QC government calls for safe cyberspace for children

(File Photo) Quezon City Hall. Photo © Cofi Nuguid via Flickr | Manila Bulletin

THE Quezon City government calls on all internet café and computer shop owners to ensure that cyberspace in their establishments is safe for children.

The city government, in partnership Plan International, Department of Information and Communications Technology, and Microsoft Philippines; issued the call during a child protection seminar attended by internet and computer shop operators from Barangays Batasan Hills and Commonwealth. The seminar is part of the city government’s campaign for a safer cyberspace for children.

Several issues, such as the Philippine situation on Online Sexual Exploitation of Children, are raised during the seminar by Ma. Sheila Estabillo, project manager of Cyber-Safe Spaces for Children and Youth in Manila and Quezon City, as she expounded on the increasing number of cases related to child pornography and cybercrime.

On the other hand, Atty. Raul Cortez from Microsoft Philippines said there are ways to determine and prevent computers from getting hacked such as getting authentic software and avoiding the sharing of private information, photos and videos noting that strangers can have access to them.

Policies and laws on online safety were also presented during the seminar to further disseminate the government’s initiative on online child protection.

Quezon City Ordinance SP 2163-2012, otherwise known as “Ordinance Regulating the Operation of Internet Cafes or Computer Rental Shops/Computer Gaming Shops in Quezon City,” functions as a guideline to inform internet café operators of their responsibilities to block illegal websites and online browsing pornographic websites.

Estabillo calls on internet café operators to strictly follow the prohibition law and report possible illegal online activities to the authorities.

“We enjoin you to be part of this campaign in combating online child sexual exploitation. Malaki ang role ng mga internet café and pisonet operators kasi ang ating mga kabataan ay pumupunta sa mga lugar na ito kung saan sila ay nakakasalamuha ng mga posibleng online predators,” says Estabillo.

For further information and reports on illegal online activities, dial 122 for the Quezon City emergency hotline.

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