MANILA – It is high time to update and give the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and other state agencies the needed teeth to protect youths from immoral and illegal content, especially during this era of streaming media and online gaming.
Sen. Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla stressed this on Thursday at the start of the hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, which discussed bills to enhance the MTRCB’s powers and to regulate online games and outdoor media.
“Ang ating pong layunin sa araw na ito ay siguraduhin na mariin at epektibo ang ating patnubay sa mga manunood lalo na sa ating mga kabataang nasa murang edad at bubot pa ang kamalayan, mula sa mga palabas at audio-visual media sa ano mang moda, porma at plataporma (Our goal for today is to make sure we effectively guide youths who are exposed to shows and audiovisual media in various modes and platforms),” Padilla said at the start of the hearing.
Before suspending the hearing in the afternoon, he also stressed the need for agencies like the MTRCB to have better tools against movie piracy.
Yet, he said the measures should make sure the creativity of directors will not be curtailed, adding he shares the dream of the MTRCB no longer into censorship but into classification.
“Kami pong lahat na taga pelikula na nandidito sa Senado naniniwala po na kailangan madagdagan ang mandato ninyo para labanan po natin itong mga online na ito (We from the film industry believe the MTRCB needs a greater mandate to fight these threats online),” he said.
Padilla noted some 38 years have passed since the MTRCB was established – and it has been outdated at this time of internet and online gaming.
“Nakakalungkot man, napag-iwanan na po ang MTRCB sa pagsasala ng mga naglipanang audio-visual media at content sa makabagong plataporma at moda ng panonood (Sad to say, the MTRCB has been left behind in this time of audio-visual content in modern platforms and modes),” he said.
Also, Padilla made it clear that they are not after censorship.
“Uulitin po natin, hindi po censorship ang nais natin. Hindi tayo kalaban ng malaya at malikhaing sining; bagkus, tayo ay kakampi ng matalinong panunuod laban sa hindi katanggap-tanggap na media tulad ng immoral, mahalay, mga paniniwalang laban sa batas at moralidad ng lipunan at syempre pa, ang tampok na ikinababahala ng inyong lingkod — paninira sa reputasyon at dignidad ng ating Inang Bayang Pilipinas (Again, our goal is not censorship. We do not oppose freedom of expression; but we want to uphold intelligent viewing and protect viewers from immoral and illegal content, including those that threaten the reputation and dignity of our motherland),” he said.