entertainment, MTRCB, Philippines, reality show, television

MTRCB Lays Down the Law on PBB: 737

A very different ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ awaits its viewers.

This was after the MTRCB imposed some strict guidelines to the show following complaints that it offended viewer sensibilities. Among these complaints included the controversial ‘bromance’ between 12-year old Bailey May and 18-year old Kenzo Gutierrez.

In a four-page resolution that was signed by the MTRCB, they ordered the producers of PBB: 737 to:

  1. Immediately institute remedial and self-regulatory measures to ensure the protection, welfare and development of all participants, especially minors, as well as the viewing public, a sizable percentage of which is made up of minors
  2. Immediately cease and desist from requiring participants to engage in activities and tasks which may be deemed hazardous to their life and safety
  3. Enter into a strict and close collaborations with the Board, from July 10 until the end of the season
  4. Require all story editors to undergo a ‘Matalinong Panonood’ and audience sensitivity seminar on July 16, 23 and 30 at the MTRCB office
  5. Require ABS-CBN and SkyCable to place an advisory at the beginning of each episode of the three programs, stating that ‘the program may contain sensitive material’ and that ‘viewer discretion is advised’, as long as minor housemates remain present on the show
  6. Elevate the rating classification of PBB: 737 Gold (aired every weekday afternoon) to ‘Strong Parental Guidance’ (SPG), with descriptions of themes, language and sex, from July 10 to the end of the season, or as long as minor housemates remain present; same rule applies to PBB: 737 on Jeepney TV
  7. Limit its application for permit to exhibit to seven episodes per application in order to ensure the correct and proper implementation of the committed remedial and self-regulatory measures
  8. Strictly implement a comprehensive ‘closing-out’ discussion by a subject matter expert after the completion of every task or challenge for the proper understanding of the lesson
  9. Ensure all parallel broadcast of PBB: 737 in cable television and in other media, including social media, shall not be in contravention with the directives and objectives of this order

Even before the MTRCB ruling was made public, ABS-CBN has already shut down the SkyCable and iWanTV livestream of PBB: 737, citing the netizens’ irresponsibility towards the Bailey-Kenzo ‘bromance’ incident. The cancellation took effect a week prior to the meeting between the MTRCB and ABS-CBN executives.

This is not the first time that the MTRCB responded to an incident that took place inside the Big Brother house. Since the first season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’, there have been similar obscene incidents that earned the ire of the MTRCB, the most recent of which was the nude painting task during last season’s ‘All In’.

That said, the producers of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ should be responsible for the way the housemates, especially those below legal age, are being treated. PBB is among the most-watched programs on Philippine TV today, and any further controversy on the show may hurt its strong viewership.

Hopefully this should serve as a lesson to all other Filipino reality shows, both current and future. After all, no one wants to be offended by something immoral.


79 thoughts on “MTRCB Lays Down the Law on PBB: 737

      • but you have to agree that everyone has their own sensibilities. I didn’t see anything offensive that PBB did, not because I’m more open minded but I’m just more exposed to things similar to what is happening inside the PBB house. This is one of the consequences when unfiltered information are made too accessible to our youth. Nde kasalanan solely ng PBB un, if you look at a bigger perspective.

      • Kasalanan lang kasi ng mga netizens na nagpakalat umano ng malicious na impormasyon tungkol sa ‘bromance’ nila Bailey at Kenzo, kaya napatawag kaagad ang MTRCB.

      • nagkalat ang ganyang material sa internet at hollywood shows and movies tpus nde nila pinupuna. For example 50 shades, nung book ito nde nila pinuna, tpus nung nging pelikula,niregulate nila pero ung pagdadownload nde. So kung 12 years old ako, punta na lng ako sa net or buy ako ng copy sa bookstore, so balewala ung regulations nila.

