PLDT Advocates for Strengthened Public-Private Partnerships for a More Secure Internet

Leading integrated telco network PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc (Smart) are urging the Government and other industry stakeholders to collaborate more closely to combat online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) and child sexual abuse and exploitation materials (CSAEM), in compliance with Republic Act no 11930, or the Anti-OSAEC and CSAEM Act.

At the recent Safer Internet Day event organized by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the National Coordination Center against Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children and Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials (NCC-OSAEC-CSAEM) and Plan International Pilipinas, PLDT and Smart called for the public and private sectors to join forces to make the internet safer, particularly for children, especially in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

This engagement is aligned with the PLDT Group’s broader effort to safeguard its customers, including children, online. This includes investments in its pioneering Child Protection Platform that blocks CSAEM at the more difficult content level. As of 2023, the PLDT Group has blocked 1.5 billion access attempts to CSAEM. The PLDT Group has also been actively engaging local government units and assisting them in crafting their own internet safety ordinances for their respective constituents, as well as training its own workforce to be more aware of OSAEC and CSAEM-related issues.

“It is time to have a conversation around AI and its problems, opportunities and threats, especially to our children. Perhaps it is time to look into policy that will gather relevant government and stakeholders to study, not only generative AI but AI-backed cyber attacks that target personal data as well,” said Wo Rosete, AVP for Stakeholder Management who represented PLDT and Smart at the panel.

PLDT and Smart also emphasized that while threats and risks of AI are currently the issues under the spotlight, it is ultimately about how the technology will be employed. “AI is a double-edged sword, and we also acknowledge that AI can have positive uses in business,” he added.

These initiatives reinforce the PLDT Group’s 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.

For their significant contribution in the fight against OSAEC and human trafficking, the national office of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) also cited PLDT and Smart for their anti-OSAEC efforts last year. 

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