– Seoul announced the「50 New Seoul City Policies for 2014」
① Release of 6 main regulations for running a child care center on the Internet
② Expansion of non-smoking areas from restaurants larger than 150㎡ to those larger than 100㎡
③ Expansion of eco-friendly free school meals to middle school third graders and raise of the unit cost
④ Implementation of a report reward system, giving maximum 50,000 won to those who report the damage to street facilities
⑤ Opening of DDP and 5 kinds of facilities including art halls, a museum, business centers, amenities and a park
⑥ Information on the completed sections of the route 2014
– All the information can be checked on the city website, http://opengov.seoul.go.kr
-The city government will provide a variety of effective polices in terms of welfare, transportation and culture
The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced the「50 New Seoul City Policies for 2014」on December 27th(Friday). The announcement includes many new policies which are improved and revised in order to enhance the quality of citizens’ life.
The beneficiaries of eco-friendly free school meals will be expanded from the students at elementary schools, first and second graders at middle schools up to middle school third graders next February. The unit cost of the free lunch will be increased by 8% from 2,880 to 3,110 won at elementary schools and 6.8% from 3,840 to 4,100 won at middle schools.
The basic payment of the disability pension for those who are severely disabled will be raised and specified from 94,600 won (Jan. ~ Mar.) and 96,800 won (Apr. ~ Dec.) to 96,800 won (Jan. ~ Mar.), 99,900 won (Apr. ~ Jun.), and 200,000 (Jul. ~ Dec.).
According to the National Health Promotion Act, non-smoking areas will be expanded from general restaurants, eateries, and bakeries larger than 150㎡ to the areas of the facilities larger than 100㎡ as of 1 Jan. 2014.
In particular, the Seoul city government more focused on the areas of culture such as leisure activities and tourism as well as welfare and transportation. Through this, the City demonstrated its determination to boost tourism and MICE activities in 2014. Last year, the city government had tried to improve polices in the areas of welfare, women and education which were closely linked to living in Seoul.
There have been changes in polices of 10 areas, including Welfare (9), Women (5), Culture (9), Communication (3), Innovation (1), Economy (5), Housing (1), Safety (1), Environment (1) and Transportation (15).
< The raise of basic payment of the disability pension and expansion of beneficiaries from those with an income in the bottom 63% to 70% >
The basic payment of the disability pension for those who are severely disabled will be raised and specified from 94,600 won (Jan. ~ Mar.) and 96,800 won (Apr. ~ Dec.) to 96,800 won (Jan. ~ Mar.), 99,900 won (Apr. ~ Jun.), and 200,000 won (Jul. ~ Dec.) from next year. Also, the beneficiaries will be expanded from those with an income in the bottom 63% (Jan. ~ Dec.) to those with an income in the bottom 70% (Jul. ~ Dec.). Meanwhile, only those with an income in the bottom 63% will receive the payments from Jan. to Jun.
The extra payment for the elderly, who are over 65 and severely disabled so depend on the national basic pension and can not go out by themselves, will be increased from the current 170,000 to 280,000 won.
<Release of 6 main regulations for running a child care center on the Internet >
The main rules and regulations for running a child care center will be opened to the public via the website called i-sarang (http://www.childcare.go.kr) from next year. The 6 main regulations are about how to operate a daycare center in terms of basic facilities, child care curriculum, child care expenses, budget‧settlement of accounts, safety‧health‧nutrition and transportation system to and from day care centers.
The Seoul city government expects that the improved policies will meet the demands of many parents who want safe and reliable day care centers.
< Expansion of the number of facilities which provide temporary child care services from the current 11 to 34 in the second half of the year >
The number of facilities which provide parents with temporary child care services in emergency situations will be increased from 11 to 34 in the second half of 2014.
The pilot project has been introduced to 4 districts including Dobong-gu, Guro-gu, Gangnam-gu, and Gangdong-gu. In the second half of 2014, there will be more than one temporary child care service center in every district. People can visit i-sarang portal site (http://www.childcare.go.kr) and search for the centers by each district.
