Brand & BusinessPress Release

PLDT and Smart lead the Philippines’ first rehabilitative child protection initiative

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Together with Football for Humanity (FFH), PLDT and Smart strengthen their child online protection initiatives and the multi-sectoral fight against Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children or OSAEC, by providing Psychological First Aid (PFA) training to football coaches. As a pioneering event in the Philippines, the PFA training for coaches is aimed at mobilizing these volunteers to be the first-aid responders of psychological care for the children and youth survivors of OSAEC.

“In PLDT and Smart, we aim to promote a safer digital world to our children and youth. Through this PFA training, we hope that our coaches will be able to provide a safe space by becoming a first line of support for the children and youth who may be experiencing mental distress due to their situation. We hope that this training will serve as a rehabilitative care for the children-survivors of OSAEC,” according to Stephanie V. Orlino, AVP and head of Stakeholder Management at PLDT and Smart.

FFH is a sport for development organization that uses football-focused interventions to tackle complex social issues affecting children, including OSAEC.


The PFA training is a non-intrusive, practical care and support that helps identify the needs and concerns of individuals by assisting them with their basic necessities and listening and paying attention to individuals without forcing them to speak. Moreover, the PFA helps soothe and calm people by connecting them to information, recourses, and social support. The PFA training for the FFH coaches was led and facilitated by Riyan Portuguez, more popularly known as ‘Your Millennial Psychologist’.

“We are very proud of our enduring partnership with PLDT and Smart, through their Better Today program, which places a strong emphasis on mental health. Given the persistence of OSAEC, the practice of Psychological First Aid has become increasingly crucial. Providing communities with these learnings allows them to manage high-stress scenarios, enabling them to address trauma effectively and promptly – all for the good of the children under our care,” said Chris Thomas, Football for Humanity Founder and President.

“It’s been a privilege to be able to join this training as we learned informative, insightful, and inspiring lessons. PFA provides us with knowledge that allows us to be more productive and more responsive as coaches. With this training, we will be able to become more effective coaches to the children and the youth as we cultivate a safe space for them,” said Senior Coach Floyd Jofferson Crisologo.

PLDT and Smart continue to deploy programs designed to uplift and improve the mental and overall digital wellness of Filipinos. These initiatives are part of PLDT and Smart’s continuing commitment to help the Philippines contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly UN SDG 3 that stands for good health and well-being.

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