MTRCB Chair Lala Sotto hopeful about the return of local movies in cinemas

by Noel Orsal
Sep 8, 2022
lala sotto with pearl necklace
MTRCB Chairperson Lala Sotto on her first month in office: "Parang matagal na yung feeling, but it feels like home to me too kasi blessing na I am very familiar with the industry because of my parents, so hindi siya iba."
PHOTO/S: Noel Orsal

Sa October 5, 2022 ay ipagdiriwang ng Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) ang 37th anniversary nito.

Pero ayon sa bagong talagang MTRCB chairperson na si Diorella Maria “Lala” Sotto-Antonio, gusto niyang maging simple ang selebrasyon ng anibersaryo ng ahensiyang pinamumunuan niya.

Read: Lala Sotto details how she got appointed as MTRCB chair

Pahayag niya, “37th year anniversary pala ng MTRCB, and then I said, instead of spending for an event, I don’t think that it is timely to be spending for events, we’ll just do online launches.

“Wala ring event online, kundi the MTRCB website, we’ll just be launching it as well as our other social media platforms.

“We’ll be launching our new infomercial and it will be directed by Jako de Leon—the very talented, handsome, and son of Joey de Leon."

Si Jako rin daw magdidirek ng bagong show ng MTRCB na ipalalabas sa social media, ang MTRCB Reclassified.

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Lahad ni Chair Lala, “I’m very excited. I think isang episode lang ako doon sa MTRCB Reclassified. It was totally Jako, together with our board member Keats [Ma. Carmen "Keats" Musngi], totally had a different concept for the new show.

“It’s more of reaching out to the millennials, to the new generation who are very much in sync with social media and online streamers, more of that.

"Because we want the general public to be more understanding of the MTRCB, that the MTRCB is not here to censor your material.

“We’re here to guide the parents and to protect the children. For everybody, especially the children, to have a safe and comfortable viewing experience at home.

"Yun ang goal ng MTRCB, that’s why we want the millennials to know what MTRCB really is for."

Si Jako ay nagtapos sa Fordham University sa New York City. Siya ay isang producer, content creator, at vlogger.

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Nakausap ng Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP.ph) si Chair Lala nang bumisita ang ilang members ng Photographers Organization in Philippine Entertainment, Inc. (POPE Inc.) sa tanggapan ng MTRCB, kahapon, September 7, 2022.

lala sotto pope members

MTRCB Chair Lala Sotto (seated) with (from left) POPE member Sany Chua, actress Almira Muhlach, POPE member Melo Balingit, POPE member Noel Orsal, POPE member Nimfa Chua, POPE member Allan Sancon, entertainment writer Pilar Mateo, and POPE member Boy Borja.

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ON CHANGES IN MTRCB

Nanumpa si Lala bilang chairman ng MTRCB sa harap ni Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sa Malacañang noong July 7, 2022.

Nagpasalamat si Lala sa pagkaka-appoint sa kanya, pero kaakibat nito ang responsibilidad na iniatang sa kanya.

Saad niya, “I’m very thankful for the appointment. I’m enjoying the job a lot, and I love the board members.

"Thankful talaga ako na I have a great and active working board. I’m so blessed to have all of them.

"Kaya lang, siyempre when it’s transition and budget hearing season, nagkasabay, kaya grabe yung workload, tapos I wanted everybody to be working.

“Lahat ng board members namin kasi may kanya-kanya silang assigned committees and they are tasked to make their respective committees a part of our board meetings.

"So, lahat talaga ay very active, everyone’s doing great, pati yung employees and staffs ng MTRCB. I’m very, very proud of them kasi talagang lahat sila active.

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“And then, yung aming mga Matalinong Panonood centers in Cebu and Davao are both activated and marami silang reports dito sa ating main office, MTRCB Quezon City.

“So, that explains yung mga white hairs na nagsisilabasan!”

Patuloy ni Chair Lala, “One month and a week, kasi I started in July 25, parang matagal na yung feeling, but it feels like home to me too kasi blessing na I am very familiar with the industry because of my parents, so hindi siya iba.

"Of course, ang ating institusyon na si Tita Pillar, ang ating industriya.”

Si Lala ay anak ni former Senate President Tito Sotto at ng veteran actress na si Helen Gamboa.

Ngayong siya na ang chairman ng MTRCB, ano na ang mga pagbabagong magaganap dito?

Aniya, “Marami akong gustong mabago.

"Let’s just say I want to focus on local films, on promoting and encouraging local films on the Filipino family core values, and local films that encourage and promote the culture and history of our country.

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“I’m all for sovereignty and having wholesome films to show our children.

“I’m very excited with the new TV programs that will be showing in the coming months kasi alam ko na mas lalakas yung industry because of these shows and motion pictures, especially na nabubuhay na naman ang Philippine cinema industry, that’s why I’m very excited also.

"And ang aming mga board members ay busy na kaka-review araw-araw, meron talagang reviews.”

Kinontra naman ni Chair Lala ang opinyong mas tinatangkilik ng Pinoy moviegoers ang foreign films.

“I don’t think so. I believe that the general public will always have their own preference, pero depende kasi.

"Like our local films, especially now, ganadung-ganado yung local producers natin to produce quality films and they’re doing great.

“I feel na I’m very hopeful, I feel na it’s a very promising season for all of us, especially that we’re nearing towards the Metro Manila Film Festival.

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“We’re nearing towards the Christmas season, the Filipino families will be watching movies together.

"Kasi ang Filipino, aside from eating and celebrating together, their other way of bonding with their families is through watching movies.”

Bilang bagong chairperson ng MTRCB, gaano kahigpit si Lala sa pagbibigay ng rating sa mga pelikula?

Paglilinaw ni Chair Lala, “According to the Presidential Decree of 1986, which is the charter of the MTRCB, the chairman does not review, but there is no law that prohibits the chairman from joining the reviews.

“It is in our mandate, it is in our charter, that the board members are the ones who review and there is a process that they follow.

“Pinagbobotohan nila 'yan after they watched the film or the sample episodes for TV series. Pagkatapos nilang pagbotohan, kung ano yung boto nila, that’s when we issue the rating and classification for each material.

“So far, nagkakasundo talaga ang aming mga board members, they are one in decisions when it comes to voting.

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“Hindi naman nagkakalayo yung kanilang mga views, especially when it comes to ratings, and sometimes I also hear their discussions kapag dinadalaw ko sila sa lounge. Very healthy yung kanilang discussions.”

Tinanong din namin si Chair Lala kung may mga celebrity na ba siyang napili para maging bagong MTRCB board members at sino sila, at paano na yung mga dating miyembro ng board?

Tugon niya, “Yes, I am requesting for the reappointment of most of the board members.

“I am also requesting new appointments for new board members whom I feel would be an asset to MTRCB and who will be of great help to be in the board.

“Kapag nabigay na yung appointment papers nila, makikilala niyo na sila. I-introduce ko silang lahat.”

May plans ba ang MTRCB na i-restrict ang pagpapalabas ng sexy films and series sa mga streaming app?

Ayon kay Chair Lala, “It’s actually up to the Congress to expand our powers, kasi currently, they don’t fall under our restrictions.

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"But kung mababago yung charter, then puwedeng mabago yun."

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MTRCB Chairperson Lala Sotto on her first month in office: "Parang matagal na yung feeling, but it feels like home to me too kasi blessing na I am very familiar with the industry because of my parents, so hindi siya iba."
PHOTO/S: Noel Orsal
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