MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — The National Privacy Commission has summoned the officials of Pines City Colleges as part of its investigation into the potential data privacy implications of the school’s policy requiring female students to undergo pregnancy tests.
The now-viral memorandum of the Pines City Colleges states that all female students of the colleges of dentistry, nursing and pharmacy must be tested for pregnancy.
If the test reads positive, a female student would not be allowed to take subjects that would “endanger both mother and children.”
In a letter dated November 8, the NPC asked administrators of the Pines City Colleges to appear before the commission, as the Baguio City-based institution does not have a data protection officer registered with the privacy body.
“This Commission requires clarification or confirmation on your compliance with the fundamental data privacy principles of transparency, legitimate purpose, and proportionality in accordance with law,” the NPC’s letter read in part.
“A failure to respond to this requirement may result in a more comprehensive investigation that may result in civil, criminal, and administrative penalties being meted out on your institution and its responsible officers,” it added.
In a statement issued last Wednesday, the Commission on Human Rights said dismissal on the basis of pregnancy is clearly prohibited under the Magna Carta of Women.
Section 13 of the law states that “no school shall turn out or refuse admission to a female student solely on the account of her having contracted pregnancy outside of marriage during her term in school.”
Despite the barrage of criticisms, Pines City Colleges defended its controversial policy, which the institution said is “protective of our students while they are in our care and are deployed to internship programs in hospitals and to clinical practice.” — Ian Nicolas Cigaral