      • to correct you, the summon letter was sent to pbb, a few days before the bromance was highlighted in social media, but the decision of mtrcb was made because of the bromance issue

  1. it only goes to show that regulatory boards in our country are not adept to new innovations, nagkalat ang R18 at XRated material sa internet at other tv series sa cable channel. Nagrereact lng nman ang MTRCB kpag patok ung show pero kpag nde.I think they should be more proactive since regulatory board sila, kung napalabas na huli na sila. I think they should screen all pretaped shows before airing, nde ung selected lng. They should also be present on all live shows. If they don’t do this they won’t achieve their purpose. Mauulit lng ang mga scandals sa ibang show. This would just be a case of history repeating itself.

    • At this point, what you said should wake the MTRCB up. For all their good will in promoting the ratings system to viewers, eto sila, late reaction sa mga ganitong programa, not to mention focusing only on the major networks. Kahit nga yung IBC-13 na ayaw sumunod sa ratings system nila, dedma lang sila. Definitely something’s wrong on the MTRCB’s side of things.

      • yes Ralph, even GMA na ayaw maging member ng KBP which is also a regulatory board in the form of membership-since they regulate the amount of commercials per show, ABS doesn’t need to take down the livestreamming on iWanTV dhil nde nman sakop ito ng MTRCB. People have to remember na trabaho ng MTRCB ang magregulate especially they are a government entity. Kung nde nila layang ayusin ang work nila aba edi madissolve n lng sila. They are asking networks to self regulate tpus kpag hindi nasunod magrereklamo sila, para silang mga mmda na nagtatago sa kanto tpus lalabas lng kpag may huhulihin. kapabayaan nila yan eh,

      • But ABS is against cyberbullying, kaya tinanggal nila yung livestream dahil sa mga irresponsible na mga netizens na yan. And MTRCB should have looked first at the root of the problem, which was the aforementioned netizens, kaso out of their jurisdiction kuno ang mga ito.

      • tsaka hello kung lagyan b ng SPG rating na make sure ba nila na nde nanuod ang mga bata ng walang magulang? somehow i find mtrcb a redundant organization. kasi kung may problema sila sa participant ng show pde nman sa dswd or dole. You can’t stop someone from watching pbb, unless involve sila sa production at binabantayan nila na nasusunod ang guidelines nila. Pde rin nman kpag SPG ka mas mura ang ad minutes mo at mas maikli, they should discourage shows to have spg rating, nde ung rating lang. Dpat as a Network goal ko is rated G, na mas mahal at marami ang ad minutes, nde lng makpagpareview sa mtrcb

      • sorry for the litany, i think you are right that its high time the govt should revisit the purpose of mtrcb, a movie that is downloaded, put into cd and shown in movie theater is still a movie and a show whether in free tv or cable is still falls under television. lyrics and songs in music videos that are shown in tv and movies still falls under them. Sorry mejo napahaba, thanks to your post it started me thinking about the purpose of their organization.kasi kung wala nman silang ngipin, they better get dissolved, sayang lng ang tax sa knila.

  2. di ko ma view ung website na sinasabi mo but i think we all agree that shows should be regulated, im just pushing that it should go to the extent that networks will aspire for their shows to be rated G. kung nde nila kayang mapatino ang mga networks, producers and entertainment industry, edi i revamp n lng sila

      • i just read Marco’s article on ABS’ alleged sins. His points were valid about spg stuff but he showed his true colors when he included the airing of NBA versus Anime programs, sportsmanship in any given day is better than cartoons that promote violent confrontations to deal with problems. Gustong gusto kong magcomment kaso bka sumikat pa sya, so wag n lng, mukha nmang walang nagbabasa at matagal ang loading ng website nya. haha

      • Ok then. Pero you can still read his other articles relating to ABS and their ‘anti-child’ programming, specifically yung mga banat niya against Pasion de Amor and PBB. Kung may masasabi ka tungkol diyan, dito ka na lang mag-comment.

