Vietnamese police offer food, entertainment as queue for ID registration lasts till midnight
In Ho Chi Minh City, registration booths for the chip-based ID card are staying open until midnight to collect forms and information from citizens, with food, air conditioners, and TV shows in place for the waiting queue.
As witnessed in Linh Trung and Tam Binh Wards of Ho Chi Minh City’s Thu Duc City, ID card registration at the local police stations is not closed until the early hours in the morning, despite the official opening time frame being from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.
According to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondents, at around 1:00 am on Wednesday, the crowd at Tam Binh Ward’s ID registration booth barely waned, while police officers still worked on high gear to collect documents from applicants.
While waiting for their turns, the citizens could enjoy comedy programs on a TV screen that local police installed for the crowd’s entertainment.
Officers in Tam Binh Ward also provided fruits and snacks for the queue.
Registration booths for chip-based ID cards in Linh Trung Ward, Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City stay open at midnight, April 7, 2021. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre
The ward has completed 60 percent out of its workload of issuing 10,000 chip-based ID cards for the citizens, an officer revealed.
As most residents can only come to the police station outside of the office working hours, the queue at registration booths can sustain until midnight.
D.T.T., 50, a local resident of Tam Binh Ward, just completed the registration process at 1:00 am.
She could only make time to get her ID done after midnight, but it came as a surprise to her that the local registration booth was still up and running at that time.
Registration booths for chip-based ID card in Tam Binh and Linh Trung Wards in Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City stay open at midnight, April 7, 2021. Video: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre
Echoing T.’s sentiment, Le Hong Phong, 53, from Linh Trung Ward, said he was pleased to get his ID done during night hours as he has to work an office job during the day.
Many other registration booths in Ho Chi Minh City have also opened late at night to meet citizens’ demand, including one in Ward 9 of Go Vap District, where many individuals and households were seen waiting for their turns around 10:00 pm on Tuesday.
“We have to bring our kids to the registration booth at this late hour as we have to work during the day, while no one else will take care of them at night,” said Lau Thi Phuong, a mother from the locale.
“Our families are treated to soft drinks and snacks while waiting."
A household is waiting for their turns at a registration booth for chip-based ID cards in Ward 9, Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, April 6, 2021. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre
According to Tran Thi Dam, deputy chairman of the Ward 9 People’s Committee under Go Vap District, the ID registration venue of the locale is required to stay open from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm, but the work may drag on to 1:00 am as the case file count can soar up to 450 per day.
“Considering the scorching weather, we have utilized our air-conditioned meeting hall as the waiting room to provide citizens with more comfortable waiting time,” Dam said.
People with a disability, senior citizens and pregnant women will get prioritized in the queue for ID registration, she added.
The ward expects to complete their ID card issuance work by April 11.
A senior citizen files registration for chip-based ID cards in Ward 9, Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, April 6, 2021. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre
In September 2020, then-Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved a proposal by the Ministry of Public Security to roll out chip-based national ID cards.
The ministry inaugurated the distribution of barcode-based ID cards in 2016.
So far, this design is only available in 16 cities and provinces nationwide, with a total of 16 million cards issued, while the rest of the population are still sticking to the old 9- and 12-digit paper ID versions.
Chip-based ID cards only differ from previous versions in the addition of an electronic chip, while other information, including the ID number, will remain unchanged.
Addressing recent conspiracies on the new card design, officials of Ho Chi Minh City recently affirmed that the new ID card has no tracking function.