Secretaries shed more light on ‘new neighborhood’ in Hengqin

The new initiative aiming for both sides of the border to jointly develop Hengqin was the centerpiece of a session presented by the Secretary for Administration and Justice, André Cheong, and the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Elsie Ao Ieong, to clarify some practical aspects of what has been dubbed “Macau’s new neighborhood” in Hengqin.
At the media briefing, the Secretaries said the construction of this “new home” for Macau people will facilitate both residential living and employment for local residents, one of the project’s main pillars.
Public services and social security are other matters addressed by the project, which is establishing a connection between the two sides’ systems, aiming to be completely effective by 2035.
The “Macau’s new neighborhood” project addresses matters such as housing, education, health, and social services, the Secretaries remarked, noting that it is expected to provide comfortable living space for around 10,000 residents.
To pursue integration of services with the Macau system, a healthcare center will be built to operate with the same model of external consultation services provided by clinical centers in Macau that are financed by the Health Bureau.
Education facilities are also included in the project, with the building of a school which will give priority admission to students who are residents of Macau. Family and community centers, as well as services catering for the elderly, will also be created.
Ao Ieong noted that the Education and Youth Development Bureau (DSEDJ) is already working to amend an administrative regulation that allows the financing of new schools in this area, as well as other policies to support students, namely providing support with study expenses.
Residents in this area will also be able to access social benefits from both sides, with Macau providing financial support to those wishing to acquire mainland health insurance.
Further measures are expected to be announced by the local government in due course, aiming to progressively develop the area and the laws and regulations that will apply.

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