SEOUL, Oct. 8 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Thursday his government will protect and support social workers nationwide, who are involved in "indispensable face-to-face" activities despite the new coronavirus outbreak.
He was speaking at a virtual meeting with employees at public social service agencies operating in eight regions under the initiative of his left-leaning administration. They provide care services to children, the disabled and adults with long-term health conditions.
"Welfare and the social safety net are becoming more important to overcome the aging and polarization of our society, and we are again realizing their preciousness in the face of the COVID-19 crisis," he said.
He described face-to-face care services as "indispensable labor" to maintain the community especially in the emergency situation.
Related service workers deserve "special protection" of the state as they can be exposed to danger while engaging in face-to-face activities inevitable to the community, Moon added.
He pledged efforts to further develop a system to expand fair compensation and a safety net for those workers.
The president asked the National Assembly to help the government's push for introducing a bill on the expansion and stable operation of relevant organizations, named the Public Agency for Social Service.
The government plans to set up such a social service center in each of South Korea's 17 major cities and provinces by 2022 in a scheme for the public sector to shoulder more responsibilities for the care of people in need.
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