A red-faced bus driver was hauled off Monday to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) office in Quezon City after a check of his Bicol-bound bus’ DVD player yielded a pornographic flick.
According to the LTFRB, the exhibition of pornographic or violent films in public utility vehicles (PUVs) is considered a “franchise violation.”
Under Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01, bus operators will be fined P5,000 for the first offense while second-time offenders face a P10,000 fine and the impounding for 30 days of the vehicle concerned. On the third offense, the bus firm will be fined P15,000 on top of the outright cancellation of its franchise.
“But of course, we will properly investigate the circumstances [for the apprehended R. Volante bus first]. How did it happen? Was the film actually being shown to passengers? We will summon the operator and driver concerned,” LTFRB Chair Winston Ginez told the Inquirer in a phone interview.
Officials of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) were conducting an inspection at the Araneta Center bus terminal in Cubao, Quezon City when they found the lewd film inside the R. Volante bus with plate number EVP 120.
Ironically, MTRCB Chair Eugenio “Toto” Villareal was explaining to the passengers and the driver that only films rated “General Patronage” (G) or “Parental Guidance” (PG) should be shown onboard when the inspection team turned on the DVD player to see the last film that was played.
A woman taking off her clothes promptly appeared on the TV screen, drawing shrieks and laughter from MTRCB member and actress Gladys Reyes-Sommereux and some passengers.
The DVD was titled “Pinay Collection” and appeared to be a collection of amateur pornographic videos, MTRCB legal counsel Thania Ibañez said.
The bus driver, who blamed his conductor for the porn flick, was sent off to the LTFRB office in Quezon City to undergo an investigation while his bus was grounded.
Under the MTRCB’s Memorandum No. 09-2011, materials with contents beyond the PG rating are prohibited from being shown in common carriers and other public places. Pirated media are also considered “unrated” and illegal, Villareal said.
In May 2011, the MTRCB and LTFRB signed an agreement prohibiting PUVs from showing materials beyond the PG rating. They were also required to post public notices on the matter near their TV screens.
Passenger vehicles found violating the MTRCB standards—from the driver, conductor to the operator—will first be subjected to “administrative proceedings and remedial measures” aside from undergoing a seminar to be conducted by the agency, Villareal said.
The MTRCB may also file a criminal complaint under Presidential Decree No. 1986 in which violators face fines ranging from P2,000 to P5,000, or imprisonment ranging from three months to a year.
Aside from the R. Volante bus, a Dimple Star bus with plate number TYG 659 was also caught showing a pirated film. But the bus driver concerned was just asked to attend the mandatory seminar at the MTRCB.
“It is saddening that here in Araneta station, there is a bus that we discovered showing lewd movies. We all know the MTRCB states that every bus can only show G or PG movies, appropriate for any passenger, whether young or old. But it’s clear this wasn’t for children,” Reyes said.
Villareal added that those who want to report inappropriate movies in PUVs can call 3767380 or e-mail email@example.com, or tag the MTRCB Twitter account @MTRCBgov.
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