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GMA to reform nursing regulations

Monday, August 28 2006 @ 09:16 AM BSTNews affecting OFW's

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will reform regulations covering review classes and licensure examinations for the Philippine nursing profession.

This aims to promote integrity of the nursing community by helping ensure licensure examinations are free from irregularities and only qualified graduates are granted government license to practice their profession.

"I will issue an executive order placing nursing review centers under regulation of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)," she said Monday.

Mrs. Arroyo also said she will likewise place the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), an agency under the Office of the President, under oversight of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

"I will likewise revamp the Philippine Board of Nursing (BON)," she continued.The Chief Executive announced such plans after leakage of questions marred the June 2006 nursing board examination.

This cast doubt upon qualification of graduates who passed such licensure test to practice their profession.The leakage also raised questions about credibility of both PRC and BON.

PRC has yet to announce its findings on this irregularity since the body is still looking into the matter.

President Arroyo said she already discussed with CHED chairperson Carlitos Puno her plan to have the agency regulate operations of nursing review centers nationwide.

This came about after one such review center was implicated in the leakage scandal.The Chief Executive also said bringing PRC under DOLE's oversight will enable authorities to discuss at the Cabinet level how people guilty of orchestrating the leakage can be punished.

She likewise decided to revamp BON after two of its members, Anesia Dionisio and Virginia Madeja, were linked to the leakage.PRC spokesperson Avelina de la Rea said the leakage involved 20 of Madeja's questions and 90 other questions Dionisio prepared for the examination.

Both women volunteered to resign as BON members but PRC rejected this offer since a probe on the examination irregularity is on-going.

De la Re also said PRC also rejected the resignation of BON chairperson Eufemia Octaviano and board members Remedios Fernandez, Letty Kuan and Espelita Galutira since they still have to prepare questionnaires for the next nursing licensure examination in December this year.The agency's fact-finding body created to probe the leakage earlier cleared them of involvement in the scandal, however.

Following calls for a new nursing board, de la Rea said PRC chairperson Leonor Rosero submitted for review of the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) 33 names of candidates who can likely replace Octaviano and current BON members.

She said this was done since PNA failed to come up with the required number of BON nominees which PRC is supposed to screen for possible recommendation to Malacanang

."PNA must submit five names of nominees per post in the board for PRC's en banc screening so the agency can choose for every position three final candidates who will be recommended for President Arroyo's screening," she said.

After screening, the Chief Executive will determine whom she deems best qualified for each post and appoint them as either the new BON chairperson or members. (PNA)

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