In this page, you will learn about what the MTRCB is all about, its mission and vision, as well as the duties and responsibilities pertaining to an MTRCB Deputy. It is important for you to know that being a Deputy is a privilege, not a right, granted to a very select few. Although there may be certain perks or benefits derived from being a Deputy, the focus is not on the benefit derived but on the service that you, as a Deputy, can provide the MTRCB and society, as a whole.
Thus, in order to qualify to become a Deputy, you will have to undergo a qualifying examination based on the topics discussed below. Kindly read and review them carefully because the knowledge that you will get from this discussion will aid you in the performance of your duties as a Deputy.
What is the MTRCB?
The MTRCB is a quasi-judicial government agency under the Office of the President, which is responsible for the review and classification of television programs, movies and publicity materials.
What is the jurisdiction of the MTRCB?
The MTRCB has jurisdiction over the following:
Television Programs – include all materials or content seen on free television and cable television, on UHF or VHF, including those seen on digital terrestrial television, or through direct-to-home facilities, whether local or foreign, such as, but not limited to, teleseryes, noontime live programs, full length movies, and the like.
Movies – include all motion pictures, whether local or foreign, intended to be publicly exhibited in theaters or cinemas, including buses and ferries (which are treated as mobile theaters), including Optical Media Board Materials (OMB), i.e. DVDs, CDs, and the like.
Publicity Materials – include both video publicity materials, such as movie trailers shown in theaters or cinemas, in theater lobbies, video walls, or other similar venues; and movie trailers shown on television. It also includes non-video publicity materials, such as newspaper advertisements and other layouts, 2-D and 3-D standees or mock-ups, still photos and other similar materials.
Mission and Vision of the MTRCB
Mission : To encourage value-based media and entertainment culture
Vision : To provide age-appropriate media as an indispensable tool for moral recovery and nation building
Primer for MTRCB Deputy
A. Qualifications of an MTRCB Deputy
Of legal age
Appointment by the MTRCB
B. Nature of Deputy Appointments
The appointment of an MTRCB Deputy undergoes a careful evaluation by the Committee on Deputization. Thus, regardless of any previous appointment and/or the length thereof, no applicant has an inherent right to be deputized. That an appointment may be “renewed” is, thus, legally inaccurate. With no right, there is no corresponding duty on the part of the Board to grant any application. The appointment being a matter of trust and confidence in law and in fact, the Board reserves its right and authority to cancel any appointment, with or without cause, at any time.
It is the Board’s policy to democratize appointments by splitting the applicants amongst various sectors (educational institutions, NGOs, government agencies, etc.) and granting considerable room for new applicants. In this connection, the Board will also consider the availability and competence of any applicant from the general public to assist the Board in regard to its other functions, particularly its developmental and empowerment initiatives, aside from the traditional inspection of movie houses and other venues and the monitoring of television shows, and other media content.
The Board reiterates that being appointed a Deputy is a privilege, and at the same time a responsibility. This is proven by the fact that such appointment is essentially revocable. Moreover, in view of both regulatory and developmental or empowerment functions of the Board and further to its power under Section 3 (h) and 3 (k), P.D. No. 1986, any Deputy of the Board can be designated to perform any tasks other than the usual inspection of theaters and similar venues, as to which tasks said Deputy must always be readily available.
C. Duties and Responsibilities of a Deputy
Attend, if required by an Order of the Board, a Matalinong Panonood Seminar or any other seminar specifically scheduled for MTRCB Deputies.
Monitor Video and Non-Video Publicity Materials.
a. Video Publicity Materials (VPM) refer to the following:
Movie trailers publicly exhibited in theaters. – This type of VPM may either have a “G” or “PG” classification given to it by the MTRCB. Movie trailers with a “G” classification may be shown together with any main feature regardless of the latter’s classification. On the other hand, movie trailers with a “PG” classification may only be shown with a main feature given a classification higher than “G.” In short, a “PG” VPM may not be shown together with a “G” main feature.
Movie trailers publicly exhibited in theater lobbies, LED billboards, and other public areas. – This type of VPM may only be exhibited in in theater lobbies, LED billboards, and other public areas if it has a “G” classification.
Movie trailers shown on television. – This type of VPM may only be shown on television if it has a “G” classification.
Television plugs. – This type of VPM may only be shown on television if it has a “G” classification.
Each VPM has a Permit to Exhibit and the cinema operator is expected to have in its possession a copy thereof. If a VPM appears to be inappropriate, i.e. if it contains frontal nudity, erotic poses, sexual acts, horrifying, gory and bloody scenes or images, and the like, then it may be necessary to check if the material has a permit.
b. Non-video Publicity Materials (NVPM) refer to the following:
Layouts, such as newspaper advertisements, posters, billboards, streamers, t-shirts, and other print materials;
2-D or two-dimensional standees or cut-outs;
3-D or three-dimensional standees, cut-outs or mock-ups;
All types of NVPM may only be allowed if they have been given a “G” classification by the MTRCB.
