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Digital advocacy network nixes digital content regulation

Digital Pinoys

A network of digital advocates slammed the plan to regulate movies and other digital video content on the internet.

Digital Pinoys national campaigner Ronald Gustilo said that online streaming platforms are already implementing a voluntary content rating system and that the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) does not need to implement another set of rating system on digital content being streamed on these platforms.

“Platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and HBO already have its own ratings system. In fact, Apple TV has already adopted the MTRCB rating system in its platform.

Gustilo said the agency should instead work with these platforms to voluntary implement its ratings system in their digital content.

“Given the immense volume of videos and movies posted online daily, regulating movies and other digital video content will be difficult.”

Limited staffing

Gustilo added that given the current state of the MTRCB, it is simply impossible for the regulatory agency to undertake review of all streaming content. According to the proposed 2023 National Expenditure Program, MTRCB only has sixty (60) authorized positions, and relies on deputized persons to help them review content.

“With thousands of online content posted in these platforms every week, how will the MTRCB regulate all of these? More importantly, given the current government’s limited fiscal space, expanding staffing to review online content is out of the question.”

No mandate to regulate digital content

Gustilo also said that the MTRCB’s current mandate does not include regulation of movies and videos posted online. He added that the MTRCB’s mandate only covers movies being screened in cinemas and television shows.

“Congress should first amend the MTRCB‘s mandate to expand its authority on digital content. The agency cannot, on its own, impose its regulatory powers on areas which are clearly outside its mandate.”

Reference: Ronald Gustilo, Digital Pinoys National Campaigner