THE Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) prohibited the airing of the Television (TV) program "Private Convos with Doc Rica," which airs over the One News Cable Channel, for airing a program that purely appeals to “prurient interest” and for failure to adhere to the MTRCB Rating guidelines.
“In the exercise of its regulatory powers, the MTRCB hereby prohibits the television program "Private Convos with Doc Rica" from exportation, copying, distribution, sale, lease, exhibition, and/or television broadcast in all media platforms within the jurisdiction of the MTRCB, commencing from the finality of this decision,” according to the January 24 ruling of the Board.
The MTRCB's Monitoring and Inspection Unit (MIU) submitted an Incident Report to the Office of the Chairperson on 24 August 2023, concerning the program "PRIVATE CONVOS WITH DOC RICA," aired over One News Cable TV by CIGNAL TV. The report highlighted episodes that featured discussions on sexual experiences and fantasies, including the use of inappropriate language.
flagged the September 6 episode where host Doc Rica interviewed her guest about sexual awakening, during which explicit terms such as "self-masturbation, anal sex, and oral sex" were used in the conversation.
In addition to the MIU’s observations, the Board received numerous complaints against the program, primarily from concerned parents.
In adherence to due process, a Notice to Appear was issued on 28 September 2023, directing the Respondents to testify before the Agency’s Hearing and Adjudication Committee.
The Respondents appeared through their representatives and were asked to submit their respective position papers.
The Board meticulously reviewed the content in question and evaluated it against the relevant provisions of the law, specifically Section 3 (c) of Presidential Decree No. 1986 (PD 1986) and Section 2, Chapter IV, in relation to Section 8, Chapter V of the law's Implementing Rules and Regulations.
After a thorough examination of the case, including a comprehensive analysis of the position papers submitted by the Respondents, the Board determined that the respondent “Private Convos with Doc Rica” television program format involved detailed discussions of guests’ sexual awakenings, leading to explicit narrations of intimate experiences, and employed language deemed unsuitable for broadcasting.
MTRCB Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Lala Sotto, stated, "We unequivocally denounce any blatant disregard for the law. With the freedom to broadcast content comes a responsibility. We implore broadcasters and content providers to be circumspect and responsible in their creative processes, acknowledging the profound influence that on-screen content holds.”
The MTRCB ruled that the episode’s usage of those explicit terms, coupled with the totality of actions and expressions of the host and her guest/s, within the context of the program, “fall within materials which appeal to the prurient interest of the average person.”
Further, the Board disagreed with the assertion of the respondents that the program, in totality, is imbued with “educational and social value.”
The Board also raised concerns over the appropriateness of the medium and time slot chosen for dissemination, considering the content of the episodes, particularly the explicit discussions on sexual experiences and the use of inappropriate language.
The ruling also assailed the complete defiance and non-adherence of the Respondents to the MTRCB Rating in violation of Section 2, Chapter IV in relation to Section 8, Chapter V of PD 1986.
“The Respondents are remiss for broadcasting the mentioned television program during Child-Viewing Hours, despite asserting that the Subject Episodes were merely used as fillers in the afternoon time slot. Additionally, the Respondents failed to implement the necessary MTRCB rating for the Television Program despite being aware that the subject matter is unsuitable for very young televiewers,” the ruling states.
The ban on the TV program is effective upon the finality of the decision, covering exportation, copying, distribution, sale, lease, exhibition, and/or television broadcast in all media platforms within the jurisdiction of the MTRCB.