Cayetano asks MTRCB's help vs 'mental health pandemic'

Alan Cayetano asks MTRCB’s help vs persistent ‘mental health pandemic’

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 12:38 PM November 15, 2023

Alan Cayetano asks MTRCB's help vs persistent 'mental health pandemic'

FILE PHOTO: Senator Alan Peter Cayetano. Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB

MANILA,  Philippines — Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has sought the help of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) as he raised the alarm over the “pandemic of mental health” in the country.

In particular, Cayetano urged the MTRCB to conduct a study on how it can ensure that Filipino values are maintained in digital content.


“Obviously, all these funny things on TV, on social media is our outlet. Tapos na ‘yung Covid pero hindi pa tapos ‘yung pandemic sa mental health,” he said on Tuesday, citing the recent reported cases of suicide in  the country.


(Obviously, all these funny things on TV and social media are our outlets. Covid is over, but the mental health pandemic is unfinished.)

READ: Social media firms must face youth addiction lawsuits, US judge rules

“Let me stop there and just encourage MTRCB that as you look at basically films and television, I would encourage you to make a study and [if funding is needed] for that study for international and local experts to look at contemporary values that we can agree on [and determine if digital platforms] are allowed na kahit ano pwedeng ipakita,”  the senator went on during the  Senate’s plenary discussion on the proposed 2024 budget of MTRCB.

(Let me stop there and encourage the MTRCB, as you look at  basically films and television, to conduct a study, and if funding is needed for that study  for international and local experts to look at contemporary values that we can agree on [and determine if digital platforms] are already allowed that anything can be shown.)

Cayetano, however, clarified that it was not meant to censor “but to ensure that young Filipinos do not consume content that is violent, lewd, or against Filipino morals.”

“It’s not more of censorship, but more of giving the young people the right ideas and information, and then they can make their own choices later on,” he said in a separate statement on Wednesday.


READ: Be more prudent in classifying movies with mental health scenes, MTRCB urged

At the Senate plenary, the senator suggested that the MTRCB could have its own research arm.

“P10 (million), P15 million or P1 million budget a month for continuing research, I think, will go a long way in guiding the MTRCB,” he added.

Through this research,  he said, the MTRCB and filmmakers could be updated on the shows the Filipino public wants.

“Hindi totoo na kailangan parating violence at sex para kumita,” said the senator.

(It’s not true that you always need violence and sex to make money.)

READ: Group calls for sensitivity in depicting mental health issues on film

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Senator Jinggoy Estrada, defending the MTRCB’s budget for 2024, agreed that the agency is operating on “a relatively old law” and would not be able to address “the challenges of the modern times and the digital age.”

“The MTRCB family is listening and I am certain that they will seriously consider the valid suggestions of Senator Cayetano,” Estrada said.

TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, mental health, MTRCB, Social Media

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