Is the MTRCB Really Helpful With Their Ratings?

“Kaya kaagapay ninyo ang MTRCB rating bilang gabay.”

Violence or how violent a scene might be is subjective to some, but if you’re getting paid for it, it shouldn’t be. MTRCB or the Movie and TV Review nad Classificiation Board is getting paid for rating the films and TV shows before they are available to the public. As easy as it may sound to most, people in the MTRCB mostly doesn’t get it.

We commend them for calling the attention of the TV shows for using the words like “kabit,” and other words that are not fitted for a PG rating show but the thing is, some of the scenes they missed as acceptable for a G or PG rating is alarming  and these are the ones that they reviewed before they are being shown to the public.

While there are films that are rated G that should be rated PG or even R-13, there are films that are rated PG that really should be rated R-13 or R-16 which is even more disturbing. We give you a list of those films we remembered that were rated wrong:

Love Me Tomorrow

LOVE ME TOMORROW (2016, Star Cinema, Gino M. Santos). Released May 25, 2016, the slang term “FuBu” which they actually defined (meaning F*ck Buddy), told in the  movie pertaining the status of Dawn Zulueta and Piolo Pascual. If the word “kabit” is already an R-rating word for the MTRCB, we wonder how f*ck buddy was accepted for a PG rating. It should be at least rated R-13, right? Or does the word fuck was enough and even if accompanied by the word buddy can be explained for children below 13 years old. Imagine how the parents would react if the words were heard by their children, I for one, did see a mother instantly covered the ears of her daughter right after the words “fuck” and “buddy” were said. The film was rated PG, which should have been rated R-13.

HELE SA HIWAGANG HAPIS (2016, Star Cinema &TEN17P, Lav Diaz). Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis’ intention may be admirable, not just for art but the film also tackles some of our literature and history but with disturbing images such as people hanging isn’t the best image a child should see in their early years. The 8-hour film does wonders cinematically but we still need to look out for our children, especially for those who has nightmares after seeing disturbing images. That is the job of the MTRCB, right? The film was rated PG, which should have been rated R-13.

Transformers AoE

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (2014, UIP, Michael Bay). Action sequences are already considered as violence, so why was the film given a G rating? We don’t know. Plus, there’s a death scene, tight shot of the victim. Was that not violent enough for the MTRCB? Even respected critic Philbert Dy doesn’t have an answer from the MTRCB until now. The film was rated G by the MTRCB which should have been at least rated PG.

KID KULAFU (2015, Star Cinema/TEN17P, Paul Soriano). Underage boys drinking alcohol while woman sitting in their lap and an intense scene where people are killed in front of the eyes of a boy is not something we want the children to see. A biography film already indicates that the film may have these kind of scenes but the MTRCB just approved the film for a PG rating. The film was rated PG, which should be rated R-13.

Love is Blind 11

LOVE IS BLIND (2016, Regal Entertainment, Jason Paul Laxamana). Sexual innuendos from Solenn Heusaff and Kiray Celis because of their admiration to Derek Ramsay. Also, a lot of kissing happening here and an almost bed scene. The film was rated G(!), which should be rated PG.

There’s also the trailer reviews of the CineFilipino entries that got an X rating, including David Fabros Straight To The Heart, Jason Paul Laxamana’s Ang Taba Ko Kasi, short films Chicboy and Not Applicable. Those are just the trailers, they had to be reviewed again and the filmmakers have to pay another round for the reviewers. The trailers got a PG rating and the films? All got rated PG except for the short film Chicboy which was played along the short films that was rated R.

While some people don’t realize that the people who work at MTRCB are paid from our taxes and this is how they do their jobs, this is alarming and somewhat unfortunate. We may have heard that there are some under the table transactions happening but, come on, we watch what they are reviewing.


We hope that this won’t continue or happen again but Love Me Tomorrow was just released a month ago and it looks like nothing will change any time soon.

One Reply to “Is the MTRCB Really Helpful With Their Ratings?”

  1. As someone who has been very critical of MTRCB since the Grace Poe leadership, I very much agree that the agency can get very incompetent when reviewing, especially with the rather absurd reasonings they keep on giving in their permits (as seen on the S**t MTRCB Permits Say blog on Tumblr).

    Also, while I’m okay with the addition of the R16 and SPG ratings, the switch to a color-coded pictogram ratings system, and the utilization of MPAA-style ratings cards, I still think that our ratings system and its guidelines are in need of more improvement.

    To elaborate further, while the film ratings system is already specific enough to be on par with the ones from Australia and Singapore, the TV ratings are still too broad. Also, the MTRCB should also make a rule that limits terrestrial networks to G and PG programs while giving the more mature programs to specialty networks catering to a specific audience, like what the Australian ratings board does (as I’ve learned from Wikipedia). Lastly, they should really change the designs and revamp the display guidelines of the ratings pictograms.

    Anyway, I just hope that, when the next presidential term comes in, our next president would hire someone more competent and experienced in the artistic and commercial aspects of the entertainment industry to lead the MTRCB. I’m also hoping that, in the coming years, the MTRCB would be more open-minded especially now that technological advancements like digital television and social media, and changes in social and moral constructs are upon us.

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