By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Gabriela partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas welcomed Wednesday the Commission on Human Rights’ decision to conduct a motu proprio probe on the “discriminating” mandatory pregnancy tests being imposed by the Pines City Colleges (PCC) on all its female students.
The Makabayan lawmaker demanded the PCC administration to fully explain its policy which “is discriminatory against women, and violates the Magna Carta of Women (MCW).”
“This is a welcome development from CHR and we will also pursue our own actions like giving a letter to the Pines City Colleges to explain their policy,” Brosas said.
She said the letter will be handed over to the city college on Nov. 8 to register their opposition against such “highly discriminatory policy.”
“We welcome reports coming from the students themselves who were affected by the discriminatory policies of the school,” Brosas said.
She insisted that such policy perpetuates an old view and stigma that pregnancy is socially unacceptable and against the norm.
Brosas and fellow Gabriela party-list Rep. Emmi de Jesus said such policy also creates undue pressure and lays unreasonable blame to pregnant female students, as they will be sanctioned with dropping out and a one-year delay in schooling.
“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,” the Gabriela lawmakers said.
The CHR already denounced the PCC’s policy, reminding that “dismissal on the basis of pregnancy” violates the MCW.
CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline de Guia has disclosed that the Commission, through its Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) office, is looking into the matter motu proprio.
In a statement, the Kabataan party-list also denounced the policy that borders on discriminating women and downgrading their rights.
“We stand that pregnancy does not determine one’s capacity as a student. Further, that deregulation and commercialization policies in education, that host unjust determination and widespread collection of widespread exorbitant and dubious fees, must be scrapped,” it said.
It called on the PCC “not to resort to discrimination and to uphold the democratic rights of its students.”
In a Facebook post, the PCC said its policy is “protective of students while they are in our care and are deployed to internship programs in hospitas and to clinical practice.