MTRCB will impose strict measures and closer collaboration with ABS-CBN Corp. and SkyCable Corporation as a result. The conference meant to address various issues and concerns regarding the protection of the welfare and development of minor “housemates” in the television program “Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) 737”.
These issues and concerns were covered by the Board’s 03 July 2015 letter sent to the said entities alleging complaints or feedback coming from some parents as well as the National Youth Commission (NYC) citing the cable’s 24/7 version of the program and its regular free TV version over Channel 2.
Serious feedback coming from both the private and public sectors prompted the Board to call for the conference sonsidering overall theme and scenes placing minors in situations tending to compromise their naturally fragile personalities and for the entities concerned to explain their side.
The conference, handled by the Board’s Hearing Committee was chaired by Board Member (BM)/Atty. Ricardo Salomon.
Also in attendance were different resource persons,Dr. Zandro G. Rapadas of the U.P. College of Mass Communication and Ms. Arlene S. Lacson.
Different issues and concerns were addressed during the conference especially on the aspect of cultural sensitivity and how the show addresses the vulnerability of the minor housemates – which even include a 12 year old boy.
Also tackled is the supervisory role of PBB 737’s “resident psychologist,” especially on the issue of sexual preference as well as the over-all psychological and moral development of the housemates. On the matter of the program’s targeted young audience, and citing an NYC report, Comm. Saavedra stressed that the portrayal of modern identity of Filipino youth is important especially that media has great impact to young people and that TV is a major source of information.
Veteran director and academician Joey Javier Reyes raised concern over the lives of the minor housemates after PBB especially in regard to stigmas and seemingly bad reputation that may plagued some housemates as a result of social media. Director Reyes then stressed the important role of media in protecting the lives of the children, making the media the new “Babaylan.”
ABS-CBN and PBB responded to all the issues and concerns raised by the resource persons and were very open to the suggestions made by the participants. ABS-CBN TV Executive Laurenti Dyogi told that they are mindful of their responsibility towards the housemates and have regular assessments of the show and that the housemates are undergoing regular sessions with the team and their psychologist.
MTRCB has required both the network and the cable company to institute remedial and self-regulatory measures to ensure the protection, welfare and development of all participants of the show. This is also to make sure that housemates will not be engaged in activities and tasks which may be hazardous to their life and safety. Relevantly, the management and production team, with legal counsel, were active in contributing to the remedial measures contained in the order issued at the end of mandatory conference.
All story editors are required to undergo a Matalinong Panonood and audience-sensitivity seminar to be conducted by Chairperson Villareal on a rotational basis every Thursday at the MTRCB office.
An advisory at the beginning of each episode must be placed stating the following: “This program may contain sensitive material. Viewer discretion is advised.” Further, starting July 10, the classification rating of PBB 737 Gold will now be SPG with at least descriptors pertaining to “Theme” (T), “Language” (L), and “Sex” (S).
The MTRCB expressed its appreciation to all participants in the mandatory conference for their initiative and cooperation.