Group calls for inquiry into Baguio school pregnancy test
VARIOUS groups continue to condemn the mandatory pregnancy test the Pines City Colleges in Baguio imposes on all female students as a prerequisite for their enrollment in its colleges of Nursing, Dentistry and Pharmacy.
The health group Anakalusugan also called for a Senate or House inquiry “in aid of legislation” even after the school wrapped up on Friday the testing that started on Wednesday.
“While we do not want the mother and child to be endan-
basis for this, and there are in fact studies to this effect. It should not make a lame excuse of a supposed caring policy which is in fact, discriminatory,” Anakalusugan nominee Mike Defensor said.
The statement of the health group came after the National Privacy Commission said they would investigate the mandatory pregnancy test.
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 child.”
“I see this matter about pregnancy as a concern of parents,” said Bishop Roberto Mallari of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education.
Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Committee on Public Affairs, said the policy could also compromise the students’ rights.
“What does it have to do with education? Is it meant to monitor a student’s performance? At the very least, it is not a sound policy and it may even infringe on the student’s rights,” he noted.
The Gabriela Women’s Party and the Philippine Commission on Women ( PCW) both condemned
personal grudge could be possible motivate for the attack. the school policy, citing the Magna Carta of Women.
Akbayan Youth said: “The pregnancy test doesn’t improve the quality of our education. It doesn’t increase our school’s graduates. Why are pregnant students treated like they are the problem of our education system?”
“This is a clear violation of the Magna Carta of Women, which prohibits all forms of discrimination against women (in this case, against pregnant students). This is also a violation of the right to privacy,” said reproductive health advocate Elizabeth Angsioco.
Pines City Colleges (PCC), has wrapped up the tests. Dentistry students were to have the test on November 7 and pharmacy and nursing students on November 8-9.
A letter signed by PCC vice president for administration Maria Regina Prats and school physician Aurelia Navarro on October 25 called for mandatory pregnancy test for students.
The college coordinators are asked to provide the names of the students, while the students are asked to pay P150 for the testing which is added to their school fees.
“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. We believe it is a policy protective of our students while they are in our care and are deployed to internship programs in hospitals and to clinical practice,” the school said in a statement.
“It is a policy agreed to by our students upon their enrollment in this institution,” it added.
Malacañang was in agreement with the school, as presidential legal counsel and spokesman Salvador Panelo said they see nothing wrong with the policy.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights is already looking into the controversial school policy.