      • yes i read it, i think he is living in the past, to be honest valid nman ung points nya but i think he failed to recognize a number of things: 1.ABSCBN owns The Knowledge Channel and has been a very proactive in helping our society by partnering with public schools.
        2. ABSCBN ch. 2 is only part of a bigger family of channels, so nde nya pdeng i-generalize ito. It might be the mother network but it also produced specialized channels for kid friendly entertainment such as Hero, Yey and Knowledge Channel. I understand that these channel are not part of free tv, pero marami nmang accessible sources for kids entertainment not only ABSCBN company. He also forgot that Goin Bulilit, Wansapanatym, Nathaniel and The Voice Kids who are all ratings juggernaut and at prime timeslots, are specifically designed for kids. Its Showtime has segment such as MiniMe and encourage kid groups to join its rotational talent segments. Its true that there are such shows that specifically cater to adult theme but if you check at the ratings the shows above have more reach than the other SPG rated shows.
        3. Instead of sounding like a clanging cymbal dpat nagpropose na lng sya ng solution, like what I said dpat may incentive ang mga rated G shows and may penalty ang ratedSPG shows. Dpat MTRCB are vigilant in all aspect of tv shows, checking everything from dance moves to lyrics of the song to theme of shows. May cartoons ka nga pero violent naman, anung maitutulong nun?
        4. And lastly, times are changing, everyone has accessed in the internet, kung hindi lalawakan ng MTRCB ang mandato nila, walang saysay ang ratings nila, for example: may kina-cut silang scenes sa GGV pero may uncut online version nman na nakapost sa facebook? so anung sense nun? Nde na ako magbibigay ng example sa ibang network kasi nde nman un ung pinaguusapan. Rated G nga ung show mo pero may commercials and ads na nde nman for rated G, anung sense nun. Nasa MTRCB ang mandate to police networks. so dpat un ung ireklamo nya dahil tax natin ang binabayad sa knila. Again ABSCBN is not the only channel in the Philippines, so I don’t get the level of his frustration, browsing his posts may access nman sya sa ibang channels.

        And no one asked him to represent the views and opinions of all the people without access to other channels, at the end of the day walang nag ask sa knya to represent them, kaya if I were him, I’ll be busy with other things…

      • Indeed. Kung ako sa kanya, dapat pati GMA at TV5 binigyan rin niya ng pansin, lalo na sa Animega at Astig Authority blocks. Yung GMA nga halos hindi na masyadong nagpapalabas ng mga children’s programming, so ba’t hindi rin niya ito isulat to say the least, kung ganyan ang thought process niya.

      • na coconfuse kasi ako sa term nya na childrens programming, kung advocate tlga sya ng childrens programming nde rin sya papayag na makapanuod ang kabataan ng anime kasi violent ito khit in a suttle way. remember may superbook at flying house na sa dos, yan ang tinuturing kong childrens programming kasi nde violent at values oriented, ang matanglawin educational yan, nde ko maintindihan pde nman nyang sabihin na ito ung mga gusto nyang programs sa dos wag na lng nya sanang gmitin ang kabataan para sa pansariling interes nya, its a form of abuse if you come to think of it.

      • Indeed. Masyadong mababaw ang pagiisip niya about children’s programming. Ang mas masaklaw, hindi naman Anak TV certified ang mga anime, kaya wala rin saysay mga sinasabi niya.

      • last na nung pinagkaiba ng kissing scene sa Dragon Ball at Naruto sa Pasion De Amor sa mata ng mga bata? Wala diba? Eh kung ung Little Mermaid nga may song na “Kiss The Girl”. Nde porket animated yan, pambata yan, ang totoong pambatang show Dora, High 5, Superbook, Flying House, Matanglawin, Doc McStuffin. Yan ang examples ng childrens programming nde Anime at other action packed cartoons. Obviously nde sya parent, kaya nde nya alam ung sinasabi nya, sa reasoning nya mukha syang deprived brat. He can’t criticized a network by just looking at his sensibilities- basher un, sayang lng ung space ng website nya. dpat dinaan na lng nya sa twitter. Nagsulat pa sya. Again kung aaminin nya lng na ang pinaglalaban nya ay sariling interest nya walang problema dun pero kung magtatago ka sa palda ng childrens programming, ay ibang usapan na yan.

