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Privilege Speech of Congressman Libanan in response to to the 2006 Nursing Licensure Exam Leakage (A MUST READ)

Dear fellow Thomasians and friends:

Attached herewith is the privelege speech of Congressman Libanan. This summarizes the position that UST College of Nursing is taking in response to the 2006 Nursing Licensure Exam Leakage. I am proud to say that we are leading the fight to change the corrupt system in PRC-BON.

I will give you other information in the coming days and I hope you will share this with your friends. The fight is long and hard. We need allthe help we can get.


Rene Luis Tadle
President, College of Nursing Faculty Club


I rise on an issue of collective and personal privilege to call the attention of this august body on the serious malady besetting the Nursing Profession in this country. This representation is also consistent with the House Resolution No 1306 introduced by Representative Prospero A. Pichay Jr. from the 1st District of Surigao.

For the last few weeks the nursing profession in the Philippines is in turmoil. This is a direct result of the reported (and eventually proven) leakage in the recently concluded June Nursing Licensure Examination. To compound the problem the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) despite protestation from concerned sectors
released the results of the questioned board examination last July 12, 2006.

It is now indisputable that there is leakage. The Professional Regulation Commission in is Board Resolution No. 2006-345 dated July 12, 2006 admitted it. The question now is how extensive is the leakage in so far as the licensure examination is concerned and who are the people involved. There are a lot of reports from across the country: Purportedly, there are CD's containing the 500 examination questions were being peddled for seven-thousand pesos; and there are examinees obtaining the question hours before the exam and so many other incidents.

These incidents undoubtedly cast doubt on the integrity of the entire 2006 Nursing Licensure examination licensure examination that there are students who believe that if only to clear the air they are willing to "take the exams again". On the other hand, there are students who are anxious and afraid that while they "passed"; they are not sure whether they will pass if ever there will be a retake. Allow me to quote Raul Pangalangan in his column Passion for Reason in Philippine Daily Inquirer: "Unless the actual culprits and individuals are found the only proper course is to set aside the results of the tainted examination altogether. Its integrity has been breached; its results are not reliable. To compel the honest to retake the exams they have already passed—that makes them innocent victims of other peoples' greed and cunning. That is sad, but that is a legitimate price to exact. To allow the cheaters to be board-certified and to profit from their crime—that leaves the public unprotected from the incompetent and rewards the dishonest with honors undeserved." Certainly this implies expenses and postponement for those planning to join the work force. This is a difficult pill to swallow but we have to confront this issue head on without losing sight that it is the duty of the state to promote and protect public health and safety.

Up to the present, however, BON-PRC's handling of the case does not help at all. After an initial investigation it denied that there is apparent leakage, a week later it says there is indeed a leakage involving two board examiners, but it maintains that there was no "glaring" leakage despite the fact that two out of five tests involving 115 questions are found to have been leaked. Last week July 28, it announced that the oath taking would continue. But lo and behold! In less than 24 hours it announced it has decided to postpone the August 22 oath-taking indefinitely.

PRC-BON is "confused', "half-hearted" and "vacillating" action add more confusion and frustration in the minds of our people. This is unfortunate, for the 42,000 examinees, their parents and relatives want a definitive answer from government particularly PRC-BON. We cannot just leave our affected constituents in the dark, uncertain and confused. As representatives of the people we have to inquire what the executive branch of government is doing to respond to this pressing problem.

While this representation has no objection to the postponement of the oath taking the incidents cited earlier clearly shows that Undoubtedly these cause anxieties to both the examinees and their parents.

Having said that, Mr. Speaker allow me to point to a more serious issue that transcends the issue of oath taking of those who supposedly "passed" the June 11-12 Nursing Licensure Exam.

