Sotto pokes fun at MTRCB’s move to regulate Netflix, other streaming sites

Published September 5, 2020, 6:45 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

“Whose ‘bright’ idea was that?”

Senate President Vicente Sotto III posed this question as he expressed doubt that the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) would be able to actually monitor the contents of online streaming services as it proposed.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
Sen. Vicente Sotto III (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“Kaninong ‘bright’ idea yan, sino sa MTRCB ang nakaisip niyan (Whose ‘bright’ idea was that, who among the officials of MTRCB thought of that idea)?” Sotto asked in an interview with radio DWIZ Saturday when asked about the proposal.

“Paano nilang gagawin (How would they be able to do that)? Ano kokontakin nila Netflix, sasabihan: ‘Hoy kailangan dumaan lahat sa MTRCB lalabas diyan sa Netflix’ (What, you will contact Netflix and tell them: ‘Hey, all of those that will come out on Netflix will have to go through the MTRCB first)? Huh, paano mong gagawin ‘yon (How would you do that)?” he asked.

“Hindi kaya (They cannot do it), I doubt it,” he said.

Sotto likened the MTRCB’s proposal to a “birth control program” wherein the government would “meddle” with spouses in their homes. The regulatory board, he said, should instead leave to the parents to guide and remind their children about the contents of the programs that they are watching from the streaming platforms.

“Papasok ka sa mga bahayan ng mga tao at sasabihin sa mga magulang kung anong sasabihin sa mga anak nila (You will intrude into the people’s homes and dictate on the parents what they should be telling their children). Eh, may mga magulang, eh, hayaan mo ‘yong mga magulang (But they have parents, leave it to their parents),” he said.

“Hindi pupwedeng i-asa lahat sa gobyerno, kailangan naman ‘yong mga magulang, sila mismo mag-regulate (We should not be relying too much on the government, let the parents themselves regulate),” he added.

MTRCB legal affairs division chief Jonathan Presquito on Thursday asked the Senate to legislate a measure that would compel video streaming services to comply with the regulatory body’s content regulations. “We have to regulate those platforms,” Presquito said.

Sotto, however, noted that the online streaming sites such as Netflix have already been implementing self-regulation and viewing restrictions to prevent children from accessing contents that are not appropriate for the ages.

“Doon lang may remedyo na, eh (There is already a remedy for that),” he said.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, in a separate interview, also said that the MTRCB could just inform the parents about these parental controls.

“Kung di man nila mabantayan isa-isa, ipaalam nila sa mga magulang ‘yong mga ganitong controls na huwag lang basta ibigay password sa ating mga kabataan (If they cannot monitor each content one by one, they could educate parents about these controls, and that they should not just give away the passwords to our children),” Gatchalian said.