Advocacy group: Filipinos must be responsible digital citizens to protect themselves from cybercrime
March 18, 2022 7:51 p.m.
FILIPINO consumers must become responsible digital citizens to protect themselves from internet-based crimes, and while there are existing laws against cybercrimes, the government and the private sector must work together to educate and empower the people against falling prey to cybercriminals, an advocacy group said.
“The pandemic has pushed most of us to shift our activities online,” said lawyer Tim Abejo, co-convenor of CitizenWatch Philippines. “We now do our banking, shopping, schooling, over the internet. We order food online and do our work from home. These have their benefits, of course, but they also carry great risk.”
Abejo said that while these internet transactions result in convenience and efficiency, they also bring the danger of abuse and exploitation in many forms. “There are many who are out to take advantage of unsuspecting internet users. We have to make sure that our people arm themselves against these online predators.”
During the pandemic period, the number of cyber tips received by the Department of Justice – Office of Cybercrime tripled to 1.2 million in 2020 from just 400,000 the previous year. Most common among internet crimes are fraud, sexual abuse and exploitation, bullying, and identity theft.
Targeting the vulnerable
Abejo cited the UNICEF finding that prolonged lockdowns have made children and young people more vulnerable because these resulted in extended hours online.
“For two years now, they cannot go out to play or go to school or to meet their friends,” said Abejo.
“Instead, they are constantly online to study, play or socialize. This provides predators the opportunity to manipulate them for their own gains.”
Meanwhile, the public has also seen a rise in incidents of hacking of online bank accounts.
“Sure, there have been arrests. But these people are always one step ahead and they are bound to come up with newer, more sophisticated ways to launch cyber-attacks,” Abejo said.
The Bankers Association of the Philippines said more than P1 billion was lost last year due to cyber fraud.
“These criminals are so ingenious,” Abejo said. “They dupe people into disclosing sensitive information through innocent- or legitimate-looking emails, text messages, or even social media posts.”
He said that ransomware is becoming more prevalent in the Philippines, where malicious software – malware – gains access to a computer system, which would become inaccessible unless the user pays ransom.
Laws and public private partnerships
“To be sure, there is no dearth of laws protecting the public from cybercrimes,” Abejo said.
“The laws range from the broader Cybercrime Prevention Act to data privacy, to preventing online sexual abuse and exploitation, to those protecting the integrity of electronic transactions or strengthening financial literacy for consumers in the digital economy,” he said, citing that the real challenge is making the people aware that these laws do exist and enforcing them in this context.
Abejo proposed that, “Government should incentivize private initiatives to engage the education sector such as the Digital Thumbprint Program of digital solutions company Globe in partnership with the Department of Education that has integrated into the curriculum the training of young students to be knowledgeable in cybersecurity and responsible digital citizenship.”
“More public private engagements in digitally powered interventions can give free online access to workshop modules to arm people with the knowledge and attitude to responsibly and safely navigate the internet,” Abejo added.
A common concern
According to Abejo, empowering Filipinos to be aware of and fight online risks is a collective effort that must be undertaken by the government, the private sector, civil society, and the education sector.
“Specifically, telcos and ISPs should partner with the government to engage in an aggressive and sustained education program to raise awareness of online dangers,” Abejo said.
“Technology is good because it allows societies to be productive and innovative, and reach their potential,” he said. “We must manage the inherent risks and learn how to protect ourselves against those who think they can use the internet to advance their criminal interests.”
“As we are now in a highly digital world, we must choose leaders who can be digital transformation champions to address digital readiness gaps that can delay our recovery from the pandemic crisis,” Abejo said.
100 days to go before world’s best play in front of world’s best fans
May 18, 2023, 2:16 p.m.
In 100 days, the best players from the Philippines and all over the world will converge i Manila for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
The Philippines – and its well-renowned most passionate fans – will play host to the USA and Serbia, as well as Lithuania and Greece, as four of the top ten-ranked teams in the world will be on our shores for the Group Phase in the world meet running from August 25 to September 10. Angola, Dominican Republic, Italy, South Sudan, China, Puerto Rico, Jordan, New Zealand, Egypt, Mexico, and Montenegro round out the visitors who will enjoy Filipino hospitality, with games set to be played at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City and the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
At the same time, Filipinos will grant enviable homecourt advantage to the Gilas Pilipinas Men’s Team, as the team commences its campaign in the tournament’s first game at th colossal Philippine Arena on August 25.
To mark the countdown and engage the local market in the Philippines, a 100 Days-to-Go TVC will be aired on key channels & social media platforms while LED billboards along key sites in the Metro will also feature materials on display. Features on key news programs and video callouts from local ambassadors of the FIBA Basketball World Cup will also be shown on tv & social media.
This the first time in 45 years that the Philippines is hosting the FIBA Basketball World Cup, albeit alongside Japan and Indonesia, and the co-hosts are promising the most memorable world meet yet.
According to Al S. Panlilio, President of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, “The event will be tremendous – the fan experience will be unprecedented, unmatched in its impact and truly memorable for all.”
