Effective as of February 2014, free lunch will be provided to all elementary and middle school students, although middle school seniors will continue to be excluded from the free lunch service. In addition, the basic livelihood welfare benefit for the seriously disabled will be raised.
Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the implementation of certain changes to its administrative services that will affect people’s everyday lives, including the introduction of fifty policies designed to provide greater benefits to the public under the following six broad categories.
Type 1. Policies to Be Ascertained and Used by People
This category includes fourteen policies in five sectors (i.e. six in welfare; four in gender equality; one in culture; one in housing; two in economy). Members of the public are advised to check whether they are eligible for these services. They may apply for the services either by making a personal visit to the City Hall or though the home page of Seoul Metropolitan Government.
First of all, the basic livelihood welfare benefit for the seriously disabled will be raised. The number of people eligible for this benefit will be increased from 63% of those in the lowest income bracket to 70%. Henceforth, seriously disabled who are unable to go out alone, among those falling under this category and aged 65 or over, will be paid welfare benefit of 280,000 won month, compared with the previous amount of 170,000 won.
Effective from January 2014, the Childcare Portal Service (http://www.childcare.go.kr/) will disclose information on the overall operation of childcare centers, including six major items (i.e. basic status, including facilities, operational procedures, operational expenses, budget/accounting settlement, safety/health/nutrition, operation of vehicles.
The number of facilities carrying out a pilot program of temporary childcare for parents who find themselves in an emergency situation will be raised from 11 to 34 by the second half of next year, when each autonomous district is supposed to have at least one facility providing such a program.
Starting in April 2014, Seoul Metropolitan Government will operate a mosquito activity forecast system that classifies the anticipated severity of mosquito attacks into four levels. The daily forecast, along with the relevant guidelines, can be checked at Seoul Metropolitan Government’s home page (http://health.seoul.go.kr/mosquito) from April through October.
Type 2. Observance of New Regulations
This category, which includes matters that must be observed by local residents, consists of five policies including one in welfare, one in safety, one in environment, and two in transportation.
Effective from January 1, 2014, the number of amenities subject to the imposition of no-smoking areas will be expanded considerably. All commercial establishments, including restaurants sized 100㎡, will be designated as no-smoking areas. However, restaurants will be allowed to operate a separate smoking space under the relevant law. Persons who smoke in a no-smoking area will be subject to a fine of 100,000 won.
Type 3. Policies that Should Be Remembered
This category includes nine polices, i.e. two in welfare, one in gender equality, two in economy, and four in transportation.
Free lunch will be provided to all elementary and middle school students, and the budget will be raised (i.e. from 2,880 won to 3,110 won for each elementary school student, and from 3,840 won…