Department of Justice (File photo)

MANILA – Reports involving Filipino children sent through the United States-based National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) CyberTipline Reports (CTR) more than doubled this year, according to data shared by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday.

From 1,297,474 in 2020, NCMEC received 2,802,712 reports for the past 12 months.

In 2019, the NCMEC got 418,422 cyber tips.

Out of the total CTR and reports from the public, the DOJ-Office of Cybercrime conducted 268 investigations as of December, compared to 73 in 2020.

The DOJ said not all CTRs are considered actionable as duplicate reports are sometimes made on the same content.

The multiple reports occur when a content becomes viral and sent multiple times to different users or when there are misleading digital images, such as nude photos, and inaccurate reporting by electronic communication service providers.

The DOJ validates the CTR information and endorses the report when necessary to law enforcement agencies, including the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Center, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Anti-Human Trafficking Division, and Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center, which is a collaboration formed in 2019 among the police, NBI, Australian Federal Police, UK National Crime Agency, and International Justice Mission.

The DOJ may also request the Bureau of Immigration to black-list sex offenders while the Department of Social Welfare and Development will assist in the rescue and counselling of child victims.

NCMEC operates 24 hours, seven days a week, and may be contacted through 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or by filling up a form at report.cybertip.org. (PNA)