As a member of the KBP, ABS-CBN strictly adheres to and abides by the code contained in the Broadcast Code of the Philippines, adopted by the broadcast group 2007, which the network ratified along with other KBP members.
Some of the pertinent provisions remind TV networks that children should not be required, coerced, or bribed to narrate traumatic experiences on shows. They shall not be ridiculed, diminished, or demeaned; and camera angles should not be used to create indecent and inappropriate images.
The ABS-CBN Ombudsman also restated to its TV production group the salient provisions of the Republic Act 7610 or the “Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act,” which the Broadcast Code of the Philippines also mandate networks to comply with.
Child abuse, as defined in RA 7610, refers to the maltreatment, whether habitual or not, of the child which include psychological and physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment. Any act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being is also considered as child abuse. Unreasonable deprivation of a child’s basic needs for survival, such as food and shelter; as well as the failure to immediately give medical treatment to an injured child resulting in serious impairment of his growth and development or in his permanent incapacity or death are also violations to the aforementioned republic act.
“Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act,” under Article V Section 9, also stated parameters whenever a child is involved in an indecent show. It said that “Any person who shall hire, employ, use, persuade, induce or coerce a child to perform in obscene exhibitions and indecent shows, whether live or in video, or model in obscene publications or pornographic materials or to sell or distribute the said materials shall suffer the penalty of prison mayor in its medium period.” The punishment will be at its maximum period however, if the child used a performer is below 12 years of age.
In the interest of self-regulation, ABS-CBN maintains an on-air monitoring team that views all its programs and provides feedback to the program production teams on program content. ABS-CBN also has a Call Monitoring System, which is a feedback mechanism that allows its audience to inform the Kapamilya network of their comments, opinions or suggestions on programs and talents. ABS-CBN viewers’ comments, negative or positive, are forwarded to concerned production units for appropriate review and action. Production units are mandated to regularly review the comments, evaluate them and ensure that appropriate action is taken. A child protection handbook is likewise being drafted by the Office of The Network Ombusdsman (ONO), headed by Retired Justice Jose Vitug. It will contain standards, guidelines and operating procedures to cover the employment of minors (below 18 years old), and news coverage involving children and related matters.
The information re-issuance is in line with ABS-CBN’s effort to strictly comply with foregoing broadcasting rules and laws, and by virtue of a resolution of its Board of Directors and the Network Ombudsman to uphold and promote proper treatment of children on its various shows.