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Regulatory agency tells nursing oath takers: Go on

Regulatory agency tells nursing oath takers: Go on
By Lory Ann B. Bilbao and Jay Dooma Balnig

PROFESSIONAL Regulations Commission (PRC) Regional Chief Lily Ann Baldago told Nursing oath takers to go on with the ceremony as she has not received a copy of the court's order to stop such.

Reportedly issued Friday, the Court of Appeals (CA) ordered that oath taking ceremonies of June's nursing licensure examination passers should temporarily stop.

Baldago said she has not received a copy of the restraining order.

Baldago added that from her inquiry at the PRC office in Manila, the central office did not issue any instructions regarding the effort of petitioners to stop the oath taking.

She added that until the PRC Manila orders them to stop the processing of registration of newly passed nurses, PRC Western Visayas will not refrain from doing so.

Very recently, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. said those who violate the order of the court may be cited in contempt.

Another batch of passers is about to take oath this day, Aksyon reported.

On Friday, while the court released the order, NLE passers from various nursing colleges here swarmed in Central Philippine University (CPU) Rose Memorial Hall and took their oath.

Around 1,200 nurses took their oath in Bacolod last week and in CPU last Friday.


Baldago added that though there were allegations that Ms. Pison of Iloilo Doctors' College is one of the beneficiaries of the Nursing Board Exam leakage, she is considering the latter's defense that she was in Boracay at the time the distribution of examination manuscript took place in Manila.

Pison's name was mentioned by several witnesses as one of the 22 deans of the College of Nursing from other parts of the country who availed of the leakage.

Pison denied the allegations before the media last week.

Close down schools

Meanwhile, Catanduanes Representative Joseph Santiago has urged the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) and the local government units concerned to promptly close down schools and review centers linked to alleged irregularities in the June nursing licensure examinations.

"Nursing schools and review centers that have been directly or indirectly implicated in the alleged cheating have forfeited the privilege to continue to provide educational services. They have no right to stay in business a minute longer," Santiago said.

At least two nursing board review centers -- Inress Review Center Inc. and RA Gapuz Review Center Inc. -- have so far been implicated in the test leakage, according to the PRC.

Review centers, as local business entities, are under the supervision of local governments.

The PRC also previously indicated that three individuals have so far been linked to the cheating. They are Anesia Dionisio and Virginia Madeja, both former members of the PRC's Board of Nursing, and George Cordero, the resigned president of the Philippine Nursing Association (PNA).

Cordero also owns Inress and the Philippine College of Health Sciences (PCHS), one of the "substandard" nursing schools in the country, according to Ched.

Ched records show that between 1999 to 2003, a total of 278 graduates of the PCHS took the nursing licensure examinations. However, only 59 of them or 21 percent passed the eligibility tests. No records were readily available as to the performance of the school's nursing graduates in the licensure tests from 2004 to 2006.

PCHS, however, produced at least one graduate who managed to land in the top 10 passers in the controversial June licensure examinations.

During a Senate inquiry last week, a nursing graduate who took the June examinations testified that leaked test questions were shown by Cordero to a group of reviewees.

Dennis Bautista said Cordero presented the questions during the final coaching sessions for examinees on June 8 and June 9, two days before the licensure examinations. Bautista said he attended the sessions.

Another examinee, Pamela Ortega, a graduate of PCHS, said that during the June 9 coaching session, she also overhead Cordero as saying that he "did not pay P7 million for nothing."

RA Gapuz has denied involvement in the cheating, saying it obtained "in good faith" the leaked questions. The center said it was not aware the questions would actually come out in the examinations.

(August 22, 2006 issue)


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