How to get an MTRCB card

By Rose Carmelle Lacuata,

Posted at Feb 04 2014 10:51 PM | Updated as of Feb 06 2014 07:35 PM

MANILA -- The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) is seeking help from the public in monitoring TV shows and movies.

In an interview with dzMM on Tuesday, MTRCB Chairman Atty. Toto Villareal said they give almost 5,000 MTRCB cards to deputies in exchange for helping the agency empower and develop both the TV and film industry.

He said the MTRCB card is not only meant to give the cardholder and a companion free access to movies.

"Hindi lang po yun panglibre sa sinehan. Namimigay po kami ng card para makatulong ang mga tao na magmonitor ng mga pelikula at shows, lalo na sa iba't ibang mga venue."

The MTRCB deputies are expected to monitor movies being shown on buses, water vessels, and spas.

"Kapag po sa mga lugar na ito, hanggang PG lang po ang maaring ipalabas,"

Movie trailers, on the other hand, should always be for general patronage.

The trailers can only fall under Parental Guidance if they will be shown before a movie under the same category.

Villareal said because they only have a small number of employees, they cannot focus much on giving feedback and reactions on the development of the film and television industry, which is also part of the agency's responsibilities.

"Nagkakaroon kami ng information campaign sa iba't ibang mga paaralan. Sa seminar, pinapapanood namin yung mga tao ng mga sample na pelikula, at binibigyan ng form na katulad ng ginagamit namin sa MTRCB para makita namin kung paano nila tinitingnan ang mga palabas."

For those interested in having an MTRCB card this year, Villareal said one only has to write a letter to their office, stating their intent to help in the agency's tasks.

When asked if radio shows are also monitored by the MTRCB, Villareal said they only monitor radio programs that are simultaneously shown on TV.

"Ang radyo, hindi sakop ng MTRCB, pero dahil tele-radyo, sakop ng MTRCB. Pero dahil sa cable ipinapalabas, post-review lang ang ginagawa," Villareal said.

Post-review means that the MTRCB will only review a show once it ends, unlike what the agency does for other TV shows available on free TV.

"Yung mga teleserye, magpapadala ng sample, halimbawa 13 episodes. Irereview namin, tapos pagbabatayan nila yung mga recommendations namin."

A move that Villareal considered a bit ironic is that MTRCB, despite its job, aims to promote freedom of expression, by allowing TV shows that fall under PG category to sometimes show sensitive material, provided that they will be informed beforehand.

"Pwede namang mag-SPG (strong parental guidance), basta may heads up lang na SPG yung specific na episode."

The MTRCB, according to Villareal, is also aiming for an industry concensus on how TV shows, especially those aired in cable channels, can be classified.

He said some children's programs, like cartoons, are not suitable for children. However, since most of these shows are shown on cable channels, they cannot be monitored as easily as those shown on free TV.

"Dahil ang cable channels ay kasama sa subscribed TV, mayroon nang self-regulation sa part ng viewers."

In terms of news programs, Villareal explained that they only monitor public affairs and news programs where the anchors voice out their personal opinion.

Straight news and government-produced programs are not regulated or classified.