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PLDT, Smart integrate child-centered policies

Our country is now faced with the challenge of protecting our children in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

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The country’s largest and only integrated telco PLDT Inc. and its wireless arm Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) are integrating children’s rights in their business operations — a first in the Philippines, to strengthen its commitment to protect Filipino children.

This milestone comes right in time for the celebrations of the World Children’s Day and the National Children’s Month this November.

“Our country is now faced with the challenge of protecting our children in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. This policy upholds our commitment to create value and generate positive impact for them — not just through CSR but also embedded right at the core of our business operations,” says PLDT chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.

To recall, PLDT and Smart started a partnership with UNICEF in 2018, where management and staff went through training programs and consultations to craft a set of pro-children corporate policies.

This covers the group’s human resource and employee training programs, procurement and vendor management protocols, product development, marketing activities, as well as engagements with customer communities.

“These policies also embed child safeguarding principles to fortify the group’s continuing efforts towards protecting children online through its enabling technology, customer education efforts and community partnerships,” Pangilinan said.

Examples of pro-children measures include the strict screening of human resource staff tasked with engaging communities and human resource policies that imbibe principles of non-discrimination.

Smart is also developing products with a child safety lens by working with technology companies and developers to protect children online through safety protocols and blocking of child sexual abuse materials.

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