They say it takes a village to raise a child. The truth of this adage was made abundantly clear last 09 February 2021 during the kickoff event of the Inter-Agency Council against Child Pornography in partnership with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) SaferKidsPH in celebration of Safer Internet Day with the theme “Bagong Normal: Ligtas na Internet For All”.
A highlight of the event was the discussion of the Child Online Safeguarding Policy (COSP) of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in accordance with Section 11 on the “Protection of Children” under R.A. 10929 or the “Free Internet Access in Public Places Act”, of which the DICT is the main implementing body. Other stakeholders from different sectors of society participated in the event by sharing their views, aspirations, and respective commitments on creating a safe space for children online. In attendance were representatives from several government agencies, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Education (DepEd). Representatives from the Australian Embassy of the Philippines, Council for the Welfare of Children and UNICEF SaferKidsPH Programme also graced the event in addition to private sector partners Facebook Philippines, Google Philippines, and Globe Telecom.
A parent and child pair from the Samahan ng Mamamayan – Zone One Todo Organization (SM-ZOTO) even shared their enthusiasm with establishing a safe Internet where children can browse freely.
Indeed, it takes a village to not simply raise children, but to raise them while ensuring that their rights are protected. The Free Wi-Fi for All Program envisions a Philippines where each and every one, including children, is able to access limitless opportunities available online safely and securely.