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Thursday, June 13, 2024

PLDT, Smart amplify call for whole-of-nation approach to protect children from online predators

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PLDT and Smart call for a deeper collaborative approach in fighting online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) at the 7th National Women’s Summit organized by Miriam College. The PLDT Group earlier pledged continuous support to government efforts in protecting children online following the call of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to intensify the fight against OSAEC.

“As technology enablers, PLDT and Smart recognize our vital role in cybersecurity by providing a safe and secure digital experience for Filipinos, especially children. We protect not only our network and our customers’ access and devices, but communities,” said Stephanie V. Orlino, AVP and Head of Stakeholder Management at PLDT and Smart.

A vital cog to the fight against the spread of child sexual abuse and exploitation materials (CSAEM) is the PLDT Group’s pioneering child protection platform that blocks access to these illicit materials at the content level. PLDT and Smart’s membership to the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection enabled them to block more than a billion attempts to open CSAEM since 2021.

PLDT and Smart embark on a whole-of-nation strategy by engaging child rights advocates from the government and private sectors to launch impactful programs aimed at child protection.

PLDT and Smart participated in the crafting of Republic Act 11930 or the Anti-OSAEC and Anti-CSAEM law, particularly pushing for the Good Samaritan clause that would allow internet service providers to take down offensive materials without being held civilly, criminally or administratively liable.

PLDT Enterprise, the B2B arm of PLDT, worked with the Council for the Welfare of Children to set up the MAKABATA Helpline 1383.

In Cebu, Terre des Hommes Netherlands and Bidlisiw Foundation chose PLDT and Smart as exclusive telco partners for the rollout of the Safety for Children and their Rights Online (SCROL) project which aims to fight and prevent sexual exploitation of children.

PLDT and Smart, through a consortium led by Save the Children Philippines, The Asia Foundation and UNICEF, partnered with SaferKidsPH to strengthen the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children in 16 OSAEC hotspots across the nation.

These efforts and partnerships underscore PLDT and Smart’s support to the country’s commitment to UNSDG 16 on promoting just, peaceful, and inclusive societies including the end to abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.

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