MTRCB seeks authority to regulate online streaming services

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2022 12:28 AM

MANILA—The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board is seeking the help of Congress to have the authority to regulate online streaming services, according to MTRCB’s budget sponsor at the House of Representatives, Cavite 5th District Rep. Roy Loyola.

Loyola issued the statement on Wednesday after ACT Teachers Party List Rep. France Castro expressed concern over the proliferation of violent and sexy films on online platforms.

“The proliferation of violent and sexy films with the themes that are borderline soft core pornography, streaming in various online platforms, has become alarming. Are you monitoring din po ‘yung mga Netflix at ‘yung mga Vivamax?” Castro asked during the House plenary debates on MTRCB’s proposed 2023 budget.

“This kind of media content, portraying women as sexual objects reinforces a culture of misogyny and sexism in the country, and it might lead to yet another spike of cases of violence against women. Ironically, this is also reminisicent of bomba films used to distract the Filipinos from crisis during the martial law era,” she added.

“The MTRCB has no power over these kinds of social media outfit. The MTRCB is seeking the help of this august chamber to amend the law, so that this kind of exhibition, using the modern technology can be covered by the agency,” Loyola replied.

“Namo-monitor po, ang problema wala silang kapangyarihan. Hindi po sakop ng kanilang mandate. Kasi noong itinayo ang MTRCB in 1985, wala pa po tayong Netflix, wala pa po tayong internet, wala pa po tayong digital livestreaming pa po. Kaya kailangan po na ating maamyendahan ang batas na ito, para makatugon sa panahon,” he added.

Loyola said the MTRCB is already drafting a bill to expand its jurisdiction to cover social media platforms. Castro expressed willingness to push for the bill in the lower House.

“So they can monitor and apprehend those who will violate the policy of the agency,” Loyola said.

The House of Representatives terminated on Wednesday the plenary debates on the proposed 2023 budget of the MTRCB.