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MTRCB scores with prompt move

/ 09:35 PM December 26, 2013

We highly commend the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chair, lawyer Eugenio “Toto” Villareal, for his  decisiveness in ensuring quality in TV programs and making them fit for public consumption by taking immediate action on broadcast infractions (“MTRCB requires TV morning show ‘Unang Hirit’ to apologize,” Entertainment, 12/11/13).

Accordingly, the MTRCB ordered the producers of GMA 7’s Nov. 5 “Unang Hirit” episode to

issue a public apology and pay a fine of P20,000 for Arnold Clavio’s  “berating” a guest in violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility; it likewise called their attention for the “alleged discriminatory and derogatory portrayal of women” in defiance of Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women in the Nov. 29 “Bubble Gang” episode.

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GMA 7 also violated the Children’s Television Act of 1997 (RA 8370), which provides that “the State recognizes the importance and impact of broadcast media, particularly television programs on the value formation and intellectual development of children and must take steps to support and protect children’s interests by providing television programs that reflect their needs, concerns and interests without exploiting them.”

Decency in speech, attire and action must be observed at all times. Women should not be turned into sex objects by making them wear skimpy and indecent attire or perform lewd, suggestive movements. TV programs showing such features (even during prime time) expose children to undue sexuality at an early age. TV shows must likewise be scrutinized to ensure that human dignity, good manners, public decorum and propriety are observed.

It is about time viewers and parents became vigilant and proactive in helping monitor the TV shows watched by children. To facilitate the monitoring of TV shows and help “ensure child-sensitive and youth-friendly programming,” consumers must send immediately their feedback to network operators, producers, copy furnished the MTRCB. As viewers, the public and parents must not be mere recipients; we should have some measure of control, especially so because to generate the highest ratings, commercial TV networks often resort to a style of programming that depicts sex and violence.

Improving the quality of TV programs is crucial because:

(a)    TV has the great power to contribute to building up or destroying a society; and (b) The airwaves on which TV networks operate are public property; the franchise to broadcast is a privilege; in exchange, TV networks are duty-bound to use these frequencies responsibly.

(b)   Parents should not use TV as an electronic babysitter.

Aside from the network operators and producers, the filmmakers, advertisers, fashion trendsetters, media men and women have also a vital role in social responsibility. They can encourage TV programs, movies, advertisements and media advance ennobling ideas, images, messages, signals or models that inspire positive values among adults and the young, our hope as future leaders.

—CHING D. AUNARIO,

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chingauna@yahoo.com

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TAGS: Arnold Clavio, Bubble Gang, GMA 7, MTRCB, television, Unang Hirit
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