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'Park Geun-hye welfare law' goes into effect
SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- A law calling for South Korea to update and redesign welfare policies every five years went into effect on Sunday, laying the groundwork for President-elect Park Geun-hye to realize her ideas on improving social security in the country.

   The "social security basic law" is also known as the "Park Geun-hye welfare law" as she introduced the bill as a lawmaker in the previous parliament. The bill passed through the National Assembly in December 2011 and took effect after a year of preparation period.

   The law calls for the central government to draw up a "basic five-year social security plan" specifying key welfare policies and measures to raise funds for them. Under that plan, regional governments will put together their own five-year policy plans.

   The first five-year period is set for 2014-2018.

   The social security commission to be established under the prime minister's office will oversee the formation and implementation of the five-year plans.

   "We will draw up a five-year plan after the new government is launched and the social security commission is formed," an official of the incoming administration said.

   The five-year plan harks back to "five-year economic development plans" that Park's father, former President Park Chung-hee, repeatedly supported. The plans are credited for helping pull South Korea from the ashes of the Korean War and lay the groundwork for its industrialization.