Love Netflix's library of movies and TV shows? Well, here's something that might result in some very big changes soon.
Earlier today, September 3, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) invoked lawmakers to consider a policy that would require Netflix and other similar streaming sites to undergo content regulation.
Currently, the Philippines’ censors board holds the task to review all movies and TV shows released in the country regardless of the platform, as explained by MTRCB Legal Affairs Division chief Jonathan Presquito.
"Stream services like Netflix are video on demand platforms. We have to regulate those platforms. We have to ensure that those materials being shown on those platforms are compliant with MTRCB laws," he elaborated. "MTRCB has jurisdiction of that content regardless kung saan mo siya pinalabas... Just because sa internet siya pinalabas, hindi na siya covered ng MTRCB law."
The news comes just over a month after the Congress approved of a bill requiring a “12 percent value-added tax on digital transactions in the country,” which includes platforms such as Netflix and Spotify.
MTRCB further explained their position by pointing out that other countries, like South Korea, have already placed regulations on Netflix content. "Sa South Korea, lahat ng content ng Netflix dumadaan sa prior review," said Presquito. "We don't want that kind of review. We want an environment of growth. Let's allow streaming services to flourish, but how do we find the balance?" he added.
So what does this mean for your favorite Netflix shows? Well, their content will basically be subject to MTRCB's approval if a law is indeed passed. While no parameters have been suggested yet, specific scenes (or even the entire movie/show itself) could be removed or edited out from Netflix Philippines if they don't pass MTRCB's standards.
Back in February, Netflix released a list of movies and TV shows that they've had to pull from select countries due to complaints from their individual governments. A total of nine shows and movies were accuulated from 2015-2020. This includes an episode of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj in Saudi Arabia, The Last Temptation of Christ in Singapore, Night of the Living Dead in Germany, and The Last Hangover in Brazil.