Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Saturday, October 10, 2009


(Fr. Shay's columns are published in The Manila Times,in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)

While the watery floods killed and damaged hundreds of people in the Philippines, many of them children, another kind of flood continuously destroying the innocent lives of children and youth .That’s the flood of child pornography coming into the Philippines and more of it made here with Filipino children being abused, videotaped and transmitted over the Internet. Even during the floods, the Preda children crises center was rescuing victims of child sexual abuse. Displaced children need extra special protection from traffickers and pedophiles during calamities. Our children's homes are full to overflowing with horrific cases. Child pornography is one of the most evil stimulators leading to child sexual abuse.

The internet server providers, telephone companies and broadband providers bear the greatest responsibility for allowing this filthy internet traffic to flood our computers and corrupt our people. It can be monitored, filtered and controlled. In 2004, The British Telecom Company (BT) developed and installed the first filtering software to block access of internet customers to child pornography sites.

A child protection UK industry body, the Internet Watch Foundation monitors child porn sites and feed the BT Cleanfeed software with every child pornography web site address (URL) it can find. The program has been authorized by the European Union and it will bring in similar blocking laws in the future. Germany has also moved to pass a law to block access

This made BT one of the most admired and ethical telephone companies in the world and many have followed their example. In the Philippines, Globe, Sun and Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) and its sister company SMART have to give the good example and do this voluntarily because it is the right and good and ethical thing to do. Filtering and blocking child porn protects children from being abused and exploited in the real world in cyber porn shops and dens and then being victimized again and again virtually on the internet. These companies have enormous responsibility to act ethically on this issue.

The first to do it will reap great rewards and the gratitude of worried parents and every civil society organization, NGO, church agencies will promote the safe and Cleanfeed internet provider.

Why they don’t do it is answered by one simple word “profit”. The fear of losing customers if they introduce blocking software is in their minds. Yet if all the big internet provider companies led by PLDT-SMART agree to do it together then none would loose business. The chairman of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Smart Communications Manuel Pangilinan and PLDT President and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno are now challenged as never before to exercise corporate responsibility by giving the lead in protecting children on the internet by blocking child porn instead of blocking Skype, the free internet-based telephone service. If they can block Skype, they can block child porn.

This is what Internet server providers and telephone companies will have to do when the new Philippine anti-child pornography law is finally signed by President Gloria Arroyo, hopefully before the end of the year. Soon, under the new law it will be a serious crime to make, possess or distribute child pornography in the Philippines either over the internet or by any means whatsoever.

PLDT is the provider of DSL broadband in the Olongapo-Subic area and what an expensive DSL it is for a slow connection. We need fast broadband DSL to advocate children’s rights and protect them from abuse and exploitation. We at Preda and other child protection agencies should be getting the full support of PLDT for this important apostolate. What I surmise is that the numerous sex bars, clubs, and hotels, some of them using prostituted children, are downloading pornography and thus they are apparently getting the best connections speeds.

Why does PLDT need to make profits by selling connections to these sex-for-sale establishments? They are a massive monopoly and need to exercise more corporate responsibility. PLDT and all other phone companies should voluntarily block access to child pornography web sites and protect the vulnerable children. They can help turn this country, known for shameful child prostitution, to one admired for its corporate responsibility, virtue and protection of children. They can lead by good example. IF NOT, WHY NOT?

Visit www.preda.org for more related articles.

Contact Fr. Shay Cullen at the Preda Center, Upper Kalaklan, Olongapo City, Philippines.
e-mail: preda@info.com.ph
PREDA Information Office
PREDA Foundation, Inc.


Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Ban Students in Internet Shops

NAVOTAS Mayorto ban students in Internet shops

NAVOTAS Mayor Toby Tiangco yesterday reminded the Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO), Task Force Disiplina (TDF) and barangay officials in the city to continue enforcing the ordinance that bans grade school and high school students from entering any leisure and gaming establishments during school hours.

Tiangco also reiterated his warning to all owners and operators of Internet shops in Navotas to strictly comply with the ordinance, or else face stiff penalties, which include fines and revocation of business permits. He said they should cooperate for the benefit and protection of the students.

“Our city, school and barangay officials, even the parents of schoolchildren, need to remain vigilant to ensure strict enforcement of these regulations that aim to deter unscrupulous owners or operators from tolerating malingerer students for the sake of profit,” Tiangco said.

Enacted in September 2001, Municipal Ordinance No. 2001-03 prohibits the owners or operators of all video/computer arcades/shops in the city from allowing grade school and high school students in school uniforms to enter their establishments.

Tiangco had asked the council to pass the ordinance to address serious concerns raised by parents and teachers over the increasing incidence of cutting classes, tardiness and absenteeism among grade and high school students due to hanging out at Internet/video, arcades, and computer shops during school hours.

Recently, the said ordinance was given more teeth with the Mayor’s Executive Order, “Directing all computer shops operating within the jurisdiction of Navotas City to maintain a see- through front walls and doors of their respective establishments,” to give a clear view of all the activities inside their establishments.

Under the said order, violators of this provision or any of its other provisions face the following penalties: First offense, a fine of P1,000; Second offense, a fine of P2,000; and Third offense, a fine of P2,500 and the automatic cancellation or revocation of business permits or licenses.

Labels: , ,