PDEA cites the KBP for ban on airing songs promoting drug use

By Chito Chavez

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has cited the efforts of the Kapisanan Ng Mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) to ban the airing of songs that promote the use of illegal drugs.

PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino tries the newly procured high-powered firearms and protective equipment that will be used by the operating units during their turnover ceremony at PDEA HQ in Quezon City on Jan. 18, 2019. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN) PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino expressed appreciation to KBP Chairman Herman Z. Basbaño for issuing KBP Circular No. 019-030 dated June 4, 2019, in response to the song “Amatz” by Shanti Dope whose lyrics advocate drug use.

The circular was issued as a reminder to all KBP members to observe the restrictions stated in Article 15 (Music), Section 4 of Broadcast Code of the Philippines 2007 (as amended 2011) which reads, “Songs with lyrics or messages that are vulgar, indecent, promote substance abuse, gender discrimination, racism, Satanism, violence or sexual perversion or demeans a member of any sector of society shall not be played”.

PDEA thanked the KBP for issuing the circular as a form of renewed censorship against songs with inappropriate content whose real intent is to mislead the listeners.

To recall PDEA has pushed for the banning of the song “Amatz” for its subliminal meaning which encourages the recreational use of illegal drugs like marijuana and shabu.

Aquino said the song portrays the use of illegal drugs as harmless and may mislead the vulnerable youth in their perception that it is all right to use illegal drugs.

The agency had sent a letter-complaint to KBP on May 29, 2019, regarding the live performances of Shanti Dope rendering the song “Amatz” in Umagang Kay Ganda and ASAP, both programs of ABS-CBN on March 27, 2019, and May 19, 2019, respectively.

Aquino said the letter has already been endorsed to the KBP Standard Authority, the organization’s body empowered to hear and adjudicate complaints of possible violations of the KBP Broadcast Code.

KBP is a non-government, non-profit organization of the broadcast media in the Philippines.

Its aims include the promotion of an independent and free broadcast media, responsible broadcasting and enhanced public service by broadcasters, the advancement of innovation in broadcasting, and the development of Philippine broadcasting.

KBP has 121 members composed of owners and operators of radio and television stations all over the country.

In a letter dated May 20, 2019, PDEA also requested the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), and the ABS-CBN Corporation to prevent the airing of ‘Amatz’ and its promotion in the different media stations nationwide.

PDEA also sent a letter-complaint to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) dated May 29, 2019, recommending that “Amatz” and songs of the same nature should not be played on the airwaves and other forms of media.

NTC is an attached agency of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) that is responsible for the supervision, adjudication, and control over all telecommunications services in the country.