Each NVPM, regardless of type, has a Permit to Exhibit. Unlike in the case of VPM, the cinema operator is not required to have in its possession a copy of the Permit to Exhibit. The Deputy, in case of doubt as to whether a particular NVPM was passed upon and given a “G” classification by the MTRCB, may check on the existence of the Permit by visiting the MTRCB Website (www.mtrcb.gov.ph) and then clicking on the Non-Video Publicity Materials tab. An exact replica of the displayed NVPM must be found in the website. Otherwise, the NVPM displayed has no Permit to Exhibit.
3. In cinemas, verify if the movie being shown has been issued a Permit to Exhibit by the MTRCB, and that the Permit is prominently displayed at the ticket selling area within reading distance of a moviegoer. It is ideal if a moviegoer is able to read the Permit before he purchases tickets for the movie he intends to watch.
4. A Permit to Exhibit contains important details about the movie such as the following:
Color-coded movie classification
Reason/s for Classification
Date of Issuance and Date of Expiration
Review Committee Members
Country of origin
Signature of the Chairman
5. Verify if the movie is being shown within the validity period for exhibition stated in the Permit. Verify if the movie’s classification rating stated in the Permit is the same as that appearing in cinema standees, menu boards, signages and other paraphernalia and promotional materials.
6. Verify if there is a standee, which should be approximately 3 ft. high, if it bears the correct classification rating, and if it is conspicuously displayed at or near the entrance to the cinema. Classifications of the MTRCB for movies are color-coded as follows:
Green for “G”
Blue for “PG”
Yellow for “R-13”
Orange for “R-16”
Red for “R-18”
7. Ensure that theaters strictly observe and comply with the rules for admission of patrons, based on age-suitability of the classification of the film. In case of a double program, the movie with the higher restrictive classification shall prevail.
“G” - no need for age-verification
“PG” - patron below 13 years old should be accompanied by a responsible adult
“R-13” - no patron below 13 years old
“R-16” - no patron below16 years old
“R-18” - no patron below 18 years old.
8. Once inside the cinema, check if there are moviegoers below the appropriate age based on the movie’s classification, or, in case of a “PG” classification, if there are unaccompanied children below 13 years old.
9. A trailer shown inside the cinema has a Permit to Exhibit with a validity period. Prior to the showing of a trailer, there should be a 3-second advisory stating the classification of the trailer. In instances where trailers are shown in a set, as in the case of hard-locked trailers, each trailer must have a Permit to Exhibit of its own and must be within its validity period as stated in the Permit. If the hard-locked trailers have varying classifications, the highest rating shall prevail. If in doubt, check the permit.
10. Ensure that a 3-second advisory announcing the classification of the main feature is shown prior to the exhibition of the movie.
11. Monitor television content which may be classified only as:
“G” or GENERAL AUDIENCE – Suitable for all ages. Does not contain anything unsuitable for children, and safe to be viewed without adult guidance or supervision.
“PG” or PARENTAL GUIDANCE – Parental Guidance may contain some adult material but may be permissible for children to watch under the guidance and supervision of a parent or an adult.
“SPG” or STRONG PARENTAL GUIDANCE – May contain more serious topic and theme. May not be advisable for children to watch thus requiring greater parental responsibility.
Classification of the MTRCB for Television are color-coded as follows:
Green for “G”
Blue for “PG”
Red for “SPG”
12. Monitor public transportation, i.e. buses and ferries using television to entertain passengers.
13. Make periodic reports on observations concerning movie and television content that he/she has monitored.
14. Immediately make a report in case of monitored violations. Reports shall be made in writing, without prejudice to informing the MTRCB at the first instance by the fastest means possible, e.g. voice call, email, or text message, which may nonetheless be subject to formal and extended documentation thereafter.
15. Cooperate actively with the Board in any of its undertakings and initiatives, including those further to its empowerment and developmental functions.
16. Comply with any and all directives and instructions from the Board.
D. Privileges of a Deputy
In performing his monitoring and inspection duties, a Deputy may gain access to cinemas, together with one (1) companion, without having to pay admission fees. This privilege covers all theaters in the Philippines, except those stated in the following Memorandum Circulars:
A Deputy is NOT ALLOWED FREE ADMISSION to theaters showing Official Entries in the annual METRO MANILA FILM FESTIVAL during the festival period. (Memorandum Circular No. 03-11) However, after the festival period on its extended run, a Deputy may conduct his monitoring and inspection duties without paying for admission fees.
A Deputy is not allowed admission to theaters exhibiting special screenings. Premieres and live coverage of boxing events in any theater is in the nature of a special screening, hence a Deputy is not entitled to free admission. (Memorandum Circular No. 07-09)
A Deputy is not entitled to free admission to the following theaters with limited seating capacity: Eastwood Ultra Cinema 7, Shang Premier Theater, Directors Club in SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, and SM Aura Premier, Recliner seats of Trinoma Cinema, Ultra Cinema in Resorts World, 4D Cinema in Bonifacio High Street, Gateway Cineplex 10 and Uptown VIP Cinema (Memorandum Circular Nos. 06-09; 05-09; 04-07; 07-07; and 06-07).
