- Movie and Television Review and Classification Board
Movie and Television Review and Classification Board Lupon sa Pagrerepaso at Pag-uuri ng Sine at Telebisyon Agency overview Jurisdiction Government of the Philippines Employees At least 33 Agency executive Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Chairwoman Website MTRCB official site
The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (Filipino: Lupon sa Pagrerepaso at Pag-uuri ng Sine at Telebisyon; abbreviated MTRCB) is the government agency responsible for rating television and film for the Philippines. Recently, the MTRCB was given the additional task of rating various video media (VHS, VCDs, DVDs, etc.). It is under the executive powers of the Office of the President. The MTRCB is composed of the chairman, vice-chairman and 30 board members. Each one holds office for a term of one year but may be reappointed after the expiration of his/her term. The incumbent chairman of MTRCB is Chairman Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares, daughter of Fernando Poe, Jr. and Susan Roces.
Differences with other organizations
Unlike other organizations worldwide, such as the BBFC, the MTRCB does not rate video games. This is due to the fact that the Philippines does not produce video games (other than titles from studios such as Anino Games), since most video games are imported, with almost all of it coming from the United States. Because of that, ratings from the Entertainment Software Rating Board are seen as the de facto standard for video game ratings in the Philippines, but legal restrictions (such as prohibition of sales of M-Rated games to minors) usually do not apply, although certain software vendors ask for an ID or any other valid age verification when selling titles such as Grand Theft Auto IV and other mature-rated games. The MTRCB also does not rate literature, unlike some other organizations.
The MTRCB is also known to rate films differently from other organizations, examples of which are the Harry Potter film series, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Batman Begins, Spider-Man, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, and more recently, Shake, Rattle & Roll XI, which, despite the graphic and potentially disturbing content depicted in the films, were given a rating of G (all ages accepted), despite other countries who imposed a PG-13 rating, and The Da Vinci Code, which received a R-18 rating, while other countries gave it lower ratings.
There are 5 different ratings the board utilizes. These are:
Level Classification rating Description Unrestricted G or GP All ages admitted. PG-13 Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Restricted R-13 Strictly for persons 13 years and over. R-18 Strictly for persons 18 years and over. X Not for public viewing. Discontinued R Strictly for persons 17 years old and over. It scopes the modern day ratings R-13 and R-18. PG-7 Parental guidance for children below seven years old. It is between the modern-day ratings G and PG-13.
However, on this system, there are no pictogram intended for each rating.
Prior to the board's revision of the ratings, there are only two television ratings used. These are:
Classification rating Pictogram shown on the screen? General Patronage No Parental Guidance Only plain text
However, last October 6, 2011, in a move to encourage parents to supervise and be responsible with their children in watching television, there are four television ratings that has been utilized by the board. These are: 
Pictogram Classification rating English name Official Tagalog name Description G General Patronage None All viewers may watch. PG Parental Guidance Patnubay at Gabay Parental guidance is stongly recommended. Programmes rated PG may contain sensitive content. SPG Strong Parental Guidance Striktong Patnubay at Gabay Parental guidance is strictly necessary to watch programmes rated SPG. The actual implementation of SPG, however, is delayed until further notice from the board. None X Disapproved for Airing None Programmes rated X are not recommended for public viewing.
Note: The actual implementation of “SPG”, however, is delayed until further notice from the board and/or after a successful information campaign on the significance of the already existing classification ratings.
The old ratings consists of a full-screen advisory (similar to Australia's one) of the programme's rating that is shown 10 seconds before the programme (but it is only shown rarely), and a static Parental Guidance text appears at the upper left or at the bottom right of the screen during a program if it was rated as such. If there is no graphic, it is understood that a show is rated GP or General Patronage.
The new ratings patterned its system to the older ratings, but was completely refreshed. The new system consists a new full-screen advisory of the programme's rating and is shown strictly before a programme, whatever the programme is, other than the pictogram appears at the bottom right of the screen during a program if it was rated as such. The pictogram advisory is also color-coded (see the table above). All programs, except some children programmes, are either rated PG, SPG or X.
This lists the television networks by the date of adoption.