Equally compelling and grievous, I dare say dangerous is the decision of PRC to release the result of the examination despite the fact 115 out of 500 questions were invalidated. For granting without admitting that the leakage is confined only to tests 3 and 5 the decision to invalidate betrays BON total disregard or ignorance of Republic Act 9173 specifically Section 14 Article VI which states:

Scope of Examination: "The scope of examination for the practice of nursing in the Philippines shall be determined by the Board. TheBoard shall take into consideration the objectives of the nursing curriculum, the broad areas of nursing, and other related disciplines and competencies in determining the subjects of examination"

In addition, the PRC's action contravenes the test framework of the 2006 Licensure issued to the Deans of Nursing School before the board-examination. The test framework stipulates the competencies and the subject areas as well as the topics where the competencies have to be tested. Simply put, the nullification in their haste to release the result of the examination they forgot the requirements of the law and consequently may compromised health and safety of the public, cast doubts on the competence of our nurses and unwittingly placed-- as succinctly stated by the gentleman representative of the 1st District of Surigao Del Sur Prospero Pichay—"in an untenable footing our medical practitioners' chances in the global workforce, which we have been banking on to be one of our greatest assets in competing in the global market."

Moreover, the questionable statistical treatment they used that made them decide to release the grade falls flat in the face of anotherprovision of RA 9173, which states:

Ratings. – In order to pass the examination, an examinee must obtain a general average of at least seventy-five percent (75%) with a rating of not below sixty percent (60%) in any subject. An examinee who obtains an average rating of seventy-five (75%) or higher but gets a rating below sixty percent (60%) in any subject, must take the examination again but only in the subject or subjects where he/she is rated below sixty percent (60%). In order to pass the succeeding examination, an examinee must obtain a rating of at least seventy-five percent (75%) in the subject or subjects repeated.

What the Board of Nursing (BON) did, to put simply is to assign grade to an important core subject of nursing (covered by test 5) by determining the average of the four test. It is analogous to a teacher who is in a hurry to compute the grades of his student in all the subjects. He was able to determine the grades of students in English, Chemistry, Biology, Filipino, but has not checked yet the papers of his student in Mathematics. So the lazy teacher merely averaged the grades of English, Chemistry, Biology, and Filipino and assigned it as the grade for Mathematics. At best this is deceptive at worst this is idiotic. Certainly, the decision is ill considered and betrays lack of COMPETENCE.

PRC says that while Test V was invalidated the result would not have affected the grades of the examinees." The issue is primarily not about the effect of the invalidation (which there are) on the grades of the examinees, more primordial is that the nullification of test V resulted in the failure of the Licensure examination TO MEASURE THE MANDATED COMPETENCIES OF THE NURSING EXAMINNEES IN THE BROAD AREAS OF NURSING PRACTICE that a licensure examination ought to measure. This is tantamount to giving license to people to practice the profession who maybe half-baked nurses. This is also unfair to those who "passed" the recent nursing board exam because the license that will be given them is purportedly obtained under questionable circumstances. This may haunt them for the rest of their Nursing career. Needless to say they maybe blacklisted when they seek local or foreign employment. To avoid litigation or malpractice suits a more prudent course for employers is to hire nurses with unquestionable competence. In addition, I learned today that due to various irregularities which includes the leakage the recently concluded Nursing examination the Professional Standards of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) has implemented stricter guidelines in the screening and verification of applicants' documents coming from the Philippines.

The necessity that only competent nurses ought to be given the license to practice the profession is made more compelling when we compare it with other profession like the law profession: while in the former rectification is possible this is not the case in the former. Allow me to quote what the Associations of Deans of the Philippine Colleges of Nursing said in their most recent pronouncement when it says: that "…health care unlike law…there is a `limited appeal' when wrong decisions and actions are taken. Further unlike law where most litigated issues involve property, in health care it is life itself." Hence "in the event that the quality of training and evaluation of qualification health workers is put into question, the more prudent and wise step is to move backwards and retrain." Incidentally the same is reminiscent of a number of pronouncements of the Supreme Court of the Philippines as in the case of DECS vs. Sandiego: The medical profession directly affects the lives of people, unlike other careers, which for this reason, do not require more vigilant regulation." Later in the same case the Supreme Court said: " It is the right and indeed the responsibility of the State to insure that the medical profession is not infiltrated by incompetents to whom patients may unwarily entrust their life and health."

