New MTRCB chief: Parents make the best members


MTRCB Chair Eugenio “Toto” Villareal

Lawyer Eugenio “Toto” Villareal, new chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), assures observers that the government agency will remain steadfast in its goal to protect young viewers from inappropriate content.

“We want to make sure that children’s shows will not contain material that’s too mature, for example,” he told the Inquirer. “The bottom line: Television and movie fare should be age-appropriate.”

Villareal asserted that not a few board members were concerned moms and dads. “The best qualification for this job is being a parent,” he noted.

Child advocates are also represented in the board.

Lawyer, teacher

Not that being a lawyer is inconsequential. Villareal’s expertise was put to good use when the board got embroiled in a scandal involving the Tulfo brothers.

(Erwin, Raffy and Ben Tulfo made “threatening” remarks on their TV program against Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto, as a result of the show biz couple’s airport skirmish with the trio’s older brother, Mon Tulfo.)

Villareal acted as board spokesperson during that tumultuous episode. He told the Inquirer, however, that he doesn’t have a “monopoly on legal opinion” in the board.

He explained:  “I teach law at the Ateneo  and I practice entertainment law, [but] there are other lawyers in the MTRCB.”

As former lawyer for a radio station, he became more familiar with media issues.

His hope is for the industry to evolve toward self-regulation. “The board cannot cut scenes or censor. All deletions are voluntary.” Films getting “X’d,” however, cannot be avoided completely under Presidential Decree No. 1986, which governs the board.

“We are just here to implement the law,” Villareal explained, adding that former chair Grace Poe “set up the infrastructure” for the board. “I have big shoes to fill,” he acknowledged.

Invitation to vigilance

He hopes to continue championing several programs that Poe initiated—including the discounted review rates for indie filmmakers and the new classification system for television and the movies.

The new system has also introduced R-16 as a response to the changing times. It is the board’s goal for parents to become more proactive in monitoring their children’s viewing fare, said Villareal. “Our classification system is an invitation to parents,” he said. “We [also] tour campuses to inform the public about the new classification system.”

He hopes everyone will practice “matalinong panonood” or deliberate viewership. “Viewers should be more critical. They shouldn’t take everything they see on-screen at face value,” he said.

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  • tikboy50

    Low budgeted and Lousy Magical, Pantaserye and Superheroes television shows which obviously filmed only in Metro Manila such as in Ninoy Aquino Wild Life Park, Cicle, Lamesa Eco Park all in Quezon City and other parts of Metro Manila should be banned forever since Filipino Children deserved better from those shows. Worst, parents are helping their children to speak English fluently and yet here comes a Filipino channel, english cartoons, movies are converted to tagalog.

  • tikboy50

    Dear Atty. Villareal, I believe in your sincerity but once you’ll be able to banned those shows I mentioned below, no doubt your kind should multiply a thousand times.

  • sl1

    Parents make the best members, not all and with exceptions so very careful in choosing parents as members of MTRCB.

  • chitetskoy

    sana po magawan ng paraan ang pagkawala ng palabas pambata sa hapon puro mga teleserye at masaklap pa puro SPG ang palabas. puro kasi ratings at pera iniisip ng mga broadcasters.

  • aldhins

    Dapat bantayan din ng MTRCB ang kwento  ng mga drama sa TV anung epekto nito sa mga kabataan at sa mga  kababaihan katulad  nag papakita na pweding pumatol sa may asawa another woman kuno at  sa ating mga filipino parang dami ng gumagawa nyan ka tanggap tanggap na dami nga raw nanonood :)

  • akimaxx

    MTRCB saw it first, MTRCB approved it first. Parent viewers would react critically? Judgment on ‘quality control’ of our media is your job. Kapag may nakalusot, mayroong problema ang board.

    Ang mga palabas sa TV at mga sinehan ay patunay lamang kung ano ang URI ng MTRCB ngayon.

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