SM IMAX Theatres are not considered as cinemas with limited seating capacity; hence, a deputy may perform his monitoring and inspection duties in SM IMAX Theatres without having to pay admission fees.
A Deputy may be refused free admission to a cinema if there is no paying patron yet for the same screening he intends to monitor at the time he presents his Deputy Card. However, once there is a paying patron, the Deputy may already avail of his privilege.
A Deputy is not allowed to avail of express, special or priority lanes provided for Senior Citizens, Pregnant Women, PWD’s, MTRCB Board Members, etc. A Deputy must always use the regular lanes.
E. Significant Rules for a Deputy
A Deputy may bring ONE (1) companion with him when monitoring cinemas, provided that the age of the companion is appropriate for the movie to be monitored based on the classification stated in the Permit to Exhibit. (Memorandum Circular No. 01-04)
A Deputy is required to present his MTRCB Deputy Card to the ticket seller when securing his free admission tickets and again to the porter/usher/security guard before entering the cinema he intends to monitor.
A Deputy Card is non-transferrable. It cannot be used by any other person aside from the Deputy. Never can it be copied or used for any other purpose, except for the performance by the Deputy concerned of his functions and duties.
For monitoring purposes, theater personnel are encouraged to list down the Deputy card number and the names of both the Deputy and his companion.
A Deputy may be required by the theater operator/owner/personnel to identify his/her companion. (Memorandum Circular 07-06)
Theater operators/managers/personnel must not require a Deputy TO SECURE ENTRY PASS ID or the LIKE at a venue (other than the ticket booth) quite far from the theater the Deputy would like to enter. (Memorandum Circular No. 18-03)
Theater operators/owners/personnel may not require an MTRCB Deputy to sit either at the far side or edge of the theater or at the front (almost at the foot) of the screen of the cinema house. (Memorandum Circular No. 08-06)
A Deputy is strictly prohibited from selling, giving away or disposing of, whether for profit or not, his or his companion’s admission tickets to anybody for whatever reason.
A Deputy is not allowed to leave his companion inside the theater for a considerable length of time for whatever reason. If a Deputy cannot avoid having to leave a theater to attend to other matters, he must bring his companion out with him.
A Deputy is not allowed to bring another companion into a second or third theater after leaving a companion in a first theater. (Memorandum Circular No.17-03).
A Deputy is not entitled to food, drinks or other promotional items given to paying patrons.
A Deputy may not be refused free admission to a cinema because one or more MTRCB Deputies have already been issued free admission tickets to the same screening.
A Deputy may only secure free admission tickets for within the day screenings of movies. One or more days advance availment for tickets to a movie screening is not allowed.
A Deputy, while in the performance of his monitoring and inspection duties, represents the MTRCB and its Board of Directors. It is incumbent upon him to always act with proper decorum, dignity and professionalism and not be arrogant, unjust and condescending in dealing with stakeholders of the MTRCB.
Theaters are likewise urged to report to MTRCB any abuses committed by Deputies and, in such cases, they are authorized to retain and confiscate the cards of MTRCB Deputies. After confiscating the card, the theaters must immediately transmit the same to this office. (Memorandum Circular No. 17-03).
F. Steps to Take in Case of Violation
1. For Television Programs:
No content inappropriate for television broadcast shall be allowed. Programs which contain explicit sexual scenes, indecency, vulgar or offensive language, intense horror, excessive violence, or graphic depiction of drug use are not appropriate for television. In case of violation, a Deputy shall notify the MTRCB in writing the following: the date, time, channel, title of the program and prepare a brief description of the alleged offensive scene and report to the MTRCB.
2. For Movies:
For violations committed by theaters, a Deputy should call the attention of the theater manager or porter on the violation committed so that it can be immediately corrected or acted upon. The Deputy shall do his best to document the violation, taking pictures if circumstances warrant the same, note all details of the violation, the names and positions of the theater personnel, and immediately report in writing the alleged violation to the MTRCB. In performing his duty, the Deputy must always be discreet and polite.
G. Important Reminders to Deputies
The jurisdiction of the MTRCB covers movies, television programs and publicity materials, particularly the content thereof. As such, it has no jurisdiction over the following:
Cost of Admission in cinemas
Length of trailers being shown
Sanitation of theaters and comfort rooms
Artistic quality of materials, more so the absence thereof
Always observe cinema rules and regulations. Theater managers are authorized to confiscate the deputy card of a deputy who is abusive of their privileges.
A Deputy must submit reports per month. Reports are not limited to offenses but may be commendations or mere observations or suggestions. Reported offenses forwarded to the Board will enable it to go after violators of the law. A Deputy who fails to submit reports risks cancellation of his/her deputy card.
MTRCB treats Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) and vessels that publicly exhibit television programs and motion pictures as mobile theaters or theaters-on-wheels. Because of their unrestricted accessibility to the general public, PUVs and vessels can only publicly exhibit television programs and motion pictures with classification rating from General Audience (“G”) to Parental Guidance (“PG”), for motion pictures, and up to Strong Parental Guidance (“SPG”), for television programs.