PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), together with partners such as Google and ECPAT Philippines, engage teachers and allies of the youth in working towards creating a smarter and safer digital world for children, in celebration of National Teachers’ Month.

Under its #BetterToday advocacy, PLDT and Smart organized a webinar on internet safety and protecting children’s rights. Entitled Better Today for Kids: Protecting Children in the Digital World, the virtual session was attended by teachers from schools in Laguna, Quezon City, Pampanga, and Bohol.

“PLDT and Smart recognize that children remain vulnerable to the risks and threats from the online space. As their allies, it is our duty to actively ensure that the youth will have the kind of digital experience they well deserve – enjoyable and insightful yet also safe and secure. We are continuously working to help the youth and their allies turn this into reality,” said Cathy Yang, First Vice President and Group Head, Corporate Communications at PLDT and Smart.

PLDT and Smart, together with child protection allies ECPAT Philippines and Google Philippines shared tips to spot signs of child abuse as well as what can be done to combat threats and protect children from risks online and offline. 

“Look out for red flags which are usually manifested in sudden change in behavior among children. Contact appropriate authorities once OSAEC is involved,” said Ginno Corral, Online Child Protection Officer of ECPAT Philippines.

“Keeping people safe online is important to Google. As part of our strategy to deliver on this commitment, we work closely with local partners from across sectors to effectively bring a more useful and safer internet experience to Filipino kids and families. It is an honor to collaborate with stakeholders such as PLDT and ECPAT Philippines as we champion digital responsibility in the Philippines,” said Yves Gonzalez, Head of Public Policy and Government Relations, Google Philippines.

To promote values-based Internet safety and digital citizenship among Filipino children, Google Philippines and PLDT Home launched the Be Internet Awesome. The program includes a kid-oriented video series that combines animation and live-action to teach children how to be smart, alert, strong, kind, and brave online.

“Through the #BetterToday initiative, we at PLDT and Smart endeavor to provide Filipinos with not just fast, accessible, and reliable internet, but also a safe and secure digital experience, especially for the children,” said Stephanie V. Orlino, Head of Stakeholder Management at PLDT and Smart.

This underscores the companies’ commitment to attaining the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), specifically UNSDG #3: Good Health and Well-being and #16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

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