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Ladrones Islands

By Conrado de Quiros
Last updated 01:35am (Mla time) 08/02/2006
Published on Page A10 of the August 2, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Opinion Section)

I'M glad the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) has finally listened to reason and agreed to suspend the oath-taking of nurses who "passed" the last nursing board exams. The various schools of nursing, not least the University of Santo Tomas (UST), which has been at the forefront of the protest, have been calling for the results of the exams to be voided and for the candidates to take them all over again.

What happened, for the benefit of those who did not follow the story, was that a good portion of the exam questions was leaked to a good portion of the examinees. How good a portion of the questions and of the examinees the PRC and the officials of the various nursing schools have some idea, but they do not know for sure. Initially, to try to solve the problem, the PRC hired a statistician to gauge the extent of the harm done by theleaked answers and to propose a way to circumvent it. Acting on his findings and recommendations, the PRC ruled to invalidate 25 questions in Test III (Medical Surgical Nursing) and the entire last category, Test V (Psychiatric Nursing). Those who passed the exam, minus those parts, were to be given their licenses as nurses this Aug. 22.

The leak came from R.A. Gapuz Review Center, which admitted that it gave its reviewers a document containing many of the questions in the exams. Ray Gapuz, founder of the center and a UST graduate (to the chagrin of UST officials), would explain later that it was an honest mistake. The questions were faxed to them by a source, and they distributed them to their students thinking they were review material. It was their policy toexchange review materials with contacts.

In a letter to the PRC, Susan Maravilla, Thelma Abelardo and Rene Tadle, UST assistant dean, treasurer of the UST Nursing Alumni Association, and president of UST Faculty Association of the College of Nursing, respectively, refuted the PRC's position. At the very least, they said, how did the PRC determine that only 25 questions in Test III and all the ones in Test V were leaked? At the very most, they said, even if that were so, why pass candidates whom you had no way of knowing were competent in surgical and psychiatric nursing?

The laws of the country call on the State "to ensure that the medical profession is not infiltrated by incompetents to whom patients may unwarily entrust their lives and health." The UST officials added that they were aware of the cost in time, money and energy taking the exam would be for the innocent, but they were also aware of the even morehumongous cost in reputation, credibility and employability of those who would pass under these terms. The cloud of doubt cast on their competence by these flawed exams would hound them forever.

I agree with the UST officials' position completely. I myself can understand the dismay of those who honestly and diligently prepared for the exams. At the very least, I can understand the added expense it will mean for them in these dire times. More so as those who take up nursing often come from families of modest means who dream of being able to pluck out self and kin from this pass someday. But the UST officials are right: The cost of their not taking the exams again is far steeper. Not just for themselves but for the nation as well. It won't just damage their reputations -- hospital patients might wish to inquire if they were being nursed by someone from Batch 2006 -- it will damage the reputation of the whole profession. Even New York, a city that is not likely to set muchstore by psychiatric nursing as its residents are well past being cured in that respect, may decide to recruit elsewhere.

I understand that some of the examinees have expressed their willingness to go through the exams again for that very reason. I heartily applaud them. The bitterness of the frustrated is better directed at the R.A. Gapuz Review Center whose "lapse in judgment" excuse is inexcusable. The more credible explanation for its lack of scrupulousness in scrutinizing the document passed on to it was its desire to increase enrollment byshowing the world it had a great batting average in producing successful examinees. The frustrated should have their reckoning with the review center.

But more than that, I agree with the UST officials' position because of one urgent and compelling thing. Which is that it's time we stopped cheating in this country. Which is that it's time we punished the guilty even if we cannot altogether reward the innocent. Which is that it's time we stopped becoming an out-and-out Ladrones Island, a den of thieves and malefactors, a snake pit of liars and cheaters.

