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PRC, NBI, CHED officials snub Senate hearing

Officials from the Professional Regulations Commission, National Bureau of Investigation and the Commission on Higher Education have all failed to show up in Tuesday's Senate hearing on the controversial nursing examination leakage.

Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, chairman of the Senate committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization, said the hearing was conducted for several purposes, one of which is to preserve the integrity of the country's professional regulatory examination – not only of the Board of Nursing examinations but in all regulatory tests administered by PRC.He added the probe was also conducted to enable the Senate to determine what action they should do immediately in favor of the examinees."

There were 42,000 examinees and more than 17,000 of whom have passed and up until today, they have not been administered an oath of the profession and this is inimical to the interests of examinees who may have passed fairly the exams. It is affecting their economic situation and so we have to resolve this," he said in a briefing with media.

He added that there was a proposal for an examination re-take but it will incur some expenses on the part of the examinees, especially those who passed fair and square.

"But honestly the problem of having to preserve the integrity of the whole process, unfortunately we could not find a resolution to this question because of the absence of the important personalities from CHED, PRC and NBI," he said.

Biazon stressed that the Senate is looking at the administrative and criminal charges that may be filed against those responsible for the leakage.

The senator noted that there are strong indications that there was indeed a leakage by the volume of pieces of evidence presented and the testimonies of the stakeholders in the profession."

Here, we are looking at a review of the existing laws. For example we would like to put more teeth to the powers and authority of the appropriate agencies of government starting with the Board of Nursing all up to the PRC and whatever agencies that may be or should be provided such," he added.

Sen. Richard Gordon, who filed the resolution calling for the investigation of the controversial leakage, said that the Philippines need better schools that are really certified to be able to produce graduates that will pass whatever licensing requirements there are without need of review centers

Gordon said that there is a need to review the performance of all schools if their graduates are passing the professional examinations.

In the United States, 73 percent of the graduates pass the exam, in the Philippines it's about 50 percent. So we need to uplift the standards," he stressed.

Biazon also questioned the granting of license to review centers that are required to pass the test given by the Department of Trade and Industry and not the Board of Nursing.

"The licensing process of our country was made into commerce. We need to re-examine the laws relative to this," he noted. (PNA)

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