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PLDT Inc. (PLDT), its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and other members of the National Telecommunications Security Council (NTSC) have partnered with the Philippine National Police to strengthen the security of telco infrastructure across the country.

"It is unfortunate that we face challenges such as theft and vandalism incidents targeting telco assets. These criminal activities not only interrupt the smooth operation of our networks, but also negatively impact the lives of our citizens who rely on these services," said PNP Chief Major General Benjamin Acorda, while also emphasizing that the PNP stands together with the sector in addressing these concerns.

"Overall, this will be the start of a closer collaboration between the NTSC and PNP in solving the problems being faced by telecommunications companies nationwide in terms of theft, vandalism, sabotage and other threats," said Wilfredo Gonio, PLDT Head of Security Central Command and Admin and NTSC Chair.

The NTSC, which is an industry-wide alliance of corporate security professionals from the Philippines' major telecommunications companies for the mutual protection of telco infrastructure nationwide, was organized by the PLDT Asset Protection and Security Risk Governance (APSRG) team in June 2021.

In a courtesy call with the PNP Chief, the NTSC shared its anticipation of collaborating more closely with the PNP, especially in curtailing theft and vandalism incidents on telco assets nationwide.

Among the issues discussed by NTSC members during the visit was the widespread theft of telco equipment, such as copper wires and batteries, which are later sold to junk shops, thereby causing millions in losses to telcos.

Meanwhile, General Acorda talked about the significant role that the telco sector plays in the country's progress and development, citing the sector's ability to connect people, enable commerce, and facilitate the smooth functioning of various critical services. "We are ready to collaborate at developing strategies and implementing measures to counteract them effectively. I believe that by joining forces, we can create a formidable defense against those who seek to compromise the stability and reliability of our telco networks," the PNP Chief added.

Acorda further praised NTSC's plans to organize regional telco security forums in the various regional police offices and promised the PNP's help in facilitating easy coordination at the regional and provincial level. "These forums will serve as invaluable platforms for sharing knowledge and best practices, and experiences in the field of telco security. I support this initiative as it will strengthen the coordination and cooperation between the NTSC and PNP, enhancing our collective ability to protect our telco assets," General Acorda said.

Moreover, the PNP and the NTSC are also eyeing enhanced coordination and cooperation between the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the NTSC during loss prevention operations.

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