement is a result of the previous meeting between the Prime Ministers of Thailand and Japan, at the Thailand - Japan Summit on 9 February 2015 in Tokyo.

Thailand MICT and Japan MIC have also held a joint discussion on ‘Thailand - Japan Public and Private sector ICT Joint Business Dialogue’ at the Conrad Hotel, Bangkok, to encourage cooperation between the government and private sector. They also exchanged expertise and opinions on ICT subjects, including Cyber Security, ICT for disaster management, Postal service, and Cooperation of ICT utilization.

Saturday, 02 May 2015 10:34

BMA prepared to handle natural disasters

BANGKOK, 1 May 2015 -The Office of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has instructed its units to be prepared for future natural disasters due to extreme weather conditions.

BMA Permanent Secretary Sanya Cheenimit said many units including the Department of Drainage and Sewerage, the Public Works Department, the Department of the Environment, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and the Traffic and Transportation Department have been instructed to devise a plan to handle various types of natural disaster that could occur in Bangkok.

The Permanent Secretary has indicated that the BMA’s response to an emergency situation is fast and effective, given how quickly its team removed fallen electricity poles, which were knocked down by the wind, from a street in Bangkok earlier this week.

He is also encouraging people to share information that can be helpful to other Bangkokians via Facebook, at facebook.com/bkk.best and twitter at BKK_best. They can also report any emergency situation by calling 1555.

As for earthquakes, the BMA will inspect buildings and make sure they are strong enough to withstand tremors. Their owners are encouraged to coordinate with BMA units in conducting an evacuation drill frequently.

BANGKOK, 1 May 2015  - The State Enterprises Workers’ Relation Confederation (SERC) has called on the government to increase the minimum wage to 360 Baht per day.

The group argued that the current minimum wage of 300 Baht per day is not enough to sustain today’s increased cost of living. They gathered in front of Parliament on the occasion of the Labor Day before proceeding to the Victory Monument.

The group’s leaders also called on Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to use his overriding power granted by section 44 of the interim constitution towards reducing social inequality. The group assured that today’s rally is not an anti-government demonstration, but rather a movement in support of using governmental power for the benefit of laborers.

Other demands made by the group included labor laws that combat human-trafficking, the reform of worker rights and the objection to the restructuring of state enterprises.

BANGKOK, 1 May 2015 -The Thai government has successfully helped rice farmers produce more grains at a lower cost via a new program designed to improve rice growing efficiency.

The government has claimed its new program provides full-cycle supervision to every stage of rice farming starting from production to grain quality control and market opportunities.

Under the program, white rice farmers are able to increase the productivity per rai from 729 kilograms previously to 870 kilograms nowadays. Their production costs have declined by around 3,000 baht per ton since the program was introduced.

Jasmine rice growers have also seen their productivity increase with around 100 kilograms more of rice produced per rai and were able to save as much as 3,000 baht per ton in production capital.

Farmers participating in the program have found that they can sell their grains at 30% higher than the market prices as many silo owners and buyers are joining in the program.

Saturday, 02 May 2015 10:25

PM presides over May Day ceremony

BANGKOK, 1 May 2015 – Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha is scheduled to preside over the opening ceremony of May Day at Sanam Luang, where members of various labor networks will participate in a number of activities.

Saturday, 02 May 2015 10:22

NLA considers key draft bills

BANGKOK, 1 May 2015 - The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is considering many key bills, as well as questions for the Prime Minister in its meeting today.

Draft laws tabled for NLA consideration today include those dealing with maritime labour, working capital, city planning, anti-corruption and public gatherings.

The NLA will also consider asking Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha regarding how members of the Klong Chan Credit Union Cooperative have been compensated following the embezzlement case involving Dhammakaya Temple.

Finally, the legislative body will ask the Social Development and Human Security Minister about the rehabilitation program for communities in Din Daeng district.

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