Willing Willie suspended for 1 month — MTRCB

Fans of “Willing Willie” will not be able to watch the primetime game show for now. The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) on Tuesday announced that “Willing Willie” has been suspended for one month, but has credited the TV5 for voluntarily taking the show off the air since April 11, 2011.

The full text of MTRCB suspends Willing Willie announcement is posted below:

The Hearing and Adjudication Committee (“Committee”) of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (“MTRCB”) promulgated a decision finding the television program ‘Willing Willie” liable for violation of Section 3(c) of P.D. 1986, and imposing the penalty of one (1) month suspension, but crediting the period during which the program was on voluntary suspension by TV5.

In addition, the MTRCB placed the show on Probation, or on a per-episode permit basis, until the Board is convinced that the self-regulatory measures committed by the TV5 and WilProductions have actually been undertaken and implemented.

In arriving at the Decision, the Committee cites what TV5 implemented as measures of “self-regulation and perpetual improvement.” The Committee takes note of following self-regulatory measures adopted by ABC5:

a. Voluntary suspension of “Willing Willie” program from 11 April 2011 to the present.

b. Adoption of strict policies governing the participation of minors in shows and events.

c. Appointment of an internal Ombudsman who will ensure that the audition process of all shows will adequately screen talents to, in turn, ensure that the performances are age-appropriate, and also set up a monitoring system of all shows to ensure compliance with broadcast and legal standards.

d. Ordering a moratorium on child contestants while the safeguards are being established.

e. Strengthening institutional ties with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other relevant government agencies to ensure that children’s rights are always protected.

f. Formulating a “Rules of Ethics” for its talents, production staff and crew, and other persons involved in the production and airing of its shows to ensure that conduct is appropriate at all times and always in line with the interest of the general public.

g. Creation of a Standards Compliance Group, consisting of (i) the Standards Advisory Board, and (ii) the Compliance Unit.

h. Partnering with the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA) and other stakeholders to come up with appropriate guidelines that will apply to the broadcast industry with respect to the participation of children in talent, game and reality shows.

i. Promulgation of the Guidelines on the Treatment of Children as Viewers, Subjects, Talents or Participants, after consultating with the Philippine Children’s Television Foundation.

And while the MTRCB commends these measures, and offers it as a model for all networks who may be similarly-minded to institutionalize measures to provide special protection for children, it called upon TV5 and all other networks, to take these reforms to a new level, that is enlightened by institutional introspection and industry-wide discernment.

In their Decision, the Committee counseled in this wise: “Celebrities and TV personalities should exercise the highest degree of care and diligence, as they are the most seen, and their reach and influence is far greater than any other individual. It is the responsibility of the network and their talents to educate themselves regarding: gender sensitivity, children and women’s rights issues; the rights of indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and other marginalized sectors of the society. Let this Decision stand as a reminder to all networks, producers, directors, public figures, celebrities and hosts that: We are all advocates. And as advocates, we are duty-bound to fight for a TV industry that does not only make us ‘eat for a day,’ but an industry that inspires, transforms, and moves us, to live better lives.”

{Source: MTRCB}