PLDT’s campaign against online child abuse picked up pace in the last three months, blocking at least a record 88,000 sites and links, nearly three times more in a period of four months, toward the end of October 2021.
The integrated telecommunications company fast-tracked the blocking of URLs with online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC), reaffirming its commitment to protecting children online. As the country continues to battle with the COVID-19 pandemic, OSAEC incidents also continue to rise. With the safety and welfare of Filipino children at risk, PLDT has embarked on industry-pioneering efforts to help the Philippine government and concerned multi-sectoral stakeholders in deterring such crime.
PLDT earlier said it is investing P2 billion for a cybersecurity operations center, which includes a Child Protection Platform solution. This dedicated solution enables them to continuously detect, respond, and prevent access to URLs, domains, and content with OSAEC within their network.
PLDT and its wireless unit Smart also became the first Philippine digital service providers to secure membership to the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation. This membership boosted the two telcos’ intelligence database and blocking of online child sexual abuse materials, as well as concretized their participation in global efforts to making the Internet safer for young people.
“We remain committed to strengthening our end-to-end cyber defenses and building our inherent capacity to fight online threats and make the digital environment safer for our millions of customers, particularly children who happen to be the most vulnerable,” said Angel Redoble, FVP and chief information security officer, PLDT.
These efforts underscore the commitment of PLDT and Smart to uphold and safeguard children’s rights as part of their environmental, social, and governance sustainability pillars.
“We follow a landmark Child Safeguarding Policy that institutionalizes programs, practices, and technology solutions that promote the safety and welfare of children across our online and offline business operations,” said Cathy Yap-Yang, FVP and group head of Corporate Communications, PLDT.
The program also contributes to PLDT and Smart’s commitment to help the Philippines attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly UNSDG #16 which stands against abuses, exploitation, trafficking, and violence against children and promotes just, peaceful, and inclusive societies.