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MTRCB Wants to Regulate Contents of Netflix in the Philippines

Mark Andrew

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  • The Philippines is seeking to regulate movies shown via Netflix and other streaming platforms.
  • According to MTRCB’s Jonathan Presquito, showing and selling unrated motion pictures is considered illegal in the country.

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), a government agency in the Philippines, is seeking to regulate contents of Netflix and other online streaming platforms.

During a senate hearing on the proposed Internet Transactions Act, MTRCB legal affairs chief Jonathan Presquito said that the agency is mandated by the law to regulate movies shown in the country, regardless of the medium, to ensure that content are age-appropriate according to their ratings.

Presquito explained:

“There is necessity for us to proceed with the regulation, especially during the lockdown most of us use streaming services to maintain our sanity, Netflix, iflix, but all those movies are unrated.”

According to Presquito, the distribution of unrated movies is prohibited by existing laws in the Philippines. On top of that, he also pointed out that all films sold or shown should initially be reviewed and approved by the MTRCB, reported CNN.

“Streaming services, like Netflix, are video on demand platforms and we have to regulate those platforms. We have to ensure that those materials being shown on those platforms are compliant with the MTRCB law,” added Presquito.

This, of course, is the part where things get a little tricky since Netflix itself does not operate in the country.

“Netflix is not doing business in the Philippines in so far as physical [business is concerned], but it is clearly doing business in the Philippines…Their product is being distributed online,” the official pointed out.

Meanwhile, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel commented that the senate will still have to discuss the issue in succeeding hearings.

Pimentel said:

“We have to think it through… It’s either we update our laws to catch up with technology or we enforce our archaic laws and hold back technological progress.”

Watch the video report here:
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