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MTRCB Wants Streaming Platforms to Adopt their Rating and Classification System

It is a loophole lawmakers are seriously looking at

With streaming platforms like iWant, Netflix, HOOQ, iFlix, and Apple TV gaining popularity in the Philippines, they lack something that all movies and broadcast TV shows have: classification and rating of content.

This was pointed out during the Senate hearing on the MTRCB’s proposed budget for 2020 last September 30. In the said hearing, MTRCB Chairperson Maria Rachel Arenas explained that the current law limits MTRCB to traditional movies and television materials and not materials published on the internet.

“This becomes sort of like a loophole for our regulators to look at. I just want to bring that on the table so that the board can discuss how to transition in today’s 21st-century distribution channel,” Senator Win Gatchalian said. As a proposal, Gatchalian suggested MTRCB to talk to these video streaming platforms and adopt their own rating system.

Gatchalian thinks that giving proper classification to shows aired in streaming platforms is important in order to warn everyone about the possible effects of these shows on one’s mental health. The senator cited the Netflix horror movie Eerie as an example, citing how the Star Cinema-produced movie touches on mental health and suicide.

“We don’t want to aggravate the situation [teenagers experiencing mental health issues] by allowing films that can inadvertently create issues on mental health to be easily accessible to the youth without the proper warning to parents or guardians,” Gatchalian said.

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