And since we are talking of competency, we might as well ask whether the present Board of Nursing has shown remarkable competence in preparing the examination" . Pleases take note that under section 9 of RA 9173 it is the duty and power of the board to administer the licensure exam" and under section 11 of the same law, one of the grounds for termination of any member of the Board of Nursing is when he commits and tolerate irregularities in the licensure examination.

In connection with the above, my office received some information, that while these may not be common knowledge in the halls of congress are nevertheless common among our nursing educators, reviewers and examinees alike. Examinees who took the exam reported that aside from scandalous typographical and grammatical errors, there were a number of questions that ask for opinions rather than test nursing competencies. Mr. Speaker, for your information and listening pleasure allow me to give examples:

Which is the most common problem experienced by a nurse abroad?
A.Adjustment; B. Weather; C. Language; D.Nutrition

The question asks for an opinion and does not measure competence.

The same is true with:
"Many nurses are now leaving the country to work abroad. Aside from money, what would be the other primary reason of nurses leaving for abroad?

A. Educational opportunity for their children; B. Immigrant visa; C. Citizenship;
D. Health care benefits

A person is peeping over the neighbor's house window of the neighbor. What crime would it constitute?
A. Harassment; B. Abuse; C. Indecency; D. Assault

Maybe this question ought to be asked in a criminal law examination not nursing.

In 2005 Nursing Licensure Exam the following questions were asked: An old woman while walking down the street, stepped in a banana peel and fell. What is the best initial response of the nurse who witnessed the incident?

A. Assess the woman; B. pick up the banana peel; C. Call for help.

Purportedly the answer is picking up the banana peel. Again, an opinionated question

A nurse is on a vehicle, sees a mental patient about to jump from a bridge. What would the RN do?

A. Step down on a vehicle; B. Call for help; C. Pray

The answer accordingly is B Pray but this is not a theology class.

Mr. Speaker and distinguished colleagues, what is the common denominator of the above questions? Answer: the authorship of the questions belongs to the same people sitting in the present Board of Nursing (BON).

Indeed, how can we measure the mandated nursing competencies with such questions? Part and parcel of Board of Nursing responsibility is to see to it that the questions are valid, reliable and fair. Unfortunately, these questions make a mockery of the entire Nursing licensure examination. SO WHAT HAPPENS TO COMPETENCE? Amidst this controversy can the Filipino tax payers, maintain trust in your ability to keep the integrity and the credibility of the Nursing Licensure Examination? So, Quo Vadis members of the Board of Nursing?

Allow me to quote again the editorial of PDI dated July 29 2006: "Whether the leakage happened by design or by mere negligence, what is clear is that some people no longer deserve to sit in the Board of Nursing."

After considering the Board of Nursing well formulated questions, Mr. Speaker, I raise the following questions to the Board of Nursing and the entire leadership of PRC headed by Commissioner Leonor Tripon-Rosero:

Is it proper for the Board Member of Nursing to give examination pointers to examinees days before the licensure examination in a well-known review center?

Is it proper for a Board Member of Nursing to peddle her nursing review books to examinees?

Is it proper for a Board member to pick questions from a research she claimed she published in her school Journal a publication, no doubt, with limited circulation?

Mr. Speaker these questions are not trivial for it reminds us that there is a necessity to review the law governing specifically the conduct of Board Examiners as well as the mechanism in preparing licensure questions. Needless to say we may reconsider the COMPETENCY requirements of a board member before one may be appointed to the Board.

