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Poor turnout for SorPorKor meeting

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Poor turnout for SorPorKor meeting | The Thaiger
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PHUKET TOWN: Only 67 people of the 515 people in Phuket holding SorPorKor 4-01 land occupation papers registered at a meeting with Phuket Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi yesterday. With the central government about to send dozens of investigators to Phuket to check all SorPorKor papers, Gov Pongpayome had asked SorPorKor holders to a one-hour meeting at the Phuket Provincial Meeting Hall. The aim of the meeting was to explain the thinking behind the original issue of the papers, and to answer questions on issues raised by the current investigation ordered by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Afterwards, the Governor said, “We invited people with SorPorKor papers to the meeting because we wanted to ensure they understood what was happening. “People should not be surprised if officers go to see them and ask for their help,” the Governor added. They should cooperate fully and openly, he stressed. “This means that if, for example, you are a hotel owner who has 10 rai of SorPorKor land, you should not tell officials that you are farmer. “The government will examine your sources of income. For instance, if you have profits from a hotel of 10 million baht a year and you get 200,000 baht from your farm, does this mean you are a farmer? “When checking, we will still use the same criteria [as were set out when the SorPorKor scheme was launched in 1994]. We’re not changing the rules. “Don’t worry about anyone giving false information against you, because after we have checked, everything will be doublechecked by the new high-level government committee [under Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh],” the Governor added. The Agriculture Land Reform Office in Phuket has reissued the rules governing the original allocation of SorPorKor papers, which demonstrate how things became so messy in the first place. The rules defined two groups of people who qualified for SorPoKor papers: farmers, and those who wanted to become farmers. But there was no definition of the word “farmer”. Those in the second group had to show that they met one of three criteria: that they were poor; that they had studied agriculture; or that, oddly, they wanted to join the SorPorKor system. The second group also had to prove that they had no land, or that they had not enough land to cover the basic costs of living. “Phuket is different from other provinces,” the Governor said. “In those provinces, farmers applied enthusiastically for SorPorKor papers, but in Phuket not many people were keen [to take up papers that did not confer ownership of land].” Some 30 to 40 officers from the Agriculture Land Reform Department in Bangkok were due to arrive in Phuket yesterday to start checking on SorPorKor papers, but Gov Pongpayome announced that their arrival has been postponed to next Monday so that they can receive additional briefing on how to check the titles. The investigation is part of a wider probe into circumstances surrounding the assassination of the Assistant Chief of the Phuket Provincial Land Office, Pongtorn Hiranyaburana, on April 25. In Phuket, there are 515 parcels of land with SorPorKor titles, covering a total of 10,400 rai.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent

Bill Barnett

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Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent | The Thaiger

Bill Barnett from c9hotelworks.com continues to follow the difficult journey of the Thai hospitality industry. Traditionally, now would be the start of the country’s highly profitable high season for the tourism industry. But not this year. Thai hotels find themselves in the middle of an existential crisis – either still closed, only partly open, or one of the few converted to limited ASQ traffic. The situation is dire, when you consider that between 15-20% of Thailand’s GDP is linked to tourism.

In a speech this week Thailand’s Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke clearly that only when a vaccine is approved, produced, and implemented, would the country open to substantial tourism. Given the current timelines and forecasts, this may not be likely until mid-2021 at the earliest, though subject to advancement if the process could be accelerated, which is unlikely.

For tourism and hotel stakeholders, the writing is on the wall that 2021, for the most part, will see a continued reliance on domestic travellers, and only in 2022 will there be a large-scale return in numbers of overseas visitors.

Given the winter spike in Asia, Europe, and North America of Covid-19, Thailand is not alone in relying on the vaccine to return tourism but the process will not be instant and the re-openings of borders will most certainly be staged.

HERE’s a list of 113 Alternative State Quarantine hotels.

The business reality for Phuket and across Thailand is to plan for the worst in the coming six months and only expect 2022 to see a notable uptick.

Currently, the hotel sector continues to advocate to the Thai government and Central Bank for debt and financing relief measures and assistance in a social security supplement to retain staff.

While it’s negative news, it at least allows for hotels to understand the challenges ahead, plan and adjust their operating models going forward. ‘Survive the downturn’ is the new mantra.

No vaccine, no entry. Read more HERE.

No vaccine, no flight. Read more HERE.

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Phuket

Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: ประชาสัมพันธ์ เทศบาลตำบลวิชิต

Hundreds of residents in Phuket’s Wichit subdistrict attended a workshop focused on reducing stress from to the pandemic-induced economic crisis. A psychologist was even on site to help those who had extreme mental stress and a Buddhist monk taught meditation techniques to reduce physiological effects of stress.

The event was planned in response to an online survey conducted by the municipality asking residents about how much stress they were experiencing from the economic climate. They found that some residents had serious stress issues brought on by the pandemic and financial problems, according to Wichit Mayor Kreetha Chotiwichphiphat.

“The loss of income due to the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 situation has resulted in some people in the area suffering serious stress, which can lead to serious mental health issues.”

Around 350 people attended the event. The mayor says it was the first step in caring for the residents’ mental health. Local officials plan to hold similar workshops in the future.

“It was a good opportunity for people to realise the importance of mental health and to learn techniques of how to deal with stress, which will help people to maintain their physical health and avoid developing mental health problems.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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