The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have joined hands with the Telecommunications sector in ensuring parents and children’s security both online and offline amidst the Covid-19 public health emergency.
In a letter to NTC, UNICEF said the Covid-19 crisis and the enhanced community quarantine left people relying on the Internet for information and entertainment. More importantly, it left many families suffering from the economic strain due to the slowdown of industry and labor. Because of these, parents and children become more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse both online and offline.
Thus, upon UNICEF’s request, the NTC extended its support in spreading information to alleviate the situation. The telecommunications sector, for its part, is sending out text blasts encouraging subscribers to visit unicef.ph and saferkidsph.org for information and tips on how to support parents and children in managing the impact of Covid-19.
Unicef.ph is UNICEF Philippines official website. It contains UNICEF’s various programs, research and reports on issues affecting Filipino children, stories of beneficiaries, as well as volunteer opportunities. At present, the website also include latest updates and news on Covid-19, UNICEF’s initiatives on helping children affected by the Covid-19 crisis, as well as advice for parents and families on coping with the current situation.
SaferkidsPH, on the other hand, is an initiative of UNICEF, the Australian Embassy, Save the Children, and The Asia Foundation. The website includes information on how to reduce and prevent online sexual abuse and exploitation of children in the Philippines.
The text blast will run from April 7 until April 9, 2020.
Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said the DICT appreciates UNICEF’s initiative in reaching out to the government to help protect our children from online and offline threats.
“The DICT appreciates the proactive stance of UNICEF. From our side, we assure them and the public, in general, that DICT will continue to perform its cybersecurity duties to ensure the safety of all Filipinos, especially our children, amidst this crisis,” he added.
The NTC is an attached agency of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
UPDATE as of 13 April 2020:
Text blasting as mentioned in the article will start on 15 April 2020 and will go on indefinitely.