Abolition, not expansion, film director tells Senate amid plans to broaden MTRCB’s powers
MANILA, Philippines — The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) faced some serious opposition on Thursday from the Directors Guild of the Philippines Inc. (DGPI) amid moves to further expand the board’s review powers, with one director calling for its abolition.
During an inquiry in the Senate following moves to ban the local screening of the Hollywood film “Plane,” movie directors who were invited to the hearing said that expanding the powers of MTRCB may give rise to discrimination against the two industries that it governs.
Carlos Siguion-Reyna, DGPI vice president, said that he personally wanted the abolition of the MTRCB, but the group’s position is to leave the agency as it is.
“I think, personally, ako dapat talaga buwagin na ‘yung MTRCB because we should entrust it to self-regulation. Dapat tanggalin completely,” he told the Senate committee on public information and mass media, chaired by Senator Robin Padilla, an actor himself.
(I think, personally, the MTRCB should be abolished because we should entrust [the industry] to self-regulation. It [MTRCB] should be removed completely.)
“We are not asking for (Presidential Decree) 1986 to be more liberal. Our position is to leave it as is at huwag nang i-enhance, i-amend, o i-expand pa ang powers ng MTRCB because that is increasing the discrimination against these two industries,” he added.
(We are not asking for PD 1986 to be more liberal. Our position is to leave it as is and not enhance, amend, or expand MTRCB’s powers because that is increasing the discrimination against these two industries.)
PD 1986, signed by former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., establishes the MTRCB, an agency that regulates the public exhibition of motion pictures, television programs, and publicity materials.
DGPI president Edward Mark Meily likewise shared the same view.
“Magtiwala tayo sa Filipino na kaya natin mag-self-regulate dahil mas edukado tayo ngayon, mas nakakaintindi na tayo dahil nga din sa technology,” he said.
(Let us trust Filipinos that we can self-regulate because we are more educated and understanding now because of technology.)
However, MTRCB chairperson Diorella Maria Sotto-Antonio argued that cultural and Filipino values would no longer be preserved if the agency is abolished.
“Being too liberated is not a good idea. Being too conservative is not a good idea as well. They will be both dangerous,” she said. “That’s why the MTRCB should be here to strike a balance. It is also part of our core mandate to protect the children from anything that may cause disturbance to their minds,” the chairperson continued.
The panel is looking into enhancing MTRCB’s capabilities, mandate, and organizational structure as well as discuss the Video and Online Games and Outdoor Media Regulation Act. EDV