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Malacañang goes slow on nursing retake

Malacañang goes slow on nursing retake

Lira Dalangin-Fernandez

A DAY after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced a partial retake of the leakage-tainted June 2006 nursing licensure examinations, Malacañang now says it will await the Court of Appeals’ decision on a pending case on the matter.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said he was told by Labor Secretary Arturo Brion of a reminder from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) about the case.

The appellate court’s decision, he said, "could very well bear on the decision on the level of (the) retake" and when, where, and who should take the examination.

Several groups have asked the court to order a retake of the whole licensure exam. Other groups contend the retake should be only for portions in which test questions were leaked while still others say only those who took the tests in Manila and Baguio, where the leakage reportedly took place, should retake the board exam.

Ermita said he was confident the issue would be resolved before December, when the next nursing licensure examination is scheduled.

On Thursday, Arroyo, in a chance meeting with nursing students near Malacañang Palace said she favored a retake of only tests 3 and 5, the portions of the board exams tainted by leaked questions. She also said the retake should take place before the December nursing board exam.

Ermita also said the government is setting aside 52 million pesos in case of a retake so examinees will not have to shoulder the cost of taking the test again.

"We cannot make final action as to the extent of the retake and who should retake. Let us see how the Court of Appeals decision will bear on such a decision," he said.

But Ermita reiterated that the President is standing firm on her decision that a retake is in order.

The Labor department and PRC were supposed to iron out details of the retake in a meeting last Wednesday, but deferred action because of the pending petition.

Ermita also said the Palace would abide by any decision of the court.

He pointed to an earlier statement by Arroyo that “just is just, let's be fair; those who passed, don't let them suffer. But again because of the discussion in the Cabinet, somehow the President considered" ordering a retake.

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