The government continues to recognize the child protection initiatives of PLDT Inc. (PLDT) and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) aimed at addressing online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC).
Recently, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking and Violence Against Women and their Children – Region 7 (IACAT 7-ACP-VAWC) cited PLDT and Smart for their significant contribution in the fight against OSAEC and human trafficking during the celebration of the World Day Against Trafficking.
“This award reinforces PLDT and Smart’s resolve to continue investing in and innovating our technologies, collaborating and advocating for a world free from the shackles of exploitation. We dedicate this honor to every survivor, every activist, every social worker, and every soul affected by trafficking, as they inspire us to press forward with unwavering determination,” said Marylou Gocotano, PLDT and Smart Stakeholder Management Visayas Relations Head.
In Region 7 or Central Visayas, PLDT and Smart collaborate with Terre des Hommes Netherlands in Asia and Bidlisiw Foundation Inc. – Philippines for the Safety For Children and Their Rights Online (SCROL) Project to help local government units and law enforcers effectively carry out child internet safety programs.
“The Council recognizes PLDT and Smart for their efforts in the prevention and elimination of trafficking especially in the Cyberspace. Your initiatives help a lot in protecting people especially children from online sexual abuse or exploitation,” said Shalamel Sollano, Project Development Officer III of Led Inter-Agency Council, DSWD Regional Field Office VII.
On a larger scale, PLDT and Smart keep children safe online through their pioneering Child Protection Platform that blocks child sexual abuse and exploitation materials (CSAEM) at the more difficult content level.
PLDT Enterprise, the B2B arm of PLDT, is working with CWC in setting up the MAKABATA 1383 Helpline. The platform is an efficient referral system and delivery of service that addresses concerns affecting children and their families, especially child abuse cases.
In July, the national office of the IACAT has also cited PLDT and Smart for their anti-OSAEC efforts.
The PLDT Group’s initiatives to protect children online underscore its long-term commitment to help the country attain UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 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.