Richly ironically, Prospero Pichay, who should be the last person to want to draw attention to cheating, has demanded that an inquiry be made immediately about the exams. He thundered: "We have been banking on our medical practitioners to be one of our greatest assets in competing in the global market, but the issue now casts doubt on their very competency."

But my dear Prospero, don't we have the same thing in the very heart of government? Have you bothered to ask yourself why cheating and lying riot more plentifully and violently these days than the inmates of the national penitentiary? You want to investigate, investigate the conduct of the last elections, not the nursing exams. The possibility of incompetent nurses can only affect our health and reputation, the reality of an illegitimate President affects our life and our children's future. To paraphrase you:We have been banking on democracy as our greatest asset in being taken seriously by the community of nations, but the issue of a usurper now casts doubt on our very existence.

Happily, the PRC has ruled to suspend acknowledging the results of the last nursing exams. Now, if only we can do that to the last elections.

nakakatawa!!! hahaha sana bago lumabas ang result nagreklamo na kayo gaya ko pero bat now kayo reklamo kung kelan lumabas na result? hay naku sourgraping kasi kaya pano tayo unlad, if you passed then good kasi naipasa mo kahit walang leakage if hindi meaning may problema ka o mahina ka sa iba kaya better move on and study for the next exam na lang ok!!! tama na crab mentality!!

ndi crab mentality yan. tingin ko para din sa mga nakapasa yan. test 5 is important. kahit tangalin mo yung test 1, 2, 3 and 4. pag ang test 5 nawala. wala kang kwentang nurse. test 5 kasi yan yung mga therapuetic approach sa patient. and alam naman natin dun nagsisismula ang lahat. and btw, all of the question in the exams i think para sa mga bobo. ndi man lang natest kung competent nga tayo or not.

hi, pumasa na ako sa board exam.. ok lang sana mag retake eh before nilabas results kasi at least nasa equal ground pa ang lahat pero since nakalabas na.. for me.. its sour graping na..i don't think its even an issue of leakage anymore. na minus na nga eh yung leakage questions so kung papasa ka.. papasaka talaga at bagsak kung bagsak. Karapatan nung bumagsak mag reklamo.. pero hindi nyo rin kami masisi yung mga pumasa na magreklamo. Besides sa tagal ng investigation malapit na yung december exam. UST pwede ba.. graduate rin ako ng UST, last time 12 bumagsak sa kanila.. sinisi nila sa erasures.. Utang na loob naman.. mas madami na kayo section ngyon so talaga hindi nyo ma sisigurado na papasa lahat no.

Test 5.. hindi nga kailangan leakage dyan.. kasi kahit may leakage.. masasagot mo.. its the easiest of the 5 exams. So kung i dadahilan ang pag ulit ng exam sa test 5 nagpapatawa ka talaga.

Ang issue ng leakage .. kopong kopong time pa yan ha. ngayon lang masyado na sensationalized ng media kasi. every year may issue ng leakage. isa pa hindi nyo naiisip yung pera sa pag gastos sa exam, yung hirap ng pag pila pa lang sa PRC, yung stress sa pag intay ng results. Besides bakit ba parang yung passers pa ang dapat may i prove bakit sila pumasa.. kayo dapat mag prove bakit dapat kayo ipasa.

anonymous, and issue d2 yung nagkaleakage. ndi kung madali or mahirap. larry, alam ko yung congress nagpapahanap na ng pondo para sa retake. yun lang ang alam ko ha.

kanya kanya side lang yan.. kung pasa ka.. ayaw mo.. kung bagsak gusto mo mag retake. palibhasa wala mawawala sa bagsak, tutal bagsak naman .. eh yung pasa? besides bibigyan kayo ng time to review kung retake.. eh ang labas december rin ang test. eh december na next exam. it doesnt matter kung may pondo eh, ang point eh nilabas mo pa results tapos babawiin mo? ano yun nagpapatawa..

tayo din may kasalanan nyan. prinessure natin yung PRC. yan tuloy. nilabas nila. kasalanan tlga ng prc yan. and malala tlga ang nangyayari ngayon. lalo na pinostponed ang oath taking. kaya lalong malaking gulo yan. kung walang problema, bakit pa nila pinostponed ang oath taking

Ano ba 'to, labanan na ba 'to ng mga pasa versus bagsak?!! Ganun na ba ang isyu ngayon?