Moreover it has been said that Nursing Review Centers in the country remain unregulated. Consequently, in order to promote and protect the integrity, credibility and honesty of the Nursing profession we should enact laws that will govern this burgeoning industry with the end in view of preventing interest groups, whether it be schools or review centers, to develop "special relationship" with people in the Board of Nursing as well as members of PRC

Mr. Speaker, the world is watching how we deal with this issue. It has been established that there is leakage in the Nursing Board exam, it appears that leakage is so massive that tomorrow when wake up the controversy may be spilling over and bringing havoc to the integrity and credibility of the entire certification or licensure system of the country. Mr. Speaker and distinguished colleagues, we
should not allow this to happen, let the 13th Congress of the House of Representatives act quickly and proceed with the congressional inquiry.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


retake nalang po para fair, bakit mtatakot kung d nag leak kisa naman pasado nga d ka naman mkapagwprk dahil sa issue na btw sa mga 72-73 dapat psado dn yan balik nyo ung binawas nyo sa test 3 -5..wala kami leakage e ung meron kahit binwasa e nandaya what do you expect...prc means of cleaning the mess is so unfair...justice pls!!!!

sige iha retake na!! volunteer ka na :p Its your right!

u bet! cge na, para malamn cnu matitibay sikmura sa mga pumasa. tingnan naten ngayon tapang niu. erfe at pristin, we expect the two of u to retake the exams on dec ha?? and make xur we'l c ur names on the passers list after. deal or no deal?! pag andun names niu, well then BRAVO! if not, 2 things lng.. either u backed out (duh! why?? hahaha) or u dint make it (tsk tsk tsk.. "i shudve kept quite and go on wd my life")

alm nyo, magretake man o hindi hindi pa rin fair para sa lahat lalo na sa mga pumasa..hindi lng nmn grades ang pinaguusapan dito..kung sa pag take lng ng exam, admit natin wlng halong yabang, madali lng pero yung preparations at anxiety di biro d ba?? i agree sa decision na ginawa ng prc, kung sino gusto magtake e di magtake..

admit nyo na kc, bitter lng yung iba kya nagrereklamo!!!ako board passer pro i believe it is not only because i've really studied very hard but also with the help of God and not because i cheated..yung mga pumasa ng mga nandaya, hayaan nyo na kc at the end cla din nmn ang mgsa suffer..wla nmn sa test yan o sa grado, nasa puso at dedikasyon..

Tama ka no. 5, nasa puso at dedication talaga. Kapag nag-alaga ka ng pasyente hindi naman alam ng bawat pasyente kung anong grade mo sa local board kundi ang mararamdaman niya ay kung paano mo siya inalagaan. At least hindi kailangan mag-ulit ng lahat ng tests ang mga Retakers. Saka hindi conditional grade. Dahil automatic icancel ang unang grade sa test na kukunin sa Dec. pwede pa rin kahit me grade 60 & above basta ang total average ay 75. Goodluck sa lahat ng go to RETAKE. AND TO US PASSERS without leakage... CONGRATULATIONS...

It's unfair for "A RETAKE" for those who are already abroad who just went back to the PHils to take the nurses local board. Anyway, local board is not that much important in the US or Canada since they have their own NCLEX (for US) and Canadian Registred Nurses Exam (for Canada)that evaluate the competencies of RN's from any country especially the Phils. Passing the local nursing board does not guarantee one to be able to pass the NCLEX or CRNE. Why do they still prolong the decision in that sense? Maski naman ipa-retake, babagsak pa rin naman yung mga dating bumagsak na. Of course, those who failed are the ones fighting for a re-take. Tingnan nga natin kung papasa na kayo this time. What do u think, BAYAN?

Kaming mga nurses who are already practicing in the US and are already earning dollars, the way we see how valuable our local board is, it's not important anymore pag andito na kayo. Ang importante, pumasa ka sa NCLEX or CGFNS. Di naman tinatanong kung anong score mo sa local board. At pag nag-work na kayo dito, may probationary period naman na 3-6 months, if u r really competent as a nurse. Nursing local board is just one way of testing the competencies of nurses but it's not the only way, how u will perform later on in ur practice is what really matter most.

Kawawa naman yung mga pumasang galing probinsiya who even went to Mla to review for 3-6 months. Ang mga magulang ng mga yun, umutang pa ng 5/6 para lang mapa-exam ang mga anak at maitaguyod ang buong pamilya sa pamamagitan ng pag-tatrabaho sa US. Bigyan naman natin sila ng pagkakataon. Basta pumasa, wala ng question dun, ipasa na sila maski may leakage o wala.