< Operating of the Mosquito Forecast System and providing step-by-step guides on how to act accordingly >
The City plans to implement the Mosquito Forecast System, which will predict how many mosquitoes will appear and provide the citizens with step-by-step guides on how to act accordingly from next April. The system monitors how the overall number of mosquitoes changes and notifies the seriousness of the situation into 4 different stages. The situation will get worse from stage 1 ‘pleasant’ to stage 4 ‘unpleasant’.
The Mosquito Forecast System is calculated based on daily minimum temperature, daily maximum temperature, average temperature and relative humidity. People can check daily mosquito forecast on Seoul City webpage (http://health.seoul.go.kr/mosquito) from Apr. to Oct.Those who suffer from mosquitoes day and night during the summer might find it useful.
< Expansion of non-smoking areas from restaurants larger than 150㎡ to those larger than 100㎡ >
Non-smoking areas will be expanded from 1 Jan. 2014. Currently, general restaurants, eateries, and bakeries larger than 150㎡ are to be designated as non-smoking areas but from next year the entire areas of the facilities larger than 100㎡ shall be designated as non-smoking area.
According to the National Health Promotion Act, smoking areas inside of general restaurants can be designated and anybody smoking at smoke-free places will be charged with a fine of 100,000 won.
< Expansion of eco-friendly free school meals to middle school third graders and raise of the unit cost by around 6~8% >
The beneficiaries of eco-friendly free school meals will be expanded to include up to middle school third graders. Therefore, every student at national and public elementary school and middle school will be provided with free lunch.
Furthermore, the unit cost of the free meal will be increased in order to improve the quality of food. The unit cost will be raised by 8% from 2,880 to 3,110 won at elementary schools and 6.8% from 3,840 to 4,100 won at middle schools.
< Improvement of collecting process of congestion fees: preliminary notice of penalty charge and an opportunity to give prima facie evidence >
The collecting process of Namsan 1 st & 3 rd Tunnel congestion fees will be improved from next January. The congestion fees are charged on 2 to 10 passenger vans or cars carrying less than 2 people.
Currently, people who failed to pay the congestion fees could raise an objection after the penalty charge ticket was issued. From next year, however, citizens can raise an objection before they receive the penalty ticket thanks to the preliminary notice. In addition to the internal review of the corresponding organization, citizens can take the issue to the court to receive a trial.
Unlike the current rules, if you pay the penalty charge in 10 days after you receive the notice, a discount up to 20% will be available. For those who failed to pay the fees, the first 5% of additional charges and 1.2% of extra charges per month will be imposed.
< Implementation of a report reward system, giving maximum 50,000 won to those who report the damage to street facilities >
The Seoul city government will give maximum 50,000 won to people who report offenders that destroy street facilities with plausible evidence from 2014.
The reward will be decided in the range of 10,000 to 50,000 won based on the restoration expenditure which is required for damaged facilities. A reporter should attach a photo or a video which help to identify the offenders.
< Opening of DDP and 5 kinds of facilities including art halls, a museum, business centers, amenities and a park>
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) is scheduled to open next March. The Plaza covers a floor area of 86,575 sq. meters and boasts a 29-meter-high building. The four-story structure with three underground floors will include 5 main facilities including art halls, a museum, business centers, amenities and a park and 15 other spaces.
The DDP will be used for a space to hold a variety of conventions, concerts and exhibitions. People can visit the museum inside the Plaza and use it as a business center for their creative work. Moreover, people can enjoy the neighborhood facilities such as Peace Square and Dongdaemun History & Culture Park. The City government plans to attract many citizens by providing many free or charged programs.
< Re-opening of Jangchung Gymnasium: expansion and establishment of new facilities including a supplementary stadium>
Seoul Jangchung Gymnasium will complete the construction and be reopened next June. The total ground area will be expanded from 8,299 to 11,429 sq. meters and the structure will be transformed from two-story building with one underground floor to three-story building with two underground floors.
Furthermore, the maximum length of the floor of the main stadium has been extended to 55m, therefore, even handball games can be held. In the past, people could not enjoy handball games in Jangchung Gymnasium due to the insufficient space. Now, players can practice in the supplementary stadium.
The chairs will be bigger and cup holders will be installed, too. People will find it more convenient and enjoy a variety of seats for a family and a couple. After its re-opening the Seoul citizens are eligible to rent the u-sports room, which is a kind of sport facilities for local residents.