Park-social welfare

SEOUL, March 21 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye called for a shift in welfare policy Thursday, saying it should be designed to help people support themselves.

One of Park's major administrative goals is to provide tailored welfare services for each period of a person's life, from free childcare to additional monthly allowances for senior citizens aged 65 or older.

"There's a need to shift away from a social welfare system that does favors by distributing cash to one that helps people stand on their own feet and support themselves," Park said during a joint policy report from the health ministry and the food and drug administration.

The report kicked off the first set of policy briefings from government offices under Park, who took office last month.

Park pointed out that social welfare has often been regarded as a waste of public funds, saying the new government should establish a system that links social welfare to economic growth. The money spent on social welfare would then become an investment in growth, she said.

Park also instructed officials to come up with measures to guarantee the safety of food, saying the public should not have to worry about what they eat.

Substandard food is one of four major "social ills" Park has vowed to eradicate, along with school violence, sexual violence and "home-wrecking crimes."

In South Korea, "home-wrecking" crimes usually refer to robbery involving rape, domestic violence, narcotics addiction, habitual gambling and other crimes that lead to families breaking up.

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