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House Bill filed aiming to create the Internet Game Review and Classification Board

A House Bill was recently filed by Nueva Ecija, 3rd District Representative Rosanna “Ria” Vergara which mandates the classification of internet games and the creation of the Internet Games Review and Classification Board (IGRCB) attached to the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT).

Internet Game • Monitor 2 • House Bill Filed Aiming To Create The Internet Game Review And Classification Board

House Bill No. 3112, or the act also known as the “Internet Games Review and Classification Act”, aims to ensure that Filipinos, especially the youth, benefit from the advances in technology, and at the same time, protect them from the various dangers and risks arising from its unregulated use, especially in the area of video gaming, by classifying and regulating online video games.

According to the Bill, the primary mandate of the IGRCB is to review and classify internet games and to ensure that the classification shall be followed as to access and use by and availability to the public.

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It will review, examine, and classify internet games into age-appropriate categories with reference to local and international standards. It can also restrict access of the public to internet games through review and classification.

Furthermore, it can also cause the closure of internet cafes or computer shops and other similar establishments that engages in activities that violate the provisions of the Act.

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The IGRCB may also call on any law enforcement agency or the LGU concerned for assistance in the implementation and enforcement of its decisions.

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Under the Act, the ISP also has the responsibility to inform and submit to the IGRCB all internet games not yet reviewed and classified by the IGRCB. No internet game shall be made available to the public without prior review and classification.

Internet cafe operators, on the other hand, shall not make it available for access or play any internet games which have not yet been reviewed and classified. If a game was reviewed and classified for a certain age group, internet cafes are not allowed to make it available to persons not belonging to the said age group. All internet cafes in the country will also be required to register with the IGRCB. The IGRCB also has the authority to monitor internet cafes.

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The IGRCB will also coordinate with the DICT, DOJ, DepEd, CHED, DSWD, National Youthe Commission (NYC), and the PAGCOR for the implementing rules and regulations.

Any person who provides access to internet games in violation of the IGRCB classification and violates the provision will be punished by three months and one day to one-year imprisonment or a fine of not less than PHP 50,000 but not more than PHP 300,000 or both. If the offender is a foreigner, he shall be deported immediately after serving sentence.

Internet cafes or internet shops that violate the provisions will immediately lose their license to operate.

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This article was written by Louie Diangson, Managing Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

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