Wag nyo sisihin mga sarili nyo. PRC ang kasisisisi jan noh!

The author of the article is bullshit. Sourgraping ang UST. they can't accept the fact that their rating for this year took a good dive to only 80+. Yes test V is important and it was scrapped out from the counting of the results. So the fact that those who passed "passed" the exam even without the 100 pts supposedly attributed to test V, which was a give away by the way, are a proof that they really are bound to pass the board.

Test V wasn't hard, guys. Take it from me.

If they really want to do something about it, they should think of other options other than suggesting those who passed already to retake.

ano ba kung bagsak eh di bagsak...kung pasa eh di pasa,kayo kc gusto nyo pa ng retake eh!wala pa kayo sa U.S may crab mentality na kayo! naghihilahan na kayo pababa!!!at kahit na man may makuha funds for retake kanino ba galing yan?eh di sa bulsa pa rin natin at ng mga magulang natin na tax payer!!!shit talaga na pilipinas toh! puro bulok na mga tao!!!!!!! mga a**h*** kayo na atat mag retake! kasalanan nyo 'to!!!

magretake ang mga pasado lang? o magretake ang mga bagsak? dapat malinaw or else magkakagulo talaga.

simple lang yan guys. pag nagretake, wala na lahat. pati yung leakage na yan. naapektohan tlga ang exam dahil jan sa test 3 and test 5. ndi natin alam meron din ang test 4. ang test 4 kasi lahat ng exam natin dun kinuha sa libro at speech ni mam letty kuan. and test 4 is medical surgical, na dapat pathophysio ang dapat gawin nyang questions. pinaguusapan na d2 kung competent ka na mag alaga ng nurse. kung yun ang mga question at nagvoid pa sila ng test... tingin ko, ndi kayo competent na maging nurse. pag nagretake, dun magkakaalam. ako sa december na kao magtatake ng exam. mga passer, tingin ko takot kayo bumagsak kaya ayaw nyo ng retake. btw, papayag ba kayo mga passer, pamasa kayo dahil kulang kulang exam nyo?! kasi yung mga bagsak ok lang sa kanila na bumagsak, kasi kulang kulang ang exam. Godbless

Soo... what is it ? Retake or not ?

They should have done this earlier...

Kahit anong pang exam ang gawin ng Board members natin, kesyo me leakage o wala, never naman naging basis for competency ang local board exam natin dahil ever since, walang kwenta ang exam nila dahil walang sytema ang mga gumagawa. (madalas pa daw nga e nag papagawa lang sila sa kilala nilang faculty nurse din). Unlike sa NCLEX, meron talaga silang system to gauge a potential nurse's competency. kaya yung mga me reklamo na kesyo bakit daw inalis ang test V (I agree na sobrang dali lang) at binawasan ang test III (sobrang subjective naman) ay walang point. I-review nyo po ang past board exams at tignan nyo kung me direction ang line of questioning nila. Wala po talaga! Dati, bookish ang sure na papasa, kahit walang common sense o critical thinking. Ngayon naman, papasa ang mga me common sense at experience sa buhay kahit hindi well read person (kaya hindi daw siguro pumasa yung cum laude ng UST). Opinion ko lang po to, sa dami ng pinag aralan kong questions... Just think of it... Kaya in the end, pointless na po mag re-take, mas maganda pa NCLEX natin i-base kung dapat pumasa ang student or not. Pag pasado sa NCLEX, automatic na pasado na din dapat sa recent Local board exam, wether they passed it or not. Do you really think na mas evaluative ang local exam natin kesa sa NCLEX? HeHe :-)