      • Good point sa haba-haba mong mga sinabi. Feeling ko hindi niya sineseryoso ang panonood ng TV, kaya nagja-jump kaagad sa conclusion.

        And by the way, si Timow ang nag-suggest sa kin na basahin ito. But as it turned out, halos everything na sinulat niya ay out of context. Halatang mababaw ang naging thought process niya rito.

      • yep, well may mga blogs kasi na worth reading and effort na pagkommentan, at meron din aksaya lng sa oras. I admire writers like you who sees the bigger picture, you are also responsible and reasonable.

        Pasensya na kung mahaba akong magcomment.

  3. Kevin says:

    Two things:

    1) Even though, thankfully, I don’t watch this, simply because I’d rather watch drama series than reality shows, I’m glad that the show is being given a stricter watch because I understand that the idea of mixing a “Teen Edition” with the regular edition isn’t a good idea in the first place, given the complications on the morals-side.

    2) However, I’d also agree with the other commenters that the MTRCB is in desperate need of a top-down revamp, especially with the way they do their job. They’ve been slowly improving since the Grace Poe era, but I felt that they were either not enough, not-thought-out very well or subpar. I would suggest that:

    a) they add more age-specific TV ratings, so it’s easier to tell parents when to allow children to watch certain shows (for example: something on the lines of G, G-7, PG, PG-13, SPG-16, M-18, similar to what MPAA does). And maybe while they’re at it, maybe remove the very unnecessary pictogram guidelines they currently have.

    b) they would improve their reasonings when reviewing movies. There’s even a Tumblr page making fun of their permits now. (shitmtrcbpermitssay.tumblr.com)

    c) Instead of solely relying on their e-mail address, they should also harness the power of social media as a simpler way of getting comments, suggestions and complaints from the public, since I can tell that they’re not very active on their social media accounts, except for when they announce conferences and events. And they should be open-minded with whatever they get.

    • Good points. MTRCB today is ill-equipped to handle these types of controversies. There should be a revamp in their policies and management like you suggest. And they should be more active, because they seem so passive in evaluating programs that some stations simply let themselves loose without their knowledge.

      • Kevin says:

        I think this would all work if the government would to up their support for that agency, especially on the next presidential term. I am left wondering how much they even fund them, for that matter.

        Also, I agree with your last paragraph. I mean, that would probably explain why I’ve never heard any publicized complaint from the MTRCB about channels like ETC or 2nd Avenue or Jack.

        I think they should also modernize their standards of what to show and what not to show, especially with same-sex kissing and showcasing of blood, now that so many societal changes are inevitably going to keep coming.

        Although, I wonder what would happen though if maybe some of MTRCB’s functions would be absorbed into an FCC-esque government agency that targets TV, radio and ISPs…

      • Indeed. There should be an FCC in our country at this point, someone who can regulate ALL forms of media. The fact is, the organizations that regulate TV, movies, radio and the press are so flawed at this point that we need a restructuring to strictly oversee these operations.

    • you also have to consider this: PBB 737 is the 12th season of the franchise na may track record na for controversies. In announce ng ABS ito last year pa, diba dpat nung time na un mineet na ang execs ng show? diba dpat pinagusapan na nila lhat ng mangyayari sa show beforehand given its track record? Ang responsibility ng MTRCB starts before the show is aired not after its aired. Dhil sa reputation ng PBB, dpat mas strict sila inalam nila ang buong concept, pinakita nman ang age brackets ng auditionees during the audition invite, dpat dun p lng gumitna na sila, they could have said “Ok what will you do if something romantic/sexual will happen between a 13 yr old and a 19 yr old? You are inviting half pinoys? what will you do if culturally may naoffend sa knila? How will you stop it from happening? How will you prevent clash in religion?” I just don’t think they are smart enough to do their job. Sila ung nasa loob sila dpat ung nakakaisip nun. Napakaraming cable channels, nde nman nila nirereview. Alam nman nila na shows and movies can be viewed online wala silang pake. Alam nman nila na malaking parte ng tv ang music deadma sila sa mga lyrics at dance moves nito. Sayang ng buwis sa knila

      • in essence tamad silang gawin ung trabaho nila, sila nga dpat ang nagpopropose ng changes, pero wala silang ginagawa kasi ayaw nila madagdagan ung trabaho nila. Incompetent na mediocre pa!

