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Oathtaking fees wind up in BON members' bank account

Oathtaking fees wind up in BON members' bank account

Oathtaking fees collected from nursing graduates have wound up in the personal bank account of two Board of Nursing members, ABS-CBN's Bandila reported Friday.

The report by Ces OreƱa-Drilon said a P105,000 check issued by BON member Remedios Fernandez was deposited to Banco de Oro account no. 01053005-2 on Februay 5.

BON chairwoman Eufemia Octaviano said the check is the nursing graduates' payment for the printing of souvenir programs for the oathtaking ceremonies.

"[Fernandez and I] are the signatories as BON chairman and treasurer. [The account is] in our names. The money collected is for the souvenir programs because the region asks us to prepare souvenir programs and (the oathtakers) have to pay for the printing," Octaviano told Bandila.

She added that each souvenir program costs P100.

Octaviano admitted that the BON had already printed the programs before the Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order barring oathtaking ceremonies for 60 days due to the allege test leakage in the 2006 nursing board exams.

A Bandila report earlier said the BON would have collected P2 million-P2.4 million from nursing graduates had a national oathtaking ceremony at the Araneta Coliseum pushed through as scheduled on August 22.

The report added, however, that BON would have paid only P392,000 for the venue and P15,000 for the food.

Octaviano admitted that the bank account does not undergo a government audit. She added, however, that BON members abide by Professional Regulation Commission guidelines on how to spend the money collected from nursing graduates.

"All the boards under PRC do this," she said.

She added that BON members use the excess money to visit nursing schools inside and outside the country.

Octaviano did not give Bandila a complete accounting of its collections. She added that the Philippine Nurses Association is helping the board collect the fees.

"Since it is a joint venture or activity, the PNA would collect for us at the same time the PNA would collect [its] membership fee," she said.

PNA president Marilyn Yap, however, denied Octaviano's claim.

"What usually happens is that they ask us (to collect) because they don't have the manpower. They also ask us to help distribute the tickets for the oathtaking," Yap said.

"To my mind there are moral and legal issues [so] I opposed it," she added.


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