MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 2019-01

 

Pursuant to Section 9 of Republic Act No. 8370, otherwise known as the “Children’s Television Act of 1997,” the NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR CHILDREN’S TELEVISION promulgates the following Rules and Regulations on the Child-Friendly Content Standards:

 

RULE 1

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Section 1.     Short Title 

            These Rules shall be known as the “Child-Friendly Content Standards.”

Section 2.     Declaration of Policy

            The State recognizes the importance and impact of television content on the value formation and intellectual development of children. It is the declared policy to take and adopt measures to protect children from exploitation and to provide them with television content reflective of their needs, concerns, and interests.

Section 3.     Establishment of Child-Friendly Content Standards

            The National Council for Children’s Television shall promote and encourage the production and broadcasting of developmentally-appropriate locally produced television programs for children. Towards this end, the Council hereby promulgates the Child-Friendly Content Standards pursuant to Section 9 of R.A. 8370 that requires broadcast television networks to allocate a minimum of fifteen percent (15%) of their daily total airtime to children’s programs and/or child-friendly programs to be shown during child-viewing hours.

 

RULE 2

DEFINITION OF TERMS

 

Section 1.     For purposes of these Child-Friendly Content Standards, the following terms shall be construed as follows:

    a) Broadcast Network – an entity, authorized by law, that exhibits and/or broadcasts television content.

    b) Children – All persons below eighteen (18) years of age.

    c) Children’s Television – refers to programs and other materials broadcast on television that are specifically designed for viewing by children.

    d) Child-Friendly Programs – refers to television content, which may not be specifically designed for viewing by children but which serve to further the positive development of children and contain no elements that may result in physical, mental, and emotional harm to them. These include various formats and genre that appeal to children and are made available for all ages from early childhood to adolescence.

    e) Child-Viewing Hours – Hours between 8:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M. and/or between 2:00PM and 5:00PM are considered by the Council to be appropriate for children to watch taking into account other activities which are necessary or desirable for their balanced development.

    f) Council – National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT)

    g) Educational Children’s Program – refers to television content that promote and protect the child’s physical, emotional, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being.

    h) Television Content – refers to the television program itself or the substance or matter shown in images and sounds displayed on the television screen during the program.

 

RULE 3

CRITERIA FOR CHILDREN’S TELEVISION PROGRAMS

AND CHILD-FRIENDLY TELEVISION PROGRAMS

 

Section 1.     Children’s Television

            Children’s television programs, or programs specifically designed for viewing by children, shall be educational, value-laden, and age-appropriate, as follows:

 

    Educational – the television content must promote, protect, and develop the child’s physical, emotional, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. Children should hear, see, and express themselves, their culture, languages, and life experiences through television content that affirms their sense of self, community and place;

     

    Value-laden – the television content must foster and nurture the positive value formation and overall development of a child. It should promote an awareness and appreciation of other cultures in parallel with the child’s own cultural and moral values and background;

     

    Age-appropriate – the television content must be suitable according to the formative and developmental stages of a child.

 

Section 2.      Child-Friendly Television Programs

    a) Programs not specifically designed for viewing by children shall be considered child-friendly only if they meet the following criteria:

    1. Theme - The theme or underlying message of the program must be suitable for children. The program should not contain themes that are suitable only for adults;

    2. Values - The subject of the program must not be contrary to the best interest of children. The program must promote positive Filipino values for emotional, moral, spiritual, mental, or physical development of the child;

      Values can include respect for children towards other children and adults regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual preference, physical or mental disabilities. It must also display respect and care for the environment and other living beings;

    3. Dialogue - The dialogue, whether in words or gestures, does not promote or encourage children to speak or behave disrespectfully towards others;

    4. Language - The language used must not be vulgar, profane, offensive, sexually-suggestive, derogatory or demeaning of a person;

    5. Nutrition - Portrayals, or references to food and beverages, do not promote or condone unhealthy eating;

    6. Sex and Nudity - The program does not portray or depict the sexual act, the sexual organ and other sensitive parts of the body or depict acts and images that are sexually-suggestive or appropriate only for adult audiences;

    7. Violence - The program does not contain any violent scenes, depict the use of force as routine, or imply that it is a desirable means of resolving conflict, or show excessive, gory, and bloody images;

    8. Substance Use - The program does not depict images and messages with the aim, effect or likely effect of promoting, directly or indirectly, a tobacco company, tobacco brand, a tobacco product or tobacco use, heated tobacco products (HTPs), Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), Electronic Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENNDS), electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), electronic shisha (e-shisha) vapes, and other similar devices, alcohol, stimulants, narcotics, inhalants, depressants, and hallucinogens and other prohibited drugs and chemicals;

    9. Gambling - The program does not contain scenes of gambling or betting nor suggest that these activities are good or desirable;

    10. Advertisements - The program does not advertise or promote products that are not appropriate for children or that may cause harm to them.

    b) The criteria for child-friendly television programs shall also apply to children’s television programs.

 

RULE 4

ALLOTMENT OF AIRTIME FOR CHILD-FRIENDLY TELEVISION CONTENT

 

Section 1.     Airtime Allotment for Child-Friendly Television Programs

            Every television broadcast station is required to allot at least fifteen percent (15%) of its daily total airtime for child-friendly television programs. In computing this requirement, children’s television shall be counted as child-friendly television programs.

Section 2.     Commercial Advertisement During Broadcast of Child-Friendly Television Programs

            Consistent with the spirit and intent of R.A. No. 8370, no commercial advertisements that are not child-friendly shall be aired immediately preceding, during, and immediately after a broadcast of a child-friendly program or a children’s television.

