Pines City College (PCC) in Baguio City is under investigation by the Commissions on Higher Education and Human Rights for requiring female students who enroll in the school to undergo pregnancy test.
The investigation was prompted by the posting on social media of the PCC’s memorandum imposing the requirement and the corresponding sanctions on students who hide their pregnancy. The post has gone viral as netizens deem the memo as a violation to the student’s right to privacy.
Jennifer Josef, a sociology and anthropology professor at the University of the Philippines-Baguio, said the requirement was well-intentioned as PCC just wants to protect a pregnant student from harm or infection when doing clinical practice or internship as part of their course.
The Commission on Human Rights Cordillera office said the policy may be in violation of the Magna Carta of Women while the women’s rights group Gabriela has complained it is discriminatory.
The policy creates undue pressure on female students and “lays unreasonable blame” on them as they will be sanctioned with dropping of the subjects and one-year delay, partylist Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
“This policy glosses over the reality that women, especially female students, are vulnerable victims in a patriarchial society and that unplanned pregnancy is never their fault,” Gabriela added.
The policy being discriminatory may also be true for PCC’s gay students as they are not covered by the memo.