The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) recently held its Family and Child Summit at Balay Kalinaw, University of the Philippines Diliman. The summit was attended by almost 200 participating families, children and youth, educators and formators, MTRCB officers and staff, network and TV production representatives, and other individuals from various units and organizations. MTRCB Chairperson Toto Villareal opened the summit by emphasizing on the family as the cradle of the life of a person, where one is formed in values and in virtue.
The first speaker for the event was CCP Chairperson of the Board, Ms. Emily Abrera, who set the tone by saying that children are easily impressionable. Parents should then be very careful and should guide and teach their children which programs are appropriate and safe for them to watch.
The next speaker was renowned child psychologist, Dr. Ma. Lourdes “Honey” Carandang. Dr. Carandang strongly remarked that children before adolescence easily absorb and imitate what they see on television. As for adolescents, Dr. Carandang said that they prefer real characters in media and look for heroes as role models.
Also on hand were celebrity couples Oyo Sotto and Kristine Hermosa, Julius Babao and Tin-tin Bersola and Lander Vera Perez and Regine Tolentino, who shared their best practices in regard to television watching in the family.
In addition, break-out discussions and mini-lectures were conducted by Chairperson Mag Cruz Hatol of the National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT), child advocate and MTRCB board member Atty. Eric Henry Joseph Mallonga, and parenting stalwart-couple Tibbs and Vangie Evalle of EduChild Foundation. All of the latter echoed that parents are the primary educators of their children, and hence they have to be more active in knowing, understanding and applying the MTRCB ratings and classification system.
The event was concluded by the signing of Memorandum of Agreement by and among MTRCB, NCCT, Anak TV, KBP, the television networks and other stakeholders and a closing message from former MTRCB Chairperson and Senator Grace Poe.
Acknowledging the MTRCB’s dedication and commitment to age-appropriate entertainment, Senator Poe thanked Chairperson Toto Villareal and the whole Board for continuing the paradigm shift introduced during her term, i.e. instead of being a “censor,” the MTRCB has became an enabler for both the television networks and producers, on the one hand, in terms of self-regulation and audience-sensitivity and the audience on the other, (particularly the family) in regard to viewer empowerment especially as regards the MTRCB ratings and classification system as well as its other initiatives and advocacies.