      • Kevin says:

        @Marcus: My thoughts exactly. And as I first pointed out, their sloppiness even spread to their film permits, as per the link I posted. They even once called that latest Enrique Gil movie “very inspiring” in all caps and rated G, even when there’s an innuendo dialogue found there.

      • @Kevin I think they base their ratings on the premise n kpag walang lips to lips, suntukan or any form physical contact in a violent matter Rated G yan pag meron PG yan, regardless of take home message sa viewers, trailers before the movie and such. Ang babaw diba

  4. gh45485 says:

    The July 13 (last Monday) episode of PBB 737 shows costumed horror creatures in the house probably to become one of the justifications of the SPG rating.

    And I agree with the comments that are in favor of reforms to MTRCB. Does MTRCB check film scripts for questionable content before the films in question, local or not, could be released in the country’s theaters?

    And did the PBB staff submit the task mechanics to the MTRCB for inspection prior to the bureau giving PBB 737 SPG rating as summarized in this article?

    • We’ll never know. Their only downside is that they are reviewing films and TV programs that are already ongoing, instead of reviewing them first before it premiered.

    • Kevin says:

      @gh45485: Not just reforms, but also a re-thinking of all the moral and family-related values that the MTRCB stand for, since whether people like it or not, times are changing and so are the values mentioned.

      I also think that the board, especially the chairman, should be composed of open-minded industry veterans (not just actors and actresses) who are also parents, and know very well what they’re doing.

  5. Overheard says:

    PBB 737 back on its original PG rating and now the used the “viewer discretion is advised” advisory on Gold, Online and Primetime. (this was implemented since yesterday)

  6. This is hardly going to change PBB if you look at it closely. Prior to the MTRCB ruling, none of the tasks and challenges that happened in the first three weeks of the show ever compromised the housemates’ welfare and safety. Nothing “immoral” happened, unless you consider two boys calling each other bro as one then you have another think coming. Heck, no one complained about teens living under the same roof as adult men and women last year.

    And we’ve had four teen-themed seasons that aired before (Teen 1, 2, Plus, Clash, and 4) plus the last 2 hybrid seasons we had that included teens (All In and 737), and we wouldn’t have those four seasons of Teen BB if they didn’t have preventive measures in place from the very start, all the while not sacrificing the show’s entertainment value.

    • However, such immoral off-task happenings are not new to PBB. That is why MTRCB is trying to make sure that the show would be as decent as it can be. Remember, PBB has been a target for controversy for quite a while now, and the viewers have been very vocal about this.

  7. Jc says:

    And speaking of PBB, can the growing middle-class population and ‘quick stardom’ of many Filipinos (especially on social media) here in the Philippines be attributed to the ‘scripted’ format of the reality show? Because based from various viewer feed backs that I saw, many of the housemates live in (but not very) ‘lavish’ lifestyles.

    • well wala nman tlgang purpose ang PBB like an artista search or singing competition. Its more of a social experiment. The winner is determined who the people likes without any criteria, though winners can venture to showbusiness, pero nde nman un hard and fast rule.

  8. Gab says:

    Regular housemates will be entered this week, while most probably the final 4 teen housemates will be stayed in the house for good. (my observation)

    In my opinion, it is more likely the livestreaming and free view will be back for good.

    • Actually three celebrity housemates. The last seven is expected to be regular housemates.

      As for the livestream to be brought back, it’s still up in the air.

