The National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT) convenes 297 participants coming from different sectors to support the launching of Child-Friendly Content Standards (CFCS) in selected venues from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao last September to October 2019.

The recently concluded launching of the CFCS was participated by Local Government Units (LGUs), Media Organizations, Broadcast Organizations, Content Creators, Academic Institutions, Research Enthusiasts, Communications and Psychology Students, and Organizations of Parents/Guardians held in Baguio City, Davao City, Iloilo City, and Legazpi City. Thus, the launching is part of the long-time commitment of the agency that provides Standards in the airing of television programs which are child-friendly and specifically produced for the Filipino children.

NCCT Council members Dr. Luis P. Gatmaitan (Chairperson), Ms. Yasmin Mapua-Tang (Child-Focused NGOs Sector), and Ms. Alice A. Pañares (Academe Sector) serve as resource speakers where they emphasize areas of the law that need to be observed upon developing contents which are friendly in the views of young audiences. One of its emphasis is Section 9 of the said law that require all free-to-air broadcast networks a minimum of fifteen percent (15%) of their daily total airtime to be allotted to child-friendly shows as part of the networks’ responsibility of serving the public.

In the discussion of the law, Dr. Gatmaitan stresses the harm of TV and other medium for entertainment as used as babysitters while parents are busy doing household chores. These instances left children unattended or without supervision and may encounter images or scenes which are obscene, fouling, offensive, and violent in the eyes of Filipino children. The law also recognizes the creation of television programs which are Educational, Value-laden, and Age appropriate or EVA. For the compliance of broadcast network, resource speakers highlight the core concern of the law which is on the implementation of the policy. This includes the observation of Child-Viewing Hours, Airtime Allotment for Children’s TV and Child-Friendly TV Programs, Commercial Advertisement immediately before, during and immediately after the programs, Designation of Focal Person, Period of Compliance, Hearing and Investigation, and submission of the Daily Monitoring Log.

In compliance with the law, NCCT emphasizes the Period of Compliance that suggest gradual process of conformity. Beginning January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, every broadcast network shall have at least 5% of their daily total airtime allotted for children’s television programs and/or child-friendly programs content. On 2021, compliance will increase up to 10% from January 1-December 31 until broadcast networks will be able to comply for 15% daily total airtime on 2022 of the same periods. This is to ensure that the implementation of the law caters both interests of the networks, the implementing agency, and the Filipino children.

Apart from the launching of the Standards, NCCT’s second national research titled “The Filipino Child’s Media World: Media Consumption, Parental Mediation Strategies, and the Elementary Learner’s Classroom Performance” was presented to inform stakeholders about the country’s status in terms of media consumption among children, the types of parental mediation strategies used by parents and/or guardians of these children, and the relationship of the children’s media consumption to their classroom performance. The findings of the study urge parents to share some of their encounters upon observing their children who consume much on television, video games, social media and other platforms.

Ms. Ruth, a parent from Iloilo City shared her experiences about her child being a territorial kid while living in a condo on which she believes that it is because of the influence of playing online games. Also, her eight-year old daughter who loves watching DO IT YOURSELF videos also known as “DIY” in YouTube refuses to go to school as kid thought that everything can be learned in just one click unlike going to school is boring.

A Mother from the Tobaco City, Albay shares misspelled words (from “out” to “owt”) by her 6-year old daughter as a result of regular viewing to the famous animated series Tom and Jerry.

Provincial Social Welfare Development Officer stresses rape cases committed by minors due to influence of media.

NCCT’s second research says that the types of programs parents and children usually view together contain heavy themes on violence, death, sex, extramarital affairs, drugs, and revenge. Majority of the shows portray glamorized death and sex. In terms of playing video games, because of lack of digital literacy, or lack of interest in trying out the games of their children enjoy, parents would resort to restricting the children instead. This may also be attributed with working parents or housewives who have less time in educating themselves about the popular video games.

The content of media has a vital role in the school performance of children. As reflected from the study, media consumption has displayed negative effects in the children’s behavior towards accomplishing tasks in school and in displaying negative behavior towards other people such as bullying, using derogative language, and causing physical harm to their classmates. Findings also says that, Filipino children observes irregularities in their growth as time goes by. Other says they compromises their study, health, social life, and development of values. They chose to be alone with smartphone rather than socializing with the family.

With the results, parents urge themselves to always monitor the media contents that are mostly accessed by their children. It is alarming that media platforms nowadays are a contributing factor on the development of unlikely traits among children.

Participants suggests extending the implementation of R.A. 8370 to social media platforms as entertainment programs are also transitioned into digital forms which are more likely to be accessed by young ones. In this way, the Standards will guard and remind content creators to be cautious about the media content they produced.

Stakeholders are also expecting that the NCCT will intensify the proper and appropriate implementation of the policy. LGU officers look forward to using the Standards as reference in developing projects for the community that will address the issues face by the Filipino children today.