The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) is moving to widen its jurisdiction to include regulating online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Currently, the MTRCB’s mandate only covers movies and television, as decreed on PD No. 1986 which was drafted in 1985.
“With regards to online streamers, hindi pa siya nasasaklaw. Kaya kailangan amyehndahan ang PD 1986, if we want to include the online streamers,” said MTRCB Chairperson Diorella Maria Sotto-Antonio, citing the need to update the outdated law.
The streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime self-regulate their content for Filipino viewers. According to the board, these services still reach out to them for coordination, even if it’s beyond their jurisdiction.
The move, however, may have negative consequences for Filipino viewers. Marichu Lambino, a media law professor at the University of the Philippines, believes that MTRCB regulation may lead to higher subscription fees.
The MTRCB charges a Php 12,000 fee to screen a movie. The vast number of content on Netflix alone might force the streaming service to pass the fees to its Filipino subscribers.
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Netflix subscription plans in the Philippines start at Php 149 (Mobile Plan). Amazon Prime recently dropped the price of their plan as well to Php 149.