i am a gapuz reviewee (baguio) and i passed the board...for 2 months, i never slept just to review and scan my notes...sir ray always reminded us in our review sessions that our main goal should be to top the board and many made it to the top...mas konti pa nga ngayon nag-top compared sa june 2003 exam na 45 lumabas from gapuz tas marami ring nag-top last december's true that RGRC gave us an 18-page note but only 39 points came out in the exam .... 2 situations from test 3 -- 19 points and 2 situations from test 5 -- 20 points.... but then PRC nullified 25 items from test 3 and whole of test 5 yet many gapuz reviewees still passed the board... this only imply that magagaling ang nag-review at's true and i can attest to this---we were trained to answer 100-200 questions a day as well as to shade correctly the test paper (colored po and original, not photocopied unlike other review centers)--- and to tell you that gapuz is the only review center with a scanner same as that used by PRC to check out papers kaya we can assess if our shading is done correctly or not...

PRC and maybe the whole citizens of the philippines saw the 18-page note so they saw the real number of questions which came out in the exam .... why did PRC nullify more than what they saw in the notes? imagine --- whole of test 5! what does this imply? --- PRC know the real number of items leaked because they are the ones who leaked it out, tsk tsk --- ung binigay lang kay gapuz are 4 situations ( 39 points) but these items were NULLIFIED ...according to hearsays, other review centers were given almost 90% from test 5 .... YET many are accusing us as cheaters pa rin! come on guys! we all know the fact that the leakage was nullified...

many reviewees from Pentagon are complaining because their forte daw is psyche and un lang pag-asa gosh, test 5 is very easy and not that challenging, one can answer that in just 30 minutes kaya some gapuz reviewees finished to answer that part in about 45 minutes to an hour and i believe most of those who took the exam did the same because it's easy... Those who are complaining from Pentagon should have done their best in all the parts of the exam for them to have passed it kahit mawala ung isang part --- and don't even dare say that u answered test 5 easily because of ur review center --- it's very easy to answer those questions given kahit walang formal review...

if ever there's a retake, PRC would allow only those who passed to take the exam again --- this is history already and the retest would only cover the parts with leakages ( maybe test 3 and 5) ... but i doubt a retake will take place, malapit na po ang december exam ... anyways, to those who passed --- what if we pray hand in hand for this issue to be settled the soonest possible for us to move on and for the rumors to calm down, hehe.... gudluck to us and to those who failed, strive more! double ur efforts for the coming board.. aim to top with an average as high as 90-95 para makakuha kayo ng 80-85 na average or above 75...

NO TO RETAKE!! Hindi ako nagreview center pumasa ako, pero yung mga nag review center, hello lahat naman ng review center feeling ko pinagdadasal nila may lumabas sa tinuro nila.. swerte lang ng gapuz may lumabas haha. Anyway, comment ko lang dun sa isa na nagsabi na takot mga pumasa na mag retake.. hindi kami takot ang tanung bakit kami mag aaksaya na i prove bakit kami pumasa.. kayo dapat mga bagsak may i prove bakit kaya dapat ipasa no! Isa pa yung mga bagsak naman pala plano mag test sa december pa.. so bakit nakikisigaw pa kayo ng RETAKE para lang mainis ang pasa ganon? so umpisa pa lang crab mentality na kayo, hindi na talaga uunlad pilipinas kasi dami inggitera. Sa mga pumasa, lets pray na lang hindi matuloy ang retake or whatever pero sa tingin ko hindi na rin kasi kung talaga balak nila mag retake.. eh d sana yung license ang delayed hindi oath taking, eh ang oath taking naman kahit hindi mo atendan ok lang haha. Ibig sabihin pinagiisipan pa lang nila. Sa mga bumagsak, pray ko na lang pumasa kayo sa sa december but please wag naman kayo sour graping at idamay kami.

