Posted September. 10, 2010 11:37,
The government will seek revision of the Military Service Act at the upcoming parliamentary session to revive the awarding of additional points on state-administered exams for applicants who served in the military.
The Presidential Commission for National Security Review is also known to have decided last week to propose to President Lee Myung-bak the reintroduction of a system favoring those who served in the military.
A government official said Thursday that the administration will campaign for the passage of a package bill on promotion of benefits for those who served in the military.
The proposed revision of the Military Service Act is pending at the National Assemblys Legislation and Judiciary Committee, though the National Defense Committee approved the bill in December 2008 after fixing potentially unconstitutional elements. The legislation committee failed to discuss the revision due to opposition from womens organizations.
The government in 1999 stopped granting additional recruiting points to applicants having served in the military after the system was struck down by the Constitutional Court. The pending revision proposal, however, seeks to limit the additional points to 2.5 percent of the total score, down from 3-5 percent granted in the past.
In addition, the proposed revision will also allow the extra points to count for up to 20 percent of the score in a civil service exam. Former Government Legislation Minister Lee Seog-yeon, who won the petition with the Constitutional Court in 1999 as a lawyer to get the system abolished, said in October last year that while the system of giving additional points should be revived, the percentage of beneficiaries in state-administered exams should be limited.
In addition, the administration will also propose revision of the Veterans` Pension Act this month to increase contributions but keep benefits unchanged. In contrast, pension for government employees and private school teachers has been changed to increase contributions but decrease benefits.
In addition, a proposed revision to the Awards and Decorations Act seeks to allow more servicemen and women to receive decorations. In the past, only veterans were eligible for medals of merit.
The March 26 sinking of the naval corvette Cheonan, however, has prompted the military to make more troops eligible for such honors by including those who performed duties corresponding to combat in areas bordering enemy territory.