QUEZON CITY, Mar. 20 (PIA) -- Atty. Eric Henry Mollanga of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) clarified that MTRCB honors artistic freedom of expression, while protecting the rights of the viewing public.
“We are more [of] a classification board than a censorship board,” said Mollaga Tuesday during the Talking Points radio program aired over Radyo ng Bayan and People’s Television-4.
According to Mallonga, the freedom of expression is a constitutional right which the agency respects. There is, however, a need to balance it with social responsibility.
“Kung may mga napapanood na medyo sensitive yung content, sana sa pang-gabi [na lang], ayaw kasi naming maging censorship board… There is the artistic freedom of expression… and everybody has the right to express himself. However--ito yung dapat nating panimbang--nalalabag ba ang karapatan ng ating mga manunuod?” said Mollanga.
(If there are relatively sensitive programs being shown, hopefully they are scheduled at night because we do not want to be a censorship board. There’s freedom of expression and everybody has the right to express himself. However, this is what should be balanced—are the viewers’ rights being violated?)
The MTRCB, as Mollanga said, discusses with producers, whose creative works are out the contemporary cultural values, the possibility of deleting some harmful parts in order for them to be favored with a rating that they are appealing for.
Mallonga added that they are looking carefully on the content descriptors that determine where a particular material would fall into. Some of the content descriptors that they note crucial to classification are topics on sex, drug use, rebellion, violence, and other detrimental ideas.
“Kailangan po ng naninimbang doon po sa tema, nilalaman, contemporary cultural values, at sa intension ng lumikha ng isang sine. At ‘yun po ay aming pinag-aaralan,” said Mallonga.
(Balance is needed in the theme, content, contemporary cultural values, and the intention of the filmmaker. We analyze all these.)
He said MTRCB consults developmental psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers, parent organizations, family councils, and barangay councils such as the barangay council for the protection and welfare of children and the National Council for Children’s Television to help them give the public a just advice and guidance.
“There are people who are very much interested doon po sa mga artistic creations, doon po sa panonood ng sine at mga programa sa telebisyon Dine-deputize po namin [sila] at nanonood sila nang libre, pero may obligasyon po yan. Kailangan magreport po sila doon sa kanilang mga pinapanood, at magbibigay po sila ng komento at kritisismo ukol doon sa mga paglalabag, [at] kung sapat ba o tama ang aming mga classification,” said Mollanga.
(There are people who are very much interested in the artistic creations—in watching films and TV programs. We let them watch for free, but they are obliged to submit criticisms and comments on films or programs that they watched for us to know if we have an adequate and correct classification.) (PCCC/PIA-Central)