Filipinos may very well watch the MVP-caliber play of Serbian Nikola Jokic and Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo, as well as a bevy of NBA stars by taking advantage of alreadyavailable tickets with the Follow My Team Passes with access to all preliminary games of your chosen team, the Ultimate Fan & Super Fan passes, which give access to games from the Quarterfinals to the Finals, and the Two-Day Passes, which give fans the chance to watch 4 games on 2 consecutive days.
Single-Day Passes will also be available starting May 25 for basketball fans to get a chance to see their favorite basketball stars up close and personal. Fans can purchase their tickets to the biggest basketball event of the year via philippines.worldcup.basketball.
INC Chronicles reboots visuals to better engage youth, public
May 1, 2023 2:42 p.m.
INC Chronicles, a weekly television feature-documentary that delves into the rich history and community-building efforts of the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s various local congregations, has recently undergone tech-driven enhancements to make the show more visually engaging in today’s fast-changing media landscape.
With sharper cinematography, spruced up digital graphics, and creative animation, the re-envisioned program aims to better connect with today’s younger audiences and those yet unfamiliar with the Church’s storied beginnings.
INC Chronicles’ new visually compelling episodes highlight the struggles, lessons, and timeless Christian values that marked the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s formative years in various communities around the Philippines and abroad.
The show seeks to create a deeper appreciation for the Church’s history and how its spiritual and humanitarian activities have been helping drive community growth and empowerment for over a century.
INC Chronicles is broadcast every Thursday at 3:30 p.m. on INCTV, with reruns every Thursday at 8:30 p.m. and Sunday at 10:00 p.m. It is a co-production of the Christian Era Broadcasting Service International Inc. (CEBSI Inc.), the religious media arm of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, and the INC Museum.
In an interview, INC Museum Director, Cornelio N. Cortez, emphasized the value of chronicling the story of the Iglesia Ni Cristo and expressed gratitude for the Church’s continued growth. “The hand of God is present during all those decades. We are thankful,” he stated.
According to Cortez, the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s dedication to preserving its history and cultural heritage is also reflected in the INC Museum which houses over 17,000 protected catalog items inside temperature-controlled and humidity-monitored rooms.
From its humble beginnings of preaching at riversides and small town houses in the Philippines to becoming a global religious institution, the Iglesia Ni Cristo has millions of members in over 7,000 congregations spread across 164 countries and territories worldwide.
FIBA ambassador Luis Scola, US rapper Saweetie to banner FIBA World Cup Draw 2023
April 24, 2023 3:51 p.m.
The world’s biggest basketball tournament is about to unfold in Manila at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, with basketball legend Luis Scola gracing the much-anticipated draw with performances by American rapper Saweetie, Sarah Geronimo, and Billy Crawford this Saturday, April 29 at the Smart Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.
Scola has won multiple medals as a member of the national men’s basketball team of Argentina. He played for Argentina’s national squad from 2001 until 2019, winning two silver medals at the FIBA World Championships, one each in 2002 and during his final tournament in 2019 at the age of 39. During the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship tournament, Scola became the all-time leading scorer in FIBA AmeriCup history and won his 4th tournament MVP.
On the live performance side, Saweetie is an American rapper who made a name for herself by rhyming over iconic tracks, giving a nod to those who came before while building her own catalog of fiery hits such as “My Type,” “Tap In,” and “Best Friend,” a collaboration with Doja Cat.
Meanwhile pop superstars Sarah Geronimo and Billy Crawford are expected to represent the Filipino side at the international event happening on Saturday, 7:30 at the Big Dome.
Ranked #40 in the world, the Philippines has gained an outright berth in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Games by being one of the host nations alongside Japan and Indonesia. This is the sixth time that the Philippines is playing on the world stage, and its second time as host nation following its hosting in 1978 where it finished in the top eight.
As a FIBA global partner, Smart is going all-out for the FIBAWC 2023 Draw Event as anticipation reaches a new high with all the 32 qualified nations receiving their country assignments during the spectacle. This year’s much-anticipated FIBA draw will finally announce the matchups and finalize which countries will be playing in the Philippines, giving Pinoy basketball fans time to plan which games and basketball greats they wish to see live in action.
Catch Ben&Ben live and win prizes from Smart at ‘FIBA in Manila’ in BGC
Basketball fans can also join the all-day festival party, “FIBA in Manila,” at BGC Uptown area, corner of 9th Avenue and 36th Street in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) from 10 am onwards, also on April 29.
Ben&Ben’s performance at the “FIBA in Manila” will be streamed live via Smart’s official Facebook page at 2pm.
Never miss a moment with the Smart LiveStream App
Smart subscribers can get hyped with non-stop FIBA basketball action by catching all the exciting happenings and the games, including those played in the previous windows, via the Smart Livestream App.
Using the app, fans can catch every minute of live basketball action at the 2023 FIBAWC from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10.
The Smart LiveStream app is downloadable on the App Store and the Google Play Store, and subscribers will only need to enter a valid Smart Prepaid or Postpaid mobile number to enjoy all the sports action.