guys, lam nyo ba my nasagap k news!! kya basahin nyo i2!! sbi ng skulm8 k during their duty in mental hosp. eh my isng C.I. dun frm ust kinoconvince nya ung mga nagdu2ty dun na mag sign 4 retake exam, signatory campaign ba i2! den my skulm8 l8r found out na bumagsak pla cum laude frm ust kya mga PASSERS wag tau pa2yag na magretake kundi gulo i2, ryt!! wag na kc maging bitter ang mga tga ust, accept d reality nlng! its true nman kc na yang mga LAUDE n yan eh puro knowledge lng lam pro kpg common sense mahina cla!! ano b ang pnagma2laki nila ung test5, my God ang dali dali ng psych. honestly speakng pangalawa sha s madali nxt to chn. basang basa m ang sagot!! maglileakage nlng ung mdali pa!! ryt!! ano ba i2 LABAN O BAWI, gnun gnun nlng ba2wiin license nmin!!

CGE GUYS!!! NO RETAKE DAW... ako bumagsak ako... pero dati gusto ko retake para sa mga pumasa din yun. eh parang tayo pa napapasama.. kaya cge no retake nalang. pabayaan nalang natin yung mga pumasa. ndi naman ang license natin ang marerevoke. and yung mga pumasa.. nasa huli ang pagsisisi. may choice kayo ngayon.. u do it now or maghintay kayo ng 1 yr sa investigation nila... i know, may leakage tlga. kaya automatic tlga marerevoke license nyo. and dun sa gapuz... i bet sinabihan sila na basahin yung libro ni mam letty Kuan. we all know malapit si mam lety kay gapuz. pwede naman sabihhan ni mam letty si gapuz na sa libro sya kukuha ng exam. sino naman ang bobo na magbabasa ng Bioethics na book nya, eh alam naman natin na M.S ang topic nya?! pwede Leakage din yun.

Huwag na po mag away away, at huwag na din po manisi ng ibang groups, schools, passed or failed examinees.

1) I, as one who passed, really hopes that there won't be any retake of the exam. I really do feel & know that I deserved it.

2) To those who didn't pass, sayang po talaga. I have friends who didn't make it too. I emphatize with you all. But we humbly ask from you, not to penalize "us" by asking for a retake. Ok lang po if you ask them to punish those who are responsible for that mess, but not the majority who knew nothing about it.

3) For those who passed because they cheated, read more, learn more & always practice yourself to be a safe & competent nurse. You owe it to yourself & the people that you will serve. It's best siguro that you take a foreign exam like NCLEX, so you know where you really stand.

4) For me, i'm done with the local board. I took it just to prove myself that I'm able & ready for the next step. Wether they nullify it, revoke it or have a retake, I won't participate on it anymore. I have proven to myself, my parents & my daughters, that even at my age, with all the hardwork & prayers, that I still can. I guess thats the most important thing after all.

5) To those who where responsible for the scam, you may get away with it this time, but your sons & daughter will bear the shame you casted upon them.

"God is good, He's just & He knows what His doing"

haha ok rin yung nag comment na ma rerevoke yung license namin ha. parang tuwang tuwa ka pa na ma rerevoke, iba na talaga klase crab mentality. marerevoke po yan kung na prove na nag cheat lahat, bakit pano yung friends mo na pumasa na hindi nag cheat? gusto mo ma revoke rin license nila. Pumasa ako wala ako review center kaya masaya kami asa awa ng diyos pumasa kami. HIndi rin tanga PRC, kung balak nila i revoke yan, bakit pa sila nag release ng dates kailan makukuha license? eh dagdag gastos yan eh d sana yung license na lang ang delayed hindi oath taking. may friends rin ako na mga bumagsak pero sila at least hindi selfish. Sana yung mga pumasa wag na mag retake, at yung mga bumagsak hindi na uso yung MISERY LOVES COMPANY.

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