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MTRCB junks appeal to put sex education show ‘Private Convos with Doc Rica’ back on air

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MTRCB junks appeal to put sex education show ‘Private Convos with Doc Rica’ back on air

Rica Cruz's Instagram

In January, MTRCB released a ruling prohibiting the airing of 'Private Convos with Doc Rica' as it 'appeals to prurient interest’

MANILA, Philippines –  The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) junked the motion for reconsideration filed by Cignal TV Inc. for its TV program Private Convos with Doc Rica, following the board’s earlier decision to ban the show from airing. 

In a press release issued on Thursday, March 14, the board said it was maintaining its original position that the program “purely appeals to ‘prurient interest.’” 

They also noted that its decision was a way to “protect children from inappropriate content that may be prejudicial to the promotion of quality television programs and the protection of children’s moral development.” 

In January, MTRCB released a ruling prohibiting the airing of Private Convos with Doc Rica, a program that primarily features conversations about sexuality, sexual wellness, and experiences. Sex therapist Dr. Rica Cruz hosted the show, which premiered on One News in May 2023. 

In their ruling, the regulatory board said that the program “appeals to ‘prurient interest’” and failed to “adhere to the MTRCB Rating Guidelines.” 

They also noted that the board’s Monitoring and Inspection Unit (MIU) submitted an incident report to MTRCB Chairperson Lala Sotto in August 2023, which details a compilation of episodes that “featured discussions on sexual experiences and fantasies, including the use of inappropriate language.”

The board continued that the show’s September 6, 2023 episode was also flagged because it used explicit terms such as “self-masturbation, anal sex, and oral sex” during the discussion between host Doc Rica and her guest. 

Aside from the observations by their MIU, MTRCB also pointed out that they received numerous complaints against the program, primarily from parents, which drove them to take necessary actions. 

Representatives of the program were also asked to testify before the board’s hearing and adjudication committee and submit their position papers. 

“After a thorough examination of the case, including a comprehensive analysis of the position papers submitted by the Respondents, the Board determined that the respondent Private Convos with Doc Rica television program format involved detailed discussions of guests’ sexual awakenings, leading to explicit narrations of intimate experiences, and employed language deemed unsuitable for broadcasting,” MTRCB announced. 

The board indicated that they don’t agree with the respondent’s assertion that the said program is imbued with “educational and social value.” 

MTRCB also were concerned by the appropriateness of the medium and the time slot of the show, noting that the program which contains “explicit discussions on sexual experiences and the use of inappropriate language” was aired during “child-viewing hours.” 

Additionally, the board also assailed the program for failing to implement the necessary MTRCB rating “despite being aware that the subject matter is unsuitable for very young televiewers.” 

Meanwhile, Cruz, in a post posted in February, said that the “censorship can perpetuate the shame and stigma surrounding sex.” –

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