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PLDT, Smart cited for curbing child sex abuse online

PLDT, Smart cited for curbing child sex abuse online

THE Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) has recognized the efforts of PLDT and Smart in curbing online sexual abuse or exploitation of children (Osaec). CWC particularly underscored the best practices of PLDT and Smart in cybersecurity to address the rising Osaec cases in the Philippines.

“PLDT and Smart are trailblazers and pathfinders in cybersecurity, fighting Osaec and Csaem, and child protection. They have demonstrated that businesses can be a force for good, standing as guardians for children’s rights and protectors of their innocence,” said Undersecretary Angelo Tapales, executive director of CWC.

In the first half of the year, PLDT and Smart’s Cybersecurity Group blocked more than 1 million attempts to open sites that host child sexual abuse and exploitation materials (Csaem). By the end of June, PLDT and Smart had blacklisted more than 660,000 URLs and contents tied to Osaec.

“Our Child Protection Platform enables PLDT and Smart to block on the more difficult content level. Boosting the innovative blocking tool are the memberships of the PLDT group in the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation and Project Arachnid of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P),” said Angel Redoble, first vice president and chief information security officer of PLDT and Smart.

PLDT Enterprise, the B2B arm of PLDT, is working with CWC to set up the MAKABATA 1383 Helpline. The platform is an efficient referral and service delivery system that addresses concerns affecting children and their families, especially child abuse cases.

“Hyper-collaboration is how we have proceeded with child protection. As new forms of Csaem emerge, we need to work more closely with our partners to stay ahead of perpetrators,” said Cathy Yang, first vice president and head of Group Corporate Communications at PLDT and Smart.

“PLDT and Smart are at the forefront of child protection. We supported the Anti-Child Pornography Act when it was passed in 2009. And we have actively participated in the technical working group that strengthened the legislation into Republic Act 11930, or the ‘Anti-Osaec and Anti-Csaem Act’,” added lawyer Roy Ibay, vice president and head of Regulatory Affairs at Smart.

The PLDT Group’s initiatives to protect children online underscore its long-term commitment to help the country attain UN Sustainable Development Goal 16, which promotes 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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