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PRC head asked to resign for ‘bungling’ leak scandal

PRC head asked to resign for ‘bungling’ leak scandal

Allowing oath-taking ‘bad judgment,’ says Gordon

By Veronica Uy
Last updated 06:06pm (Mla time) 09/20/2006

(UPDATE) SENATOR Richard Gordon on Wednesday asked Leonor Tripon-Rosero, chairperson of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), to resign for bungling the handling of the June 2006 nursing licensure examination leakage scandal.

Rosero, together with PRC commissioners Avelina De la Rea and Renato Valdecantos, and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) anti-fraud and computer crimes division chief Efren Meneses, showed up at Senate a day after Senator Rodolfo Biazon, acting chair of the Senate civil service and government reorganization committee, threatened to have them arrested if they continued to snub the hearings into the test leakage.

Gordon zeroed in what he said was the apparent haste with which Rosero allowed the mid-August oath-taking of board passers even before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) could finish its investigation, which she herself requested, into the anomaly.

Rosero had written the NBI on July 13 asking it to determine the “exact extent of the irregularities and the identities of the culprits” behind the leakage of test questions.

He also noted the apparent rush to allow the oath-taking on August 17, a day before the Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against allowing board passers to take their oaths on August 22, as originally scheduled.

News reports then said some 2,000 board passers managed to take their oaths by the time the TRO was issued.

By then, Gordon pointed out to Rosero, the PRC did not yet “know what portion of the test, or if the entire test, was flawed…I think that it’s a failure of judgment on your part.”

There is still an unresolved debate whether to allow the nursing examinees to re-take the whole test or only those portions the answers to which are known to have been leaked in advance.

But Rosero insisted there would be no retake.

Valdecantos also defended the PRC decision, saying the rest of the passers, especially those who did not benefit from the leak, should not be punished.

He acknowledged that the NBI has still to finish investigating the matter but stressed that their decision was “without prejudice to later actions by the PRC.”

However, Gordon said it was “indecent” to have allowed the oath-taking before the investigation into the leakage is done.

“It's bad judgment to close the book and then open it again later. You're playing God. You were negligent,” he told Valdecantos and Rosero.

“I beg to disagree,” Valdecantos retorted.

Gordon also noted that a major cause for the propensity for leaking board exam questions is the poor performance of most nursing schools.

Doctor Carmelita Divinagracia, president of the Association of Deans of Philippine Colleges of Nursing, acknowledged that the 435 colleges of nursing nationwide use only 87 hospitals as base hospitals.

You are giving injustice to 17,821 students who passed the exam. We deserve to take our Oaths & be given our licenses. If you want a clean up, do it with them & not to us! Pareho kayo ni Ang na walang alam nakikisawsaw!
Loud mouthed neanderthal!

Richard Gordon ikaw na lang ang mag resign okay?

Dear Senator Richard Gordon:

You are still investigating the nursing scandal, so you should not do what you precisely are accusing PRC officials of doing--that they made premature decisions.

In your case, as shown in the TV newscast, you prematurely concluded that nursing review schools should be closed, that nursing schools should take care of providing the exam review. This is not correct. Nursing schools with small student population cannot afford highly paid reviewers who are really topnotch in the teaching profession. There are not enough good reviewers for the 435 nursing schools--many of them have gone abroad. Nursing schools specialize in teaching students how to practice the profession, but review centers specialize in teaching reviewees how to pass board exams. The two are different. The fact that college education is the one that really prepare the students for practice is evident from the internship work in hospitals where the reputable schools send their students to the better and bigger hospitals, something that is not totally considered in board exams.

Moreover, review schools are needed not because many nursing schools are substandard but because there is a need for them. For example, many students would like to enroll in the best schools, but their enrollment is limited as in the case of UP; or their tuition fees may be unaffordable, or their locations maybe too far from the homes of many students, as in the case of other good schools. However, those who were not accomodated in reputable schools or who were very far from the really good schools will have the chance to learn what they missed in college as well as equalize their chance of passing the board exam by enrolling in the best review schools after graduation, which entail just one time cost. Thus, what is needed is to regulate review schools, such as on allowable fees, number of reviewees per classroom, qualifications of reviewers, etc., not to prohibit them. Most important of all, the Senate should look into what reforms can be done to prevent future leakages in board exams--and whether PRC and BON have the capabilities to address this problem.

On the matter of PRC's suppposed premature release of exam results, it is not premature as far as the examinees and their families are concerned. Their clamor for release of results and their tension and agony while waiting is quite evident in the Internet. When PRC released the result, it already knew which questions were leaked, which was why it was able to conduct a recomputation of grades with the effect of leakage removed. Also, as of that time, all complainants have already said their piece, as shown in their complaints before the Court of Appeals which did not add anything earthshaking to what was already revealed before. As you are aware, once their complaints were submitted, that will be the basis of litigation and decision. The Court cannot entertain further accusations that are not included in the complaints--just like in the impeachment case--otherwise there will be no end to litigation! Thus, PRC had enough bases for their action.

Look, up to now, the NBI has not submitted a final report. Had PRC waited for NBI's final report before it released the results, di hangga ngayon wala pang result! Eh baka naloko na o nagkasakit o nag-rebelde ang marami sa examinees dahil sa magkahalong nerbiyos at galit sa walang katapusang paghihintay!!!!

Iyan lamang po, at kailangan na ng successful passers ang kanilang lisensya. Huwag silang parusahan sa kung anuman ang ginawa ng PRC. Sawa na sila sa tagal ng paghihintay. Hindi solution ang retake sa cheating. Ang solution ay reforms in the board examination system. Kung wala ito, bale wala ang pagpaparusa sa mga may kasalanan, bale wala ang retake. Mauulit pa rin ang cheating kung walang reform!!!