The speech of Congressman Libanan is a non-sense speech kasi hindi nman niya alam ang mga rationale ng kanyang sinasabi. For every question sa local board, may rationale ang mga sagot. It still involves, Assessment, Diagnosis, Planning, Implementation or Evaluation. O kaya naman the Maslow's Hierarchy of needs, di ba Sir Ray Gapuz? Maski anong gawin nila, top pa rin ang Ray Gapuz Review center kasi patok na patok sa NCLEX and CGFNS. That is speaking out of experience kasi kami'y nasa US na who are performing well.
Congressman Libanan, unless u go to a nursing school and take up nursing or u experience to be a nurse, hindi ka makakapagsalita base lang sa layman's experience niyo po. U should not talk like that in front of the experts in the BON.

The decision for an OPTIONAL RETAKE is really fair. If one already passed, why do u still want to re-take, bukod sa gastos, sayang pa ang time. Mag-NCLEX or CGFNS na kayo at makapunta na sa AMERIKA. Para dun sa mga bumagsak, talagang BONUS na yun sa inyo kasi binibigyan pa kayo ng chance na pumasa. Sobrang bait naman! For sure, babagsak pa rin naman yung mga bumagsak na. Tingnan nga natin kung may chance pa kayong pumasa kung babaguhin ng buo ang questions and pahihirapan. Sige BON, ibahin na ang mga tanong at pahirapan para sa susunod, sasabihin na naman nila na may leakage kaya bumagsak sila.

bakit kasi ayaw natin tanggapin na merong mga taong mas marurunong sa atin kaya sila pumasa sa nursing board kung bumagsak tayo? We always look for others' faults, yan ang mentality ng mga PINOY kaya walang asenso. ( SOBRANG CRAB MENTALITY). Imbes na we should be proud of others' achievements, we always look for means to pull them down. Kilala talaga ang mga PInoy sa CRAB MENTALITY at INGGIT.

i am not in favor of re-take! bkit? pag nagretake b tau mababago ba ang pagtingin satin ng mga tao??? NO!!! nakakabit na sa batch natin na mga Cheaters daw tau! so live with it! yung mga deans na gus2 ng retake aba dapat cla ang mauna, pati dapat umulit rin ung mga batch na ahead satin, wag nila sasabihin na walang leakage sa previous board exam, ngaun lng naman nasensationalize yan kasi may mga agresibo at nagmamagaling dyan, integrity integrity daw! talagang may CRABMENTALITY d2 sa Pilipinas! yung mga pumasa na na wala namang kamalay malay sa leakage na yan, gusto nila idamay at pabagsakin din. wala clang awa!!!

kung kayo po ay may balak magtrabaho sa US, ipasa nyo lang ang CG at NCLEX, hindi yang buwisit na local board ang intindihin nyo, d2 lang naman yan sa Pilipinas.

i am one of those who passed the board exam and i strongly oppose for the re-take of NLE. its very unfair for us na nag exam ng walang daya to suffer at the expense of others. basta whoeevr they are, alam ni Lord kung cno cno cla at kakarmahin na lang cla bgla ng hindi nila nalalaman, hay kawawa nman tau!

yung mga gus2 ng re-take go to hell!!!

parang yung abs-cbn ata ang lalo nagpapalaki ng issue, cla ung balita ng balita tungkol sa leakage eh, irereport mamaya sa bandila, nasa kamay na daw ng abscbn ang masterlist ng mga nakatanggap ng leakage, aba! dinaig pa prc!

e bingi kasi ang PRC sa mga evidence e kaya ayan, naglalabasan na ang mga witness isa isa... nakakahiya ang mga deans ng mga skul na yun! at c cordero, mamatay ka na! sinira mo ang buhay namin pati ang colonel na nandun sa final coaching na pna vp nakakahiya kayo! bwisit kayo kung hindi dahil senyo sana nagtatrabaho na kami! patayin patayin!

retake na lang ba...for those pumasa don't be afraid to take again the said examination...not unless na kasali kayo sa mga nandaya..??

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