Censorship in the Philippines

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Censorship in the Philippines refers to the control of certain information in the Philippines.

Television and film[edit]

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board is responsible for rating television programs, movies and home videos aired in the Philippines. The government agency can classify a movie or television program an X rating, effectively banning the work from public screening. The MTRCB is however criticized for its views on what constitutes obscenity, and is also accused of giving the X rating to materials for political reasons such as Ora Pro Nobis by Lino Brocka, which gained controversy for its allegations of continued human rights violations in the Philippines after the 1986 EDSA revolution.[1]

More recently the sex scenes from the controversial film Fifty Shades of Grey were edited and received an R-18 rating from the MTRCB, due to the various protest from religious groups. However, its sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed were shown uncut and received an R-18 rating.[citation needed]

Internet censorship[edit]

The Freedom on the Net 2013 by the Freedom House ranked the Philippines 10th out of 60 countries. It said that it did not receive reports that officials are pressuring bloggers or online journalists to delete content deemed critical to the authorities. However it said that "many news websites are online versions of traditional media which self-censor due to the level of violence against journalists in the Philippines".[2]

It also said that "The government does not require the registration of user information prior to logging online or subscribing to internet and mobile phone services, especially since prepaid services are widely available, even in small neighborhood stores." The same report also stated that the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 negatively affected the state of internet freedom of the country. It has also noted that the internet penetration of the country remains low which it attributes to PLDT's "de facto monopoly" and lack of infrastructure and bureaucratic government regulation. The study says that the monopoly resulted to high broadband subscription fees.[2]

A study released in March 2014 by United States-based, Pew Research Center states that most Filipinos find access to the internet without censorship is important or somewhat important. 35% of the respondents said they found internet access without censorship as "very important", 38% as "somewhat important", 18% "not too important", 6% "not important" and the rest said they don't know or refused to answer.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Teodoro, Luis (14 May 2012). "Censorship in disguise". In Medias Res. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b Malig, Jojo (4 October 2013). "Internet freedom costly for Filipinos, study says". ABS-CBNnews.com. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Should gov't censor Internet access?". MoneyPolitics. Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. Archived from the original on 9 October 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.