New MTRCB and FDCP leaders share plans for entertainment industry

!hola - MJ Marflori - The Philippine Star
New MTRCB and FDCP leaders share plans for entertainment industry
Lala Sotto is the new Movie and TV Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson and Tirso Cruz III now heads the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).
STAR / File

After the government appointments have settled, the newly-minted leaders of the showbiz industry went straight to work.

First up is Diorella “Lala” Maria Sotto-Antonio, or more known in the industry as Lala Sotto, who was recently appointed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as chairperson of the Movie and TV Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

Lala comes from a family of renowned movie and television actors and actresses, being the daughter of former Senate President Tito Sotto and Helen Gamboa. She has been tasked to oversee and regulate the country’s movie and TV industry.

Prior to her appointment, Lala or Chair La, as she wants to be called now, was in public service for 22 years. She was a three-term councilor in Quezon City’s sixth district from 2013 until 2022. Prior to that, she also served as councilor from 2001 to 2010 in the city’s third district. During a three-year break from serving the Quezon City government, she also worked at the powerful bicameral Commission on Appointments.

Lala never liked to go on camera. Being a politician and now having this new government position is a welcome development for her. When asked what kind of MTRCB chairman she will be in terms of censorship, she shared: “I think I will be strict because sometimes even if you say it’s vital, as long as it’s causing any form of disturbance to the mind of a child, I don’t think I can allow that… My basis will be my spiritual conviction.” Her term will be anchored on promoting family values to every Filipino household.

The MTRCB doesn’t have any power to regulate streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Vivamax but she will also meet with them to let these platforms know what her agency stands for. She said, “We are currently beginning to engage in dialogue with the online streamers. I think it would be healthy to let them know our concerns and work together as partners.”

Besides Lala, our newly-appointed chairperson at the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), veteran actor Tirso Cruz III or Pip, made an appearance at the Mowelfund Center’s building inauguration. It is the newest state-of-the-art building ushering a new chapter for the foundation after a successful tie-up with the Victor Consunji Development Corporation (VCDC) in the development of the land. Mowelfund now has a six-storey building with a VIP Theater, high-tech color grading and Digipost services.

But going back to Chairman Pip, he said that he is blessed to enter the agency with a fast-paced team in place.

“I am not going to be alone in this venture, I am very happy to have a whole team of FDCP in place and are very able,” he said.

Chairman Pip got the call while he was taping in Ilocos for FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano. He recalled, “Somebody called to tell me, ‘Have you heard? You have been appointed to be the new FDCP chairman.’ And I really sprang up to my feet and said, ‘What? Can you repeat that again?’ I was not really expecting it!”

As the new chair, he will prioritize enticing people to go back to the cinemas. “Alam niyo naman nasaan tayo ngayon di ba? We are still kind of in a jam, slowly getting out of the pandemic and people are still uneasy about going back into the theaters. We will work on that slowly but surely, and hopefully, we can strike conversations and meetings with our film producers, with our directors and theater owners.”

Tirso got candid about the salary in government, saying that he will also continue to accept projects in different networks besides fulfilling his FDCP chairmanship duties.

“I also have to earn but I will do my best to be in the office as often as I can and FDCP is the priority. The people who will get me will have to work around my schedule as the FDCP chairman,” he said.

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