NPC asks school to explain its mandatory pregnancy test
The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has asked the Pines City Colleges in Baguio City to explain the legality of its mandatory pregnancy testing, amid the backlash against the seemingly regressive school policy.
In a letter dated Nov. 8, NPC asked top officials of the school, as well as its school physician, to explain the “legality and propriety” of the policy, given the sensitive information involved.
The issue revolves around a controversial school memorandum covering the colleges of dentistry, nursing, and pharmacy on the subject of mandatory pregnancy testing.
“This Commission understands that Pines City Colleges subject its female students to mandatory pregnancy testing,” the order read.
Moreover, NPC said that the school physician asked the deans and department heads to provide a list of all their female students to facilitate sample collection.
It is not clear as of press time how long the practice has been ongoing, but the school management stood its ground.
“Pines City Colleges abides by its policy of pregnancy tests for female students who are enrolling in any subject that would endanger both mother and child. It is a policy agreed to by our students upon their enrollment in this institution,” the management said on the school’s official Facebook page.
Lawyer Francis Acero, NPC division chief for Complaints and Investigations, said in the order that the law prohibits the processing of personal information about an individual’s health and sexual history.
The data privacy law, however, allows for certain exceptions, such as processing sensitive information in order to protect the life and health of a person.
“Your presence before this Commission is thus required to shed light on the legality and propriety of said collection of sensitive personal information,” the order read.
“As this is an initial investigation, no motion for extension will be considered. 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. /atm
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