Despite NPC probe, Baguio school won’t stop pregnancy test for students

By Aldwin Quitasol

BAGUIO CITY — In spite of the controversy it generated, Pines City Colleges (PCC) said it would not suspend the implementation of the pregnancy test on its female medical students

NPC complaints and investigation division head Francis Acero. Phioto credit: Internet Society-Philippines Chapter

The school said its policy would proceed until the National Privacy Commission (NPC) is actually able to spot violations on data privacy.

On Wednesday, November 14, the NPC met with a PCC representative in a closed door investigation at the field office of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Cordillera to seek an explanation on its controversial rule requiring female students to undergo pregnancy test before entering the educational institution.

Earlier, the data privacy agency wrote a letter to the Baguio-based school asking if the processing of personal information meets the obligations of transparency under data privacy and protection laws.

The NPC made the inquiry after the mandatory pregnancy test policy went viral on social media and drew varied reactions from netizens.

“If an entity appears to violate provisions of the Data Privacy Act on its face and is not registered, then that to us is a sign that the entity is not complying or does understand the provisions of the law,” said NPC complaints and investigation division head Francis Acero.

At the same meeting, however, PCC was represented by its data protection officer, Regina Pratts, who also presented the school’s registration documents with the NPC.

Acero said NPC mandates institutions to undergo a five-step program starting with having a registered data protection officer, conducting privacy impact assessment, crafting data privacy policies, implementation, and a regular revision and review of its process of data collection and gathering.

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