- ABS-CBN, Studio 23 and PTV on October 6.
- UNTV on October 7.
- GMA Network and GMA News TV on October 10.
- TV5, AksyonTV, IBC and its sports block AKTV on October 11.
- Net 25 on October 12.
- Light TV 33 on October 14.
- The Game Channel on October 26.
- ETC, 2nd Avenue, and Talk TV on October 30 respectively.
- BEAM Channel 31 on November 1.
The board gave a deadline of until October 31 for the other national, local, cable, and satellite television networks to switch onto the new graphic.
All programmes shown by the television channels are reviewed and classified by the said board. The board may suspend or cancel programmes, but not to remove broadcast licenses. Flagship news programs are not rated by the board but informational and public affairs programmes does.
Use of the X rating
A movie shall be disapproved for public viewing if, in the judgment of the board:
- The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the dominant theme of the work as a whole appeals to prurient interest and satisfies only the craving for gratuitous sex and/or violence.
- The work depicts in a patently lewd, offensive, or demeaning manner, excretory functions and sexual conduct such as sexual intercourse, masturbation and exhibition of the genitals.
- The work clearly constitutes an attack against any race, creed or religion.
- The work condones or encourages the use of illegal drugs and substances.
- The work tends to undermine the faith and confidence of the people in their government and/or duly constituted authorities.
- The work glorifies criminals or condones crimes.
- The work is libelous or defamatory to the good name and reputation of any person, whether living or dead.
A movie or television program that receives an X rating may not be shown in Philippine theaters or television, or in any form of public exhibition.
A much publicized use of the X rating by the MTRCB was the issuance of such rating to a documentary film portraying the life of former Philippine president Joseph Estrada in 2006. Certain portions of the film, especially the portions with regard to the 2001 EDSA Revolution, were deemed by the MTRCB to be inciting political rebellion, a charge denied by the producers of the documentary.
Suspension of other shows
Not only does MTRCB rates shows and films, they can also suspend a certain show for a few days to a few months depending on the violation. The following are the notable, scandalous events that earned shows a suspension.
- The Eda Nolan scandal on Wowowee, which happened on May 12, 2007, earned the show a 3-day suspension.
- The controversial suspension of a documentary program i-Witness after showing a unique ritual dance from Laguna "The Lukayo"
- The month-long suspension of Showtime due to a inappropriate comment of one of its judge to the Filipino teachers.
- Willing Willie received a month-long suspension after a child named Jan-Jan danced while crying in front of the crowd.
- The TV-channel TVE Internacional's broadcast was suspended by the MTRCB because of sexual content. It is unclear if the broadcast had been stopped only by SkyCable or all cable companies nationwide.
- The HBO mini-series Entourage was blocked for 3 weeks on SkyCable because it has not yet been reviewed by the MTRCB. But on other cable operators, the series was broadcast without any interruption.
The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP; English: Association of Broadcasters of the Philippines), an association unrelated to the government, governs censorship on radio, although it can only reprimand its own members. A network currently not a member of the KBP is GMA Network, who is a former member.
The Optical Media Board formerly governed censorship on it, but MTRCB taken the authority of the home videos.
- ^ The MTRCB Board Members
- ^ Dedace, Sophie (10 October 2010). "More Palace appointees: FPJ daughter is new MTRCB chief". GMA News. http://www.gmanews.tv/story/203098/nation/more-palace-appointees-fpj-daughter-is-new-mtrcb-chief. Retrieved 09 November 2011.
- ^ "Classfication ng TV ratings, nirepaso ng MTRCB" (in Tagalog). DZMM. http://dzmm.abs-cbnnews.com/news/Entertainment/Classification_ng_TV_ratings%2C_nirepaso_ng_MTRCB.html. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- ^ Cruz, Marinel (06 October 2011). "MTRCB revises rating system for TV shows". Philippine Daily Inquirer. http://entertainment.inquirer.net/16561/mtrcb-revises-rating-system-for-tv-shows. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- ^ Matabuena, Julien Merced (06 October 2011). "Revised TV classifications launched by MTRCB". Manila Bulletin. http://mb.com.ph/node/336837/revi. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
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