Section 3.     Entity Responsible for the 15% Airtime Allotment

            For purposes of enforcement and monitoring of this Standards, the obligation to allot at least fifteen percent (15%) of their daily total airtime for children’s television programs and/or child-friendly television programs is required only of all broadcast networks or entities which are granted by Congress of the Philippines and/or by the National Telecommunications Commission with a broadcast franchise or license to construct, install, establish, operate, and maintain television broadcasting stations. In this connection, every broadcast network covered by these Rules shall submit to the Council within the first day of every month a verified copy of their daily programming for the month. It shall be the obligation of every broadcast network to immediately report in writing to the Council any changes in their submitted daily programming.

Section 4.     Submission of Compliance Report          

            Every broadcast network required by law to allot at least fifteen percent of its daily total airtime for children’s programs and/or child-friendly program content shall submit a monthly compliance report to the Council. The compliance report shall contain such information as: name of the broadcast network; television channel; time of daily sign-on and sign-off; title of children’s television program or child-friendly television program; time of airing of the children’s television program or child-friendly television program; genre and brief description of the children’s television program or child-friendly television program; and percentage of compliance with the fifteen percent airtime requirement. The compliance report shall be submitted to the Council not later than the first ten days of the month following the month covered by the report.

Section 5.     Designation of Child-Friendly Television Content Focal Person

            Every broadcast network shall designate and appoint a focal person who is responsible for the compliance by the network with the requirement for the broadcast of children’s programs and/or child-friendly program content.

 

RULE 5

CHILD-VIEWING HOURS

 

Section 1.     The hours between 8:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M. and/or 2:00PM to 5:00PM are hereby established as child-viewing hours. These are the hours considered by the Council to be appropriate for children to watch educational, cultural, and recreational television content taking into account other activities which are necessary or desirable for their balanced development.

Section 2.     Children’s television programs and child-friendly television programs should be aired during child-viewing hours.

 

RULE 6

PERIOD OF COMPLIANCE

 

Section 1.     The requirement to allot at least fifteen percent (15%) of the daily total airtime for children’s television programs and/or child-friendly television programs shall be complied by every broadcast network gradually in order to give them sufficient time to comply with the law, as follows:

    Year 2019 - From the time of the effectivity of these Rules up to 31 December 2019, the compliance with the fifteen percent daily total airtime for children’s television programs and/or child-friendly television programs content shall be on a voluntary basis;

    Year 2020 - Beginning 01 January 2020 up to 31 December 2020, every broadcast network shall have at least five percent (5%) of their daily total airtime allotted for children’s television programs and/or child-friendly programs content;

    Year 2021 - Beginning 01 January 2021 up to 31 December 2021, every broadcast network shall have at least ten percent (10%) of their daily total airtime allotted for children’s television programs and/or child-friendly programs content;

    Year 2022 - Beginning 01 January 2022 and thereafter, every broadcast network shall fully comply with the required fifteen percent (15%) of their daily total airtime allotted for children’s television programs and/or child-friendly television programs content.

 

RULE 7

HEARING AND INVESTIGATION

 

Section 1.     The Council, or through an Ad Hoc Committee created for the purpose, shall hear or investigate any administrative complaint for violation of the provisions of R.A. No. 8370 and these Rules, as well as for any related issuances that the Council may hereafter promulgate.

Section 2.     The Council shall observe appropriate flexibility and liberality in all its proceedings giving primacy to alternative modes of dispute resolutions. The Rules of Court shall have suppletory application in the hearings before the Council.

Section 3.     The respondent in the proceedings before the Council shall be given ample opportunity to respond to the complaint and to present evidence presented against it.

Section 4.     The Council shall decide the case within thirty (30) days following the last submission of any pleading that it may require, or upon the expiration of the period given. The decision shall be in writing, must be rendered based on the evidence presented at the hearing, and shall state the issues involved and the reasons for the decision.

Section 5.     A party adversely affected by the decision of the Council may move for a reconsideration within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof. The filing of a motion for reconsideration shall not stay the immediate execution of the decision. No motion for extension of time to file motion for reconsideration shall be entertained.

Section 6.     Within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the decision or final order of the Council, a party adversely affected thereof may file an appeal to the Office of the President of the Philippines. The appeal shall be perfected by filing a notice of appeal at the Office of the President of the Philippines.

Section 7.     The Decision of the Council shall become final and executory after the lapse of the fifteen (15)-day period for appeal without any appeal having been perfected.

Section 8.     Pursuant to Section 11 of R.A. 8370, in the exercise of its administrative functions, the Council may petition the proper government agencies to suspend, revoke, or cancel the license to operate of a broadcast network found to have violated any provisions of R.A. 8370, these Rules, or any issuances of the Council.

 

RULE 8

FINAL PROVISIONS

 

Section 1.     All orders, circulars, memoranda, rules or regulations, or other issuances of the Council that are inconsistent with these Rules are hereby repealed or amended accordingly.

Section 2.          If any provision of these Rules is declared invalid, the other parts or provisions thereof that are not affected shall remain and continue to be in full force and effect.

Section 3.     These Rules shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its publication in a newspaper of general circulation and its filing with the Office of the National Administrative Register in the University of the Philippines Law Center, as required under the Administrative Code of 1987.

 

APPROVED, by the NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR CHILDREN’S TELEVISION (NCCT), in a meeting called for the purpose, on 08 April 2019 at Pasig City, Philippines.