Palace advises MTRCB to listen to lawmakers' opinions vs regulating Netflix, other streaming sites amid budget deliberation
Malacanang advised on Monday the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board to listen to the opinions of the lawmakers against its plan to regulate Netflix and other video streaming platforms as Congress deliberates on the budget for next year.
In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace respects the plan of MTRCB chairperson Rachel Arenas and the agency's board to compel video streaming services to comply with the regulatory body's content regulation.
But he said, "My suggestion, in this time of budget (hearing), Ma'am Rachel, it seems that it's difficult to ignore what the Congress has said, especially if the one who had spoken was Speaker of the House."
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has warned MTRCB that its plan to regulate the content in video streaming sites like Netflix might affect approval of its proposed 2021 budget.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III also expressed doubt on how MTRCB would implement its plan.
He has said that the MTRCB should leave to parents the responsibility of guiding their children on what to watch from streaming platforms.
"So, my suggestion, while the President is not meddling, the President is not micro-managing, (the MTRCB) should consider the suggestions of our lawmakers because they are the one to fund the agencies. And it's also their duty to ensure that the public funds are being spent properly," Roque said.
"But we respect and bow to your (MTRCB Board) discretion," he added.
In an earlier Senate hearing, MTRCB chief legal officer Jonathan Presquito said that streaming services like Netflix are video-on-demand platforms and the the MTRCB should make sure that the materials being shown on those platforms are complaint with the law. Celerina Monte/DMS