"Bipartisan efforts should be made to find solutions to problems and woes farming and fishing villages undergo and alleviate the difficulties farmers and fishermen suffer,” said Chairman Sul Hoon.
Citing one of his legislative activities he envisages during his term as chairman of the committee, Chairman Sul wants to promote the rights of farmers and fishermen by having a revision of the Constitution, to be made next year, provide for financial support to farming and fishing villages.
Regarding to his activities related to his constituency of Bucheon and Wonmi-gu B, he said, “I’ll endeavor to create diverse cultural spaces to enhance the quality of Bucheon citizens’ lives on top of education.”
My thoughts are on the implementation. of such programs as one to change the Korea Manhwa Contents Agency (KOMACON) into a public entity under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and a project to build a webtoon convergence center as a mecca of the Korean cartoon industry.
The following are excerpts of an interview between NewsWorld and Chairman Sul in which he spoke of his legislative and constituency activities.
Question: Would you evaluate the outcomes of your committee’s audit into the government?
Answer: Wrapping up the government interpellation session, I’ve anew realized the need for making bipartisan efforts to make rural and fishing villages alive. I’ve called for the National Assembly, the government and related stakeholders to spearhead the improving of rural and fishing village environment linked with our life, the boosting of farmers and fishermen’s incomes and stabilize rice prices. I, as chairman of the committee, have promised to fulfill my mission.
Farming and fishing ecosystems need to be built so that each district may produce food as its specialties according to their characteristics to correspond to industrialization and agricultural values may be enhanced.
Q: Would you elaborate on bills that should be urgently acted on by the committee?
A: Twenty-two measures submitted by the committee had been approved as of Nov. 9. Attracting prominent attention among them are a revision bill of the Act on Rice Processed Food, an amendment measure of the Act on the Quality Management of Agricultural and Fishing Produce, and a revision bill of the Act on the Management of Agricultural Pesticides.
Chairman Sul participates in a seminar on how to reflect the nation’s vision of becoming a global marine power in a proposed revision of the Constitution at the National Assembly on Nov. 14.
Chairman Sul speaks at an event to celebrate Bucheon’s joining of UNESCO Creative Cities Network at Bucheon City Hall on Nov. 18.
Q: Would you explain what you want to carry out as chairman of the committee and how to operate the committee in a constructive fashion?
A: Amidst the difficult times with declining agricultural and fishing industries, I will devote myself to fulfilling my mission so that policies can be implemented in the interests of those in the agriculture and fishing industries through collaboration among ruling and opposition parties. I will do my utmost to help more and more younger generation people return to farming, fishing and rural villages through parliamentary legislation like the enactment of the Act on the Promotion of Returnees to Farming, Fishing and Rural Villages.
Farming population declined to a range of 2.4 million people as of last year. The population is expected to further drop this year, but those who return to farming and rural villages are not decreasing dramatically.
I think returning to farming, rural areas, fishing and fishing villages will serve as a momentum to make Korean farming, fishing, rural and fishing villages alive.
I’ve recommended related ministers aggressive investments should be made to boost returnees to farming, rural areas, fishing and fishing villages. I’ll do my best to support the project through legislation.
The minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs and the trade minister revealed no concessions from the agricultural sector ahead of Korean-U.S. renegotiating of the Korea-U.S.. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). I will make efforts to make sure the agricultural sector can be protected.
Chairman Sul gestures as he poses with students from Bucheon at an event to celebrate Bucheon’s joining of UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
Chairman Sul delivers a speech at the 2017 Bucheon Fantasia Weightlifting Competition at the Bucheon Sports Complex. (Photos: Rep. Sul Hoon’s Office)
Q: What parliamentary activities do you plan or envisage?
A: My thoughts are on the provision of financial support to rural and fishing villages to give a helping hand to farmers and fishermen through state-initiated policy initiative, which would be discussed and reflected in the course of the revising of the Constitution.
Farming incomes stood at an average of 37 million won as of last year with rice prices dropping to a range of 120,000 won per 80-kg sack. Declining farming incomes could endanger their lives, which will have a directly adverse effect to not only those in the farming and fishing industries, but also people’s dietary life.
Our committee will make all-out efforts to promote the rights of farmers and fishermen by having a revision of the Constitution, to be made next year, provide for financial support to farming and fishing villages.
It is necessary to enact the proposed Act on Marine Promotion Corp. to overcome a crisis in the wake of the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping. I’ll endeavor to have the bill approved on top of a bill to enact the Act on the Management of Marine Space so that state marine policies would be upgraded a step higher. The enactment of the proposed Act on the Management of Marine Space is part of the President Moon Jae-in government’s state tasks to make farming and fishing villages ones with returnees.
The proposed bill calls for the establishment of a marine space spanning from South Coast to East Coast and integrated management of all marine areas as marine space by 2020.
Q: Would you introduce your major activities for your constituency?
A: Heart-to-heart talks have been held to help party constituency members communicate with citizens on a regular basis.
The representative event for the constituency of Bucheon and Wonmi-gu B is designed to communicate with the constituents and residents and lend an ear to their voices. I will redouble efforts to reinvigorate the regional economy and create the safe, convenient life environment through continuous communications with constituency residents down the road.
Q: Would you touch on what constituency projects you want to plan or envisage?
A: I want to solve a handful of pending educational issues one by one with a focus on the education field. I’ll endeavor to create diverse cultural spaces to enhance the quality of Bucheon citizens’ lives on top of education.
My thoughts are on a project to change the Korea Manhwa Contents Agency (KOMACON) into a public entity under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The KOMACON, an agency invested by the Bucheon City government, fully performs a state function of promoting the cartoon industry.
The KOMACON is Korea’s sole cartoon institution responsible for the holding of international carton festival, the celebrating of the 2017 Cartoon Day anniversary, the 17th rendition of the event.
We’re going to implement a project to build a webtoon convergence center as a mecca of the Korean cartoon industry. Under the project, 1 billion won were secured in December 2016, and a proposal to secure 6 billion from the 2018 national budget has been made. Secured budget will likely lead to job creation through creative works and startups and give an upper hand in the global webtoon market.
The Gulpocheon Stream had been elevated to a national stream in December 2016 as Bucheon citizens had wished for a long period of time. I’m planning to implement a project to remodel the Haegeuneul Athletic Park to boost Bucheon citizens’ health and quality of their life.