QUEZON CITY, April 24, 2019 – As an attached agency of the Department of Education (DepEd) mandated to produce quality television programs that will help develop the knowledge, skills, values, and strong sense of national identity among Filipino learners, the National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT) officially launched the Child-Friendly Content Standards (CFCS) at Luxent Hotel on April 12.

Pursuant to Section 9 of Republic Act (RA) No. 8370 or the Children’s Television Act, NCCT shall formulate and promote CFCS which requires broadcast television networks to allocate a minimum of 15% of their daily total airtime to children’s programs and/or child-friendly programs to be shown during child-viewing hours.

In a message read by DepEd-Bureau of Learner Support Services Director and NCCT OIC-Executive Director Rizalino Jose Rosales, Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua lauded the launch for being timely and relevant to present situation: “This set of standards allows us government agencies and other stakeholders that are involved in shaping the future generations of Filipinos to be in-step with the quick-paced information revolution, keeping Filipino values intact, and ensuring that children gain proper knowledge and are not led astray by negative content.”

“DepEd, under the leadership of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, NCCT, and other stakeholders will work together to better prepare Filipino learners to face various societal issues in the fast-changing modern world,” the message further read.

Criteria for programs’ content, period of compliance
Based on the rules and regulations on CFCS, children’s television programs shall be: educational or must promote, protect, and develop the child’s physical, emotional, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being; value-laden or must foster and nurture the positive value formation and overall development of a child; and age-appropriate or must be suitable according to the formative and developmental stages of a child.

Television programs not specifically designed for viewing by children shall be considered child-friendly only if they meet the set criteria on the theme, values, dialogue, language, nutrition, sex and nudity, violence, substance use, gambling, and advertisements. These requirements shall also apply to children’s television programs.

Likewise, NCCT considers hours between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., and/or between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to be appropriate for children to watch television, taking into consideration other activities necessary for their balanced development.

Broadcast networks are given sufficient time to comply with the minimum 15% allotment of the daily total airtime to children’s programs and/or child-friendly programs.

From the date of effectivity until December 31, 2019, the compliance to the minimum 15% shall be on a voluntary basis. In 2020, every broadcast network shall have at least five % compliance, while at least 10% minimum allotment should be attained in 2021. The required 15% of the total everyday airtime for children’s programs and/or child-friendly programs shall be complied with in 2022.

The event was attended by: Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya; the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Assistant Secretaries Marijoy Segui and Rhea Peñaflor; NCCT Chairperson for Child Development Specialists Sector Luis Gatmaitan, M.D.; council member for academe sector Alice Pañares; council member for broadcast media sector Ramon Osorio, APR, CPR; council member for parents sector Ma. Lourdes Carandang, PhD; and council member for the child-focused non-government organizations sector Yasmin Mapua-Tang. Representatives from National Telecommunications Commission, Council for the Welfare of Children, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, ABS-CBN, GMA Network, UNTV, PTV 4, Catholic Mass Media Awards, Philippine Information Agency, Philippine Press Institute, and students and teachers from the Schools Division of Quezon City, Caloocan City, and San Juan City were also present in the launch.

Finally, Rosales expressed his hope that every broadcast network would observe the Child-Friendly Content Standards: “We hope that you will religiously bear in mind the required 15% allotment to children’s programs and child-friendly programs.”