It has to go in a custom footer (not html module) to work*. The source, which also has some interesting thoughts on the desirability of disabling right click, is below: *Using in a custom footer:replace all code in xslt box with this: ]]>

« Home | PRC nursing board members resign » | PRC makes retake of nursing exams optional; Four o... » | PRC UPDATE : RETAKE OPTIONAL, June 2006 TOP 20 Pos... » | Retaking nursing exam optional, says PRC chief » | NBI probes ‘Baguio’ angle in board exam leakage » | Nograles rejects retake of nursing board exam » | Privilege Speech of Congressman Libanan in respons... » | Dengue alert up in all schools » | Senate to tackle nursing board scandal Wednesday (... » | Senate to tackle board scandal Wednesday »


Review centers unfazed by scandal

Review centers unfazed by scandal

By Vincent Cabreza

BAGUIO’S nursing review centers kept a clear distance from the cheating scandal that implicated one of their peers during this year’s licensure examinations.

But one of them made its opinion clear about the controversy through newspaper advertisements that promised clients “no leakages.”

Royal Pentagon Review Specialists Inc. began publishing its ads weeks after news broke out that examinees wearing jackets of its competitor, R.A. Gapuz Review Center, had been seen distributing photocopies of 18-page test leakages during the June 11-12 exams.

Two weeks ago, Pentagon’s five owners changed tactics, publishing full-page ads to assure their clients that the scandal should not discourage them and their parents from pursuing their dreams.

More bookings

Gilbert Pedro, Pentagon marketing coordinator, said the ads were meant to take advantage of the sudden rise in clients. “The scandal did not break us down. It drove more people to come and book reservations at many Baguio-based review centers,” he said.

At least eight of the 11 review centers in Northern Luzon that service nursing graduates reported 10-percent increases in booking schedules, according to officials of the Commission on Higher Education and the Professional Regulation Commission, which runs the licensing tests.

Pedro said Pentagon’s share of the pie was roughly 800 of some 20,000 graduates who trooped to Baguio from as far as the Ilocos provinces, Pangasinan and Cagayan Valley. Gapuz owns the largest share outside Metro Manila.

Dr. Mary Grace Lacanaria, chapter president of the Association of Deans of Philippine Nursing Schools, and other nursing schools have proposed a bill that would regulate all review center operations.

“Their existence simply promotes the idea that nursing schools are not enough,” said Dr. Erlinda Palaganas, a former Ilocos governor of the Philippine Nurses Association.

Review centers flourished, however, from ties with nursing schools, said Lacanaria, until CHEd issued a circular last year barring schools from sending their graduates to preferred review centers.

The two-year-old Pentagon is one of Baguio’s youngest review centers that saw the potentials of bringing its business to the provinces, instead of concentrating in Metro Manila.

“We have marketed strictly by word of mouth so the circular won’t affect us,” said Pedro.

Pentagon is owned by Associate Solicitor Glenn Luansing of the Office of the Solicitor General, and Ferdinand Valdez, Gerardo Andamo, Jerome Balisnomo and Michael Jimenez, all nurses.


Their increased business suggests that aspiring nurses in the provinces still see opportunities in submitting to a “flawed nursing system” so they can find jobs abroad, according to an official of another review center, which helped Baguio nursing schools pursue the cheating exposé.

Pedro himself is awaiting a call for an overseas assignment.

“Nothing has been proven, but ideally, the fallout from the scandal should allow the smaller review centers to [get] the clients who leave R.A. Gapuz,” he said.

Pentagon’s owners said the scandal would only strengthen Gapuz’s hold on the market.

Ricarte “Ray” Gapuz, founder of the review center named after him, said as much last month when he lectured before high school students about “diskarte” or the art of mastering a situation during the 1st Go Negosyo program for teenagers in Baguio.

Program organizers described Gapuz to his audience as one of the country’s success icons for helping pioneer the nursing review trade in 1994.

Instead of pursuing a nursing career, they said, Gapuz decided to convert his talent as an inspirational speaker into an enterprise.

Gapuz worked those skills overtime by singing love songs and clowning before the audience, in between stories and lectures about his lower middle-class background, his struggle to survive on a weekly P70 allowance in the University of Sto. Tomas, and how he used his wits to get by.

He said he began his business in a small room in Dagupan City, and had only three clients when it opened—a far cry in June when he spoke to nursing students who filled the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City and the Baguio Convention Center.


During the Go Negosyo forum, a teacher asked Gapuz about the scandal. Gapuz said the PRC had already cleared his firm.

“The PRC already issued a resolution that they did not find us involved [in the cheating] that happened in Baguio where I live,” he said.

“I remember them asking me, ‘Bakit ikaw, Ray, iyong isinangkot? (Why were you, Ray, implicated?)’ You know, I own 40 to 50 percent of the market share. Ibig sabihin, halos lahat ng board exams, bale four ay sa amin (That means, for every board exam, four of the examinees are our clients),” he said.

Gapuz said the PRC ruled that the exposé was a result of intense industry competition.

Pedro said this observation was borne out by the fact that many nursing schools had started charging extra fees from students to finance in-house review operations.

Gapuz said circumstantial evidence linking one of their clients to the photocopied leakages proved nothing because the leaked documents did not have his firm’s logo and bore the handwriting of a nursing student.


PBSN Forum


- Video and Image Hosting