The results of the exam had to be released early so that examinees can PLAN AHEAD and not be in limbo. For example, those who did not pass have to prepare for the next exam rather than look for jobs.

Tama po ito. Sna makarating kay Gordon.

May nagparating na kay Senator Gordon through email, bcc PRC Commissioners. Padadalhan din si Senator Biazon.

Simle lang po ang dapat gawin sa mga madadaldal na nakikisawsaw sa Nursing leakage scandal...Hulihin sila at dalhin sa plaza at ipatong sa itaas at hubaran ng salawal, pagkatapos patalikurin, then tiradorin ang bayag to hit the balls!!!! he! he! he! he! he!

Sinasabi ko sa inyong muli na ang lahat at nakupas at walang history sa mundo na hindi lumipas at tiyak ganito rin ang mangyayari sa scandal na ito sa leakage...

Ang suma-total ay nasayang lang ang maraming pagkakataon at panahon.

Hindi masasayang ang lahat kung may REFORMS sa nursing board exam system. Ito ang dapat gawin at hindi dapat kalimutan dahil pang-matagalan ang epekto nito.

Para hindi masayang dapat lahat mag-retake mula noon hanggang sa ngayon lahat ng Nurse at mga medical practitioners pati na iyong mga advocate na mag-retake sila at sila ang manguna at ipakita nila na kaya nilang gawin ang gusto nilang mangyari kasi sila mismo hindi katiwatiwala kasi itong mga bagay na ito ay matagal ng nangyayari at ngayon lang naman natuklasan. Kung gusto nila na talagang totally clean hindi lang ibabaw ng mesa ang linisin kundi lahat pati ilalim at kapaligiran, ganoon dapat hindi ito lang na batch 2006 na parang ginawa lang na scapegoat para magmukhang malinis iyong mga nagdaan na exams...

For anonymous 9:31

PRCs actions (release of exam result) should not be based on the clamor of those who "passed"! Kaw na rin nag sabi recomputed and grades!

Isip - isip tol! Tama ba yon!


Hindi clamor ng passers dahil hindi pa alam kung sino ang passers before release of exam result. Clamor iyon ng 42,000 examinees, at kung ikaw ay examinee, kasama ka roon, at tiyak gusto mong malaman kaagad ang resulta.


Posted by Anonymous | 2:31 PM

So, what do you want? For PRC to leave the matters to the Courts and Congress and wait for them to decide on the issue before releasing the result of the exams? If that is the case, because the matter will likely reach the Supreme Court, the December board exam may be over but the result of the June 2006 exam may not yet be known! Would that not be heartless and most cruel torture to the 42,000 examinees whose lives would be held hanging and in suspense for who knows up to when?

If you are a competent official in the Executive Branch of the government, you decide on what is right, then you do it. You do not ask and wait for the Courts or Congress to tell you what to do. For example, in the case of Dr. Dante Ang of the Presidential Task force, instead of joining complainants before the Court of Appeals, he should have requested an inter-agency meeting with the Office of the President, DOH, DOJ, and PRC and presented his case before them. Instead of asking the favorable decision of the Court of Appeals, he should have asked the decision of his boss, the President of the Philippines, through an inter-agency meeting where the side of each agency concerned can be heard. If he could convince the inter-agency officials on his NO RETAKE positon, then the decision as announced by Malacanang would have been NO RETAKE and he didn't have to go to the Court of Appeals. What's more, he didn't have to suffer the EMBARRASSMENT of being rebuffed by the President before the entire nation!!!

As part of the Executive Branch, PRC tried to do a DAMAGE CONTROL by trying to put a closure to the matter as soon as possible, to avoid a prolonged bad publicity before the local and intertnational community that can harm the local nursing profession, especially those who wish to work abroad. There is nothing wrong with that for as long as the intention is not to whitewash the case, for as long as it will doggedly pursue through completion the two very important courses of action on the scandal: first, investigation, prosecution, and PUNISHMENT to the fullest extent of the law (if found guilty) of suspected culprits, and, second, institution of REFORMS in the licensure exam system towards the prevention of cheating in future exams. If Senator Gordon were part of the Executive Branch, I believe he may think along the same line, that is, institution of damage control but at the same time doing what is necessary.

As part of the Executive Branch, that was what we did in the past. We found some anomalies, but we did not volunteer the information to the Commission on Audit (COA) officials because if they knew, they would be very strict on everything, to our own difficulty and disadvantage. However, on our own, we imposed the necessary sanctions and instituted remedial measures, such as outright dismissal of those involved and streamlining of the system. Later, when the combined team of COA and Good Government people who included no less than Mr. Eufemio Domingo (who later became COA Chairman) conducted a special audit of the agency, they did not have any derogatory findings, as revealed to us in the exit interview when they ended their field audit.

Mali, even bordering to illegal ang method for "damage control" ng PRC.

If you think it is really illegal, sue them.

More than doing THINGS RIGHT is doing the RIGHT THINGS.

Whether damage control was done right or wrong, that is secondary. Of primary importance is doing the right things--punishing the guilty and reforming the exam system.

Instead, the great debate centered on retake or no retake. Complainants would not lift a finger on reforms. When asked to be at BON to do things the right way in that office, they would not oblige, for the wrong reason. Hence, cleansing of the nursing exam system has to depend on others.

It's simply like this for PRC:

If you're damned if you do (what you want), and damned if you don't--then better be damned if you do!!!

I may not agree with what PRC did, but they showed tenacity in achieving what they wanted. They took control of the situation, they did what they thought had to be done, they are steadfast on no retake, they did not allow themselves to be pressured and overtaken by events.

As a result, the retake proponents are the ones seemingly overtaken by events. Because PRC did not