Members of the various guilds of the Film Academy of the Philippines may not be aware that the MTRCB (Movie Television Review and Classification Board) has promulgated a new classification system since October last year. There are five classifications for movies and three for television.
This article intends to orient film producers, filmmakers and film workers who are members of the Academy for their proper guidance.
The classification system was revised under the term of then outgoing MTRCB Chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares, who is now running for senator. Its implementation is the priority of new MTRCB Chairman Atty. Eugenio ‘Toto’ Villareal.
Basically, the new classification system for movies includes:
1. General (the letter G over a green background). Viewers of all ages are admitted. A G classification advises parents and supervising adults that the film, in the judgment of the Board, is suitable for all audiences.
2. Parental Guidance (the letters PG over a blue background). Viewers below thirteen years old must be accompanied by a parent or supervising adult when admitted into a PG film. A PG classification advises parents or supervising adults that the film may contain any of the following: themes, language, violence, nudity, sex and horror whose treatment is suitable for children below thirteen years of age.
3. R13 (R13 over a yellow background). Only viewers who are thirteen years old and above can be admitted into an R-13 film. An R-13 classification advises parents or supervising adults, as well as the would-be viewers themselves, that the film may contain any of the following: themes, language, violence, nudity, sex, horror and drugs whose treatment may not be suitable for children below thirteen years of age.
4. R16 (R16 over orange background). Only viewers who are sixteen years old and above can be admitted into an R16 film. An R16 classification advises parents and supervising adults that the film may contain any of the following: theme, language, violence, nudity, sex, horror and drugs that may not be suitable for children below sixteen years of age.
5. R18 (R18 over red background). Only viewers who are eighteen years old and above can be admitted into an R18 film. An R18 film classification advises viewers, parents and supervising adults that the film may contain any of the following: theme, language, violence, nudity, sex, horror and drugs that may not be suitable for children below eighteen years of age. An R18 rating does not mean that the film is obscene, offensive or pornographic, as these terms are defined by law.
Meanwhile, the television classifications ratings are as follows:
1. General Patronage. Suitable for all ages. Material for television, which in the judgment of the Board, does not contain anything unsuitable for children.
2. Parental Guidance. Parental guidance suggested. Material for television, which, in the judgment of the Board, may contain some adult material that may be permissible for children to watch but only under the guidance and supervision of a parent or adult.
3. Strong Parental Guidance (SPG). Stronger and more vigilant parental guidance is suggested. Programs classified as SPG may contain more serious topic and theme, which may not be advisable for children to watch except under the very vigilant guidance and presence of a parent or adult.
Actually, the R16 is an intermediary rating that the board promulgated following discussions and consultations with filmmakers and psychologists about its necessity.
Then Chairperson Poe-Llamanzares clarified that aside from being a more specific advisory, the R16 would encourage filmmakers to produce films that cater to people aged 14 and 15 now that such films may be shown in cinemahouses that do not exhibit R18 films.
Chairman Villareal said that the Board already launched an advocacy campaign for this purpose under its MTRCB Forum: Matalinong Panonood para sa Pamilya nina Juan at Juana. He added the advocacy campaign aims to guide the public on the kind of TV shows or films that should be watched according to the contemporary Filipino cultural values and standards.
He explained during the press briefing: Saklaw na po namin ang mga buses at ferry boats insofar as showing video entertainment is concerned. Under our rules and circulars, only G and PG ratings are allowed for those which appear via video entertainment on buses, ferry boats and other forms of public transportation.
Villareal said they have scheduled this year a Family and Child Summit to increase awareness of the parents and adult members of the families on the different film and television programs classification.
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