      • Jc says:

        I was expecting your answer about what I commented above, but I think you and I will agree on what Marcus said.

  9. Jc says:

    I think it would be the time that Pinoy Big Brother should end for good. PBB may still be popular on social media, and some teenage audience, but for some they say, the quality of the show is almost deteriorating due to recent events.

    Meanwhile, looks like ABS-CBN has a lot of anniversaries to celebrate. From ASAP, to PBB, to ANC, to TV Patrol, all the way back to ABS-CBN itself where they will be 65 by 2018.

      • Jc says:

        Imagine ASAP is 20 years old, PBB is 10 yrs. old this 2015. ANC is 20 yrs. old by 2016, TV Patrol is 30 years old by 2017, and ABS-CBN TV turns 65 by 2018. I just hope ABS-CBN gets to celebrate its corporate anniversary soon in order to commemorate its achievements on all platforms aside from TV and Radio.

      • Jc says:

        Perhaps ABS-CBN should do it by 2021 where they will turn 75 then.

        As for GMA, they just want to treat their anniversary like a ‘typical birthday’ somehow.

      • They no longer consider 1946 as their foundation year. If you notice, since 2003 they’ve been more into celebrating the merger of ABS and CBN in 1953 and the birth of Philippine TV than the founding of the Alto Broadcasting Systems in 1946.

      • Jc says:

        That’s a surprising change in terms of their anniversary system. After all, this will literally create confusion of who is the first broadcasting company in the nation. Some say its ABS, some say its GMA. That’s weird isn’t it?

      • Jc says:

        I’m sad for those ‘fantards’ who keep on ‘spoiling’ the reputation of ABS and GMA on this page and on social media. As a matter of fact, these people are just making this ‘network war’ worse. I’d say, #StopTheNetworkWar to that.

      • Jc says:

        Looks like these ‘fantards’ will never know and keep on arguing who is the first the network in the country.

      • Jc says:

        Meanwhile, its already too late to ‘revitalize’ the MTRCB and its duties in safeguarding, protecting, and warning the broadcasters for any good or bad manner. Elections are fast approaching. And there are many reforms still needed to be approved.

  10. Jc says:

    Now inching back to the issue of the MTRCB and PBB, PBB’s 24/7 live stream on cable now uses the MTRCB’s PG rating graphic. Speaking of which, why can’t the MTRCB also implement the TV ratings system on all cable stations regardless of its format? Even American cable stations does that.

    • Perhaps most cable stations here are licensed from a global partner, such as the Fox, Turner, Disney and Viacom networks. MTRCB has no control over them. Even the cable stations of ABS, TV5 and Solar Entertainment, they are helpless to control.

      Regardless, it’s up to the cable networks to inform the viewers what kind of program they are watching. Hence their own approaches to the ratings system which the MTRCB no longer has control of it.

  11. Overheard says:

    A few days ago, the MTRCB summoned executives from PBB, because of a bullying incident in the show against one of the housemates, Rita a.k.a Badjao Girl (according to rappler)


      • Jose Tiamson says:

        Well the show is controversial but the housemates themselves are making those particular controversies and not the producers of the show. In short, hindi control ng pbb ang mga galaw at action ng mga housemates. If there is bullying, kasalanan ng mga housemates yan lalo sa mga female housemates.

      • Jose Tiamson says:

        It should be. It is not a scripted show. And almost the things happening inside are made by the them alone without any word from the management itself. Which is the premises of Reality TV. So IMO, MTRCB may have good intentions but they should understand the premises of this kind of program which is raw and uncut.

      • Exactly. Things like cursing and PDA are unavoidable in a reality show, and MTRCB must know that. Thing is, a new TV ratings system should be in order. I don’t think G, PG and SPG are enough to make TV viewing a more pleasant experience.

      • Jose Tiamson says:

        More suitable ang PBB sa TV-14 or PG-13 rating if they decide to revise our rating system. And MTRCB should move forward in terms of being the Philippines’ FCC.

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