MTRCB wants to regulate contents of Netflix, other online streaming platforms

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 3) — The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) said it should be allowed to regulate contents of online streaming platforms as required by the law.

MTRCB legal affairs chief Jonathan Presquito told a Senate hearing on the proposed Internet Transactions Act that the MTRCB law defines motion picture as a series of pictures projected in a screen or any medium, may it have color or not, may it be silent or not.

The agency requires registration of entities that produce such content to assure viewers that these materials are age appropriate, with no prohibited content, and video distributor is authorized.

“There is necessity for us to proceed with the regulation, especially during the lockdown most of us ang nag-maintain ng sanity natin yung mga (what kept our sanity are) streaming services, Netflix, iflix, but all those movies are unrated,” Presquito said.

Presquito noted that distribution of unrated motion pictures is considered illegal under the MTRCB law. Moreover, no material should be sold or distributed in the country without being passed upon by the MTRCB, he added.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the main author of the bill, noted that since the proposed law only covers buying and selling of video-on-demand, a separate measure should be formulated that will cover the issue of unrated motion pictures and regulating streaming sites.

However, Presquito said another issue would be balancing regulation while allowing streaming services to grow, noting that in South Korea, all contents of Netflix go through prior review.

“We want an environment of growth… Let’s allow streaming services to flourish but how to balance that with the regulatory mechanism (is a concern),” he said.