Sen. Win Gatchalian wants the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to be able to regulate video and online games.

He wants to do this to make sure that children are safe and healthy as they use new technologies.

This was put forward by Gatchalian in Senate Bill 1063, also known as the Video and Online Games and Outdoor Media Regulation Act. The bill aims to amend the Presidential Decree of 1986, which created the MTRCB.

“Habang patuloy na nagbabago at lumalawak ang paggamit natin sa teknolohiya, dapat din nating tiyakin na nabibigyan ng kaukulang proteksyon at paggabay ang ating mga kabataan, lalo na mula sa mga hindi magagandang impluwensya at epektong maaaring idulot ng mga teknolohiyang ito (As we continue to embrace new technology, we should make sure to give our children with proper protection and guidance, especially from the influence and effect of this technology),” Gatchalian said on Monday in a statement.

He said that the 2020 gaming statistics show that 43 million gamers were behind the huge growth of the gaming industry in the Philippines and across Southeast Asia.

The data also showed that 74 percent of online gamers in the Philippines played games on their mobile devices, 65 percent played games on their computers, and 45 percent played games on classic consoles.

He also said that 43 million gamers in the country spent USD572 million on games in 2019. This made the Philippines the world’s 25th biggest market for game sales and a key driver of Southeast Asia’s overall games market during that time.

Gatchalian also wants the MTRCB to regulate outdoor media like advertising signs, Light Emitting Diode (LED) signs and billboards, ground signs, roof signs, and sign infrastructures.

The same process should be used to approve or deny the showing of video games, online games, and outdoor media as it is for movies, TV shows, stills, and other kinds of picture ads. The process of examining and reviewing media and banning media that is deemed inappropriate for use in the Philippines will also apply to video games, online games, and outdoor media, he added.

Gatchalian’s bill says that any video game that has been rated “Adults Only” by the Board cannot be sold or given away. It will also be against the law for a minor to buy or get games that say “Adults Only” or to lie about their age to get these games.

The bill also states that the rating of any video game sold or given away in the Philippines must be printed on the front of the packaging and be easy to see and read. This must be done in the style and way that the Board specifies. On the other hand, the rating must be shown on the menu screen of digital copies of games.

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