01/05/2017

Mocha Uson goes from blogger to MTRCB board member real quick

by  Ina Jacobe
Art by Ina Jacobe
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Much to the surprise of many, entertainer-turned-blogger Mocha Uson has just been appointed as the newest board member of the MTRCB, or the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.

As Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirms, President Rodrigo Duterte himself had a hand at the surprise appointment, which they announced on Jan. 5 at a press conference in Malacañang. Before running pro-administration blog MOCHA USON BLOG, Uson was best known as the lead singer of Mocha Girls, with whom she still performs on occasion. As far as Uson’s experience in the entertainment industry goes, she has produced three albums and has had acting roles in six films, two of which featured her as the lead star.

For Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, this is proof enough of Uson’s stellar qualifications. “What makes her not qualified? Mocha is an artist; she’s one of the biggest artists we have in the country,” Andanar explains in an interview. “She’s been in the show business world for more than a decade already. She’s an educated person. She’s one of the biggest bloggers we have in the Philippines; very influential.”

 Now we ask, what does it take to become a member of the MTRCB? Andanar himself suggested that Uson’s body of work as an entertainer is what qualified her for the role, in which she will soon be part of the decision-making body that regulates our local television and movie theaters. The Presidential Decree that empowered the MTRCB states that the board must “produce a multi-sectoral combination of expertise in the various areas of motion picture and television.”

Once Uson begins her role at the MTRCB, she will be joined by a board of members that has extensive experience in the entertainment industry. Among her future colleagues are lawmakers, educators, and artists of varied media. Notable members include Armida Siguion-Reyna, one of the most respected entertainers in the industry; Marra P.L. Lanot, an award-winning poet, essayist, and journalist; Gladys Reyes, an award-winning actress; and writer Krip Yuson, who has been a documentary filmmaker and scriptwriter aside from being a Palanca Award-winning novelist and poet.

Uson’s new appointment seems well-timed, as she was recently designated as the ambassadress of Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) last December. Speculations suggest that it was her designation as the festival’s ambassadress that would prepare her for the MTRCB stint. Uson’s supporters have expressed their approval in her newest designation, commenting on different social media sites that her skills seem to fit the job. On the other hand, Uson’s critics have also conveyed their dismay with her performance as MMFF’s ambassadress, claiming that she simply took a lot of selfies and live videos instead of promoting the festival more and watching all the entries.

This is not the first time Uson has been rumored to be appointed a position in the current administration. In August 2016, initial reports about her being hired as the social media consultant of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) circulated in all media platforms. Given her new digs in President Duterte’s administration as well as her new colleagues at the MTRCB, it looks like Mocha Uson has some pretty big shoes to fill.

To learn more about the qualifications and responsibilities of an MTRCB board member, check out Section 2 and Section 3 of P.D. No. 1986.

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