Telco firm commits to help LGUs, NGOs in drive vs. OSAEC

By : Mindanao Today/01:33:20pm 08/22/2021


Local government officials of Barangay Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City welcome the computers and equipment donated by PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications Inc., in partnership with private groups, to be used in campaign against online sexual abuse and exploitation of children. (Photo grabbed from Smart Communities FB page)

PLDT, Inc. and its wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), in partnership with youth-led organization Kids for Kids PH, and the pioneering consortium of SaferKidsPH, have recently turned over computers and equipment to the local barangays of Carmen and Canito-an in Cagayan de Oro and Tubod in Iligan City.

The technology will help equip the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) units in the fight against the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC).

In a message, Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno said, “I’d like to thank everybody for this very wonderful program that will ensure that our children are protected and safer against OSAEC.”

“Once again, we are showcasing here that working together, we can build a better society - the government, from the national to the local, with the support of the whole community, can come up with programs that are more focused on ensuring that the vulnerable ones are safe,” he added.

During the virtual activity, the bigger group promoted safer spaces for kids and enjoined the public to be more aware of the current situation.

“We at PLDT and Smart, are continuously finding ways to leverage on our technology and network of resources to keep our children safer online. We have added a layer of protection, via our 24/7 network security systems, to combat OSAEC. We are the first Philippine company to draw up a child-safeguarding policy, institutionalizing the work that we do for the safety of children. We are grateful and honored to be part of this multi-sectoral initiative with Kids for Kids, SaferKidsPH, and the local government units,” said Catherine Yap-Yang, Group Head and First Vice President of Corporate Communications of PLDT and Smart.

Kids for Kids PH, a volunteer organization, focuses on optimistic action to empower the youth and promote the protection of children’s right to a safe environment. SaferKidsPH, an initiative of the Australian government in partnership with Save the Children Philippines, The Asia Foundation and UNICEF, aims to reduce OSAEC in the Philippines.

PLDT and Smart have been active in supporting the cause for securing a more child-friendly online environment and a better world for children.

As of June 2021, the telco providers have blocked more than 30,000 URLs linked to OSAEC.

As a member of the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), PLDT and Smart have become faster to deny access to online child abuse contents. (PR)

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