OMB is Ronnie Ricketts’ top priority
Actor Ronnie Ricketts’ job as chair of the Optical Media Board (OMB) left him with no choice but to turn down two TV projects—the 2010 fantasy-adventure series “Panday” on GMA 7 and the ongoing teleserye “Mula Sa Puso” on ABS-CBN.
“Working on these shows would eat up my time,” said Ricketts, OMB chair since 2009. “My work with OMB has become my passion. I’m serious about this job.”
Ricketts said the role in “Mula sa Puso” could have been very challenging, and the talent fee as rewarding. But he said the offer came at the time that his OMB raiding team was mounting a massive antipiracy operation in Manila’s Quiapo district—considered the country’s piracy capital.
“I was focused on meeting with our Muslim brothers, whose families would be affected by the campaign,” Ricketts told Inquirer Entertainment. “When we ordered them to stop selling pirated materials, we also took away [their livelihood]. I wanted to personally answer their questions.”
Ricketts said he sought the help of Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, the Philippine National Police and the Department of the Interior and Local Government. The July 1 raid in Quiapo yielded P25 million worth of pirated materials. The partnership with government agencies led to the cleanup of other pirated-DVD areas in Manila like Avenida, Pedro Gil and Divisoria.
“This is hard work,” the board chief stressed. “We needed to band together. After the success of our operation in Quiapo, many people said, posible pala.”
Ricketts also arranged a dialogue among film producers, representatives of broadcasting networks ABS-CBN, GMA 7 and TV5, officials of the Philippine Association of the Record Industry Inc. (Pari) and licensed film replicators. “They discussed how each could help the industry. I guess they only needed to be assured that the OMB is concerned and willing to help.”
As part of his mission to educate the youth on the ill-effects of piracy, Ricketts is visiting some 5,000 students of St. Claire College in Novaliches, Quezon City on Aug. 21. He has also produced a music video for “Bawal Kumopya,” the OMB theme song; copies are being distributed in campuses.
His Movie All-Stars basketball team, which tours the country to talk about the destructive effects of illegal drugs, has also been tapped to help in the OMB campaign.
Ricketts, who said making movies is his first love, added that he’s working on a script which he described as “very modern” and “different from any of the movies I’ve done before.”