The Inbox

TV networks urged to produce child-friendly shows

Batibot

By Ariel C. Sebellino, VERA Files

Maricel Oriña, a self-employed housewife and mother of two boys, can only sigh in exasperation over the lack of sensitivity on how children are portrayed on television.

She cited a teen show which blatantly shows teenagers below 18 kissing and hugging on national television and a foreign cartoon that is just unbearable to see because of its violent content.

"We do not have good shows for children anymore," she said.  "My kids have nothing to learn from these stuff."

Aside from supervising the homework of her kids, she now also carefully chooses which programs her children are allowed to watch during set viewing hours.

Oriña  is just one of the many parents alarmed over the scarcity of children's programs on television.  Her concern was expressed by other children advocates during a series of consultative forums conducted in Manila, Baguio, Cebu and Davao by the National Council for Children's Television (NCCT) which monitors child-friendly programs on television.

Section 9 of Republic Act No. 8370, also known as the Children's Television Act of 1997, requires that a minimum of 15 percent of the daily total airtime of each broadcast network shall be allotted for child-friendly shows within the regular programing of all networks granted franchises or as a condition for renewal of broadcast licenses by the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC).

The same Act, which established the NCCT, provides penalties for violators as stated: "In the exercise of its administrative function, the council shall petition the proper government agencies and/or appropriate self-regulatory bodies to suspend, revoke or cancel the license to operate television stations found violating any revision of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations."

Mag Hatol, secretary-general of Anak TV and chairman of NCCT, however pointed out that while the law has been in existence for 15 years, the penalties it provides could not be imposed because of the absence of implementing rules and regulations.

Seminar on good TV viewing habits

He said that the lack of teeth to enforce the law has opened the floodgates to complaints from concerned individuals and child-rights groups over the dearth of children's shows and the prevalence of various programs that do not conform to what are the ideal children's television and child-friendly programs  as provided by law.

"We are not even demanding an honest-to-goodness children's television as defined by the law but child-friendly programs which I think can truly be done if only you think of social responsibility," he said.

NCCT said it will not take things sitting down.  It vows to enforce the law once the implementing rules and regulations are approved.

To date, it only recognized five television shows which are considered child-friendly as follows: TV5's Batibot, ABS-CBN's I Got It and Why Not, GMA's Tropang Potchi and UNTV's KNC Show.

Hatol said the Philippines has a young population that should be tapped as audience if only more child-friendly shows on television are created.

Danton Remoto, head of research of TV5, admitted that while Batibot has been running for so long "it still needs to provide locally produced shows for children that talk about culture and values."

Remoto said: "As it is, our station complies with the  15% requirement and we see the need for this to be followed.  I would also love that Filipino language be used in the shows for children like Batibot."

He said that a child psychologist and sociologist should be part of a team that thinks and creates shows for children.

Dr. Honey Carandang, a child psychologist and children advocate, said that television is the next most powerful tool in shaping the minds of the children, second to the family.

She said: "TV becomes the baby-sitter.  So that the impact of the image is very powerful."

Carandang said the child absorbs images totally, effortlessly, subliminally and unconsciously. She urged stakeholders to uphold respect and dignity of every Filipino child via television shows.

Catharina Van der Hor, country director of Plan Philippines, said that television offers risk-seeking behaviors.

"Children think that any reality shown on television is okay and that it is okay for them to this as well," she said.

Van der Hor said that parents should make the decision and have the sole power and responsibility to monitor which television shows are fit for their children.  She also sees the need for guardians and caretakers to also assume the same responsibility.

Cecil Guidote-Alvarez, national Artist and director of UNESCO Dream Center, said that television should promote the goodness of cultural diversity and values creed on television programming for children.

Alvarez, also the founder of the Philippine Education Theater Association (PETA), challenged concerned groups and stakeholders to come up with a watch list on "which are child-friendly business and (which) are not."

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for "true.")

  • Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet
    Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    When the first Earth Day was held in 1970, geologists were still putting the finishing touches on plate tectonics, the model that explains how the Earth's surface takes shape. For today's Earth day, here are some of Earth's biggest unsolved mysteries. Scientists think Earth was a dry rock after it coalesced 4.5 billion years ago. But the beginnings of Earth's water are shrouded in mystery because so little rock evidence remains from this time period. …

  • Angel calls birthday boy Luis ‘amazing’
    Angel calls birthday boy Luis ‘amazing’

    [caption id="attachment_130927" align="alignright" width="300"] Angel Locsin and Luis Manzano (Instagram)[/caption] Angel Locsin is extra sweet to boyfriend Luis Manzano today, with the latter commemorating his 33rd birthday. The actress authorized Sagip Kapamilya Foundation to auction the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle, which is her dream car. …

  • Miss America defends student suspended for asking her to prom
    Miss America defends student suspended for asking her to prom

    By Chris Francescani NEW YORK (Reuters) - Miss America has suggested officials at a Pennsylvania high school reconsider their decision to suspend a student for approaching her at a school assembly and asking her to be his prom date, the beauty queen said on Saturday. The disciplinary action taken by school administrators in York against the 18-year-old senior made national headlines, and generated sympathy for the young man on social media. A video of Central York High School senior Patrick …

  • U.S. Embassy in Manila denies report of visa-free U.S. entry for Filip …
    U.S. Embassy in Manila denies report of visa-free U.S. entry for Filip …

    Don’t fall for rumors that Filipinos may now visit the United States without a visa, U.S. embassy in Manila told the public Wednesday. …

  • Vatican dismisses criticism of John Paul II over abuses
    Vatican dismisses criticism of John Paul II over abuses

    The Vatican on Tuesday brushed off accusations that late pope John Paul II was aware of and ignored allegations about sexual abuse carried by the Mexican founder of a powerful Catholic movement. "There is no personal implication of the Holy Father in this affair," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told a news conference on Sunday's ceremony to confer sainthood on popes John Paul II and John XXIII. The scandal over Marcial Maciel, who founded the Legion of Christ and was a serial predator, …

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    LiveScience.com - Tue, Apr 22, 2014
    Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    When the first Earth Day was held in 1970, geologists were still putting the finishing touches on plate tectonics, the model that explains how the Earth's surface takes shape. For today's Earth day, here are some of Earth's biggest unsolved mysteries. Scientists think Earth was a dry rock after it coalesced 4.5 billion years ago. But the beginnings of Earth's water are shrouded in mystery because so little rock evidence remains from this time period. …

  • Sriracha hot sauce makers head for next showdown in California

    Sriracha hot sauce makers head for next showdown in California

    Reuters - 1 hour 17 minutes ago
    Sriracha hot sauce makers head for next showdown in California

    By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Southern California makers of the popular Sriracha brand of hot sauce faced another potential showdown on Wednesday with the city of Irwindale over a peppery smell emitted from the company's chili-processing factory in town. The city council was expected to vote on a resolution formally declaring the factory a public nuisance unless the sides reach an agreement to resolve resident complaints of tear-inducing fumes from the plant. City officials and …

  • David Moyes statement after Man United firing

    David Moyes statement after Man United firing

    Associated Press - 4 hours ago
    David Moyes statement after Man United firing

    Statement released by David Moyes on Wednesday, a day after Manchester United announced he left as manager after less than a season in charge. …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options