SEN. Sherwin Gatchalian, pledging to “maintain the safety and well-being of children amid their exposure to new technologies”, calls on Congress to pass legislation expanding the powers and functions of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to include video and online gaming regulation.
Embodied in Senate Bill 1063, Gatchalian envisions the proposed legislation to be known as the Video and Online Gaming and Outdoor Media Regulation Act, amending Marcos-era Executive Order No. 1986 that created the MTRCB.
“As we continue to change and expand the way we use technology, we also need to ensure that we provide the proper protection and guidance to our children, especially against the bad influence and effects that can arise from such technology,” Gatchalian said in Filipino, explaining his bill.
He cited 2020 gambling statistics revealing that 43 million gamers drove the unprecedented rise of the gambling industry in the Philippines and across Southeast Asia, with 74% of the gambling population in Philippines online playing on their mobile devices, 65% playing PC games and 45% playing classic console games.
Additionally, 43 million gamers in the country spent $572 million on games in 2019. This made the Philippines the 25th largest market globally in terms of gaming revenue, as well as a key driver of the overall gaming market in Asia. southeast during this period.
In addition to video and online games, the senator is considering enabling legislation to authorize the MTRCB to also regulate outdoor media, including billboards, light-emitting diode (LED) signs and billboards, floor panels, roof panels and signage infrastructure.
When approving and disapproving the exhibition of video and online games, and outside media, the procedure that applies to a motion picture, a television program, a still image and other other image ads apply.
The review and review procedure, as well as the ban on media deemed unfit for consumption in the Philippines, will also apply to video and online games, as well as outside media.