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Nurse Exam Leak Issue: PRC Board Members Offer To Quit


MANILA, AUGUST 9, 2006 (STAR) By Christina Mendez - Members of the Professional Regulatory Commission’s (PRC) Board of Nursing have offered to resign following the controversial leak in the nursing board examinations last June.

Eufemia Octaviano, chairwoman of the PRC-BON, gave the recommendation before the lawmakers led by Sen. Rodolfo Biazon during the Senate inquiry yesterday.

Octaviano volunteered to lead all the members of the PRC-BON before the Senate amid alleged pressures from Malacañang not to attend the hearing.

The inquiry was made after Senators Richard Gordon and Pia Cayetano filed separate resolutions seeking to investigate the alleged leakage in the nursing licensure exams.

Concerned officials snubbed anew the Senate hearing invoking Executive Order 464 which generally bars executive officials from appearing before congressional inquiries.

The officials averred the Senate should provide the advance questions for the inquiry.

"I have here the letters from the PRC, the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) and the CHED (Commission on Higher Education). Somebody dictated these three different offices what letter to send to this committee," Biazon said, referring to the letters explaining why they are unable to attend the hearing.

Among the officials who were summoned were PRC chairman Leonor Tripon-Rosero, PRC commissioners Renato Valdecantos and Avelina dela Rea; Efren Meneses Jr., chief of the NBI’s Anti-Fraud and Computer Crimes Division; William Malitao, chief of the Office of Programs and Standards, CHED.

During the inquiry, Octaviano confirmed a leakage of the test questions indeed occurred in Baguio City.

"There is a leakage of the actual examination questions... (It) was released prior to examination date itself or before the correction of the test questions was made. In the June 11 and 12 exams there was a premature release of the questions for sets 3 and 5," she said.

Two nursing examinees, Rachel Cyndi-Erfe and Lilian Grace Yangot, also testified that some of the students purportedly from the R.A. Gapuz Review Center in Baguio City had cheated during the exams.

Cheryl Daytec-Yangot, legal counsel of the complainants, claimed the reports tagging the Gapuz Review Center in the leakage were bolstered by her personal interviews with operators of photocopy machines near the St. Louis University.

Yangot told the hearing that the employees from the Gapuz Center commissioned the copy center to produce 2,800 copies of nursing test questions with corresponding answers, a few days before the text examination proper.

Gordon, for his part, pointed out that the Senate should secure the statements of the involved photocopier machine operators in Baguio City.

But an official of the review center, Eleonor Artemia Gapuz, disputed reports linking them to the leakage.

"This absence of a link between the (Gapuz review) and the BON (Board of Nursing) examiners and the other review centers is certainly notable in PRC resolution because their is no statement in the PRC fact-finding committee report that illustrates such relationship," Gapuz told the committee.


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