MTRCB plan to regulate Netflix ‘ridiculous’: Cayetano
By Filane Mikee Cervantes
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano. (File photo)
MANILA – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday thumbed down the proposal of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to regulate video content in streaming platforms like Netflix.
In a Facebook post, Cayetano describe the proposed regulation of video streaming content as a “ridiculous idea”, noting that this kind of “bureaucratic thinking” gives government workers a bad name.
“Ang dami na ngang problema ng mga kababayan natin, tapos ito pa ang gustong unahin ng MTRCB? (The people are facing so many problems and yet this is what the MTRCB wants to prioritize),” Cayetano said.
Cayetano stressed that MTRCB has no jurisdiction over Netflix and other online streaming platforms.
He noted that Presidential Decree (PD) 1986, which granted powers to the MTRCB, limited its scope to “motion pictures, television programs and commercials intended for public exhibition in theaters and television”.
“Walang Netflix dyan. Kasi nga (There is no Netflix in that law. That’s because) this law was crafted before the commercial use of the internet — and that medium has since grown by leaps and bounds,” Cayetano said.
He said if the MTRCB wants to be relevant at this time, it should be thinking of ways on how to help improve the country’s film industry, which has been left behind by its “Asian neighbors”.
He said the film industry is in dismal condition “despite the fact that there are so many talented Filipino actors, directors, writers, and creative and production professionals”.
“Ang irony pa dito (The irony here is that), while Congress and other government agencies are doing everything they can to open up lines of communication with the public, and increase transparency, MTRCB is focused on the outdated mindset of information regulation and censorship,” Cayetano said. “Anong dekada na ba kayo (In what decade are you now)?”
During a Senate committee hearing on Thursday, MTRCB legal affairs division chief Jonathan Presquito, emphasized the need to regulate streaming service platforms to ensure it is age-appropriate and contains no prohibited material.
“There is a necessity for us to proceed with the regulation, especially during the lockdown. Most of us, our sanity was maintained with streaming services like Netflix. The regulation will ensure three things, age-appropriate, no prohibited content, and the movies or series were released with authority,” Presquito said. (PNA)