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, a X rating which forbids the material from being shown to the public due to issues such as excessive obscenity. Some freedom of expression groups has disputed the MTRCB regarding it views on what constitutes obscenity and has also accused the agency for giving the X rating to materials for political reasons such as to Ora Pro Nobis by Lino Brocka which says that human rights violations continued post-EDSA revolution of 1986.[1]

The 2006 film The Da Vinci Code earned an R-18 rating from the MTRCB despite PAAP's from showing it in theaters. However, the DVD release of the film was given a PG-13 rating. 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.

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]

On January 14, 2017, the two popular pornographic websites Pornhub and XVideos were blocked in the Philippines by President Rodrigo Duterte as part of the Republic Act 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Law.[4] There are a few ISPs in the country where Internet porn can be accessible.

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. 
  4. ^ "Popular porn sites blocked in Philippines". BBC. 2017-01-06.