NPC calls out Baguio college for requiring pregnancy test

MANILA — The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has summoned administration officials of Baguio City’s Pines City Colleges to explain why it is requiring its female students to undergo pregnancy testing.

In its letter to Pines City Colleges President Rocio Prats-Baltao, Vice President for Administration Regina Prats, and school physician Aurelia Navarro, the commission sought an explanation as to how the school’s processing of personal information under a new memorandum meets the obligations of transparency, legitimate purpose, and proportionality.

The NPC also asked the officials to prove their compliance with data privacy and protection laws on sensitive personal information.

The commission said it is launching a sua sponte investigation on the data privacy implications of the memorandum released on Oct. 25 by the Pines City Colleges, subjecting its female students to mandatory pregnancy testing.

It noted that this kind of data collection must only be for a specified and legitimate purpose.

The NPC also noted that the processing of information about an individual’s health and sexual history is prohibited unless it meets certain conditions, such as giving one’s consent; if it is necessary to protect the subject’s life and health; and if it is for medical treatment.

“Failure to meet these conditions or the failure to adhere by fundamental data privacy principles may result in civil, administrative, and criminal liability,” the NPC added.