“Goin’ Bulilit’ was in trouble and a child psychology expert was called in to intervene. As a result of a meeting called last week, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and ABS-CBN representatives came up with a joint resolution to address concerns raised by viewers over “disturbing” content in the children’s show.
Eugenio Villareal, MTRCB chairman, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the network would (1) appoint a resident child psychology expert, (2) set in place a post-review mechanism for at least three months, and (3) closely collaborate with the MTRCB.
In a statement, Bong R. Osorio, ABS-CBN’s head of Corporate Communications, confirmed that the resolution included consultation with specialists on proposed sketches or gags when necessary and posting of appropriate advisories or disclaimers before the show. Osorio explained, “These measures were formulated…to protect the best interests of the child.”
Last week, the board summoned network representatives to a “mandatory conference,” to discuss episodes of the show that “compromised the innocence of both child actors and child viewers.”
In its own statement, the board pointed to scenes with “children [delivering] dialogue about inflicting harm on others, insulting one’s spouse, electoral fraud and committing crime.” The statement said there had also been instances of religious insensitivity.
The meeting was held on Monday. On Tuesday, Villareal said, the network submitted a proposal of remedial measures for the show as required in the resolution. The proposal is being evaluated by an ad hoc committee composed of board members Noel del Prado, Antonio Veloso and Carmen Musngi.
Villareal described the meeting as “candid and challenging…marked by the network’s desire to cooperate.”
For the first time, the panel was aided by a volunteer child psychiatrist provided by the Philippine Psychiatric Association (PPA), with which the board recently signed a memorandum of agreement.
A short advocacy video, with the theme, “what children see, children do,” was shown during the meeting.
Villareal pointed out: “All that we do [in the MTRCB] takes into account the primacy in society of the best interest and well-being of children.”
He said the board sought “to promote authentic self-regulation [while] encouraging free expression and creativity” in the entertainment industry. “The board’s rating system is founded on the welfare of children… who are impressionable and not fully capable of critical judgment,” he elaborated.
On July 27, the MTRCB held a Family and Child Summit, where experts, educators and parents “expressed very grave concern” over the ability of children “to assimilate and imitate what they hear, see and experience in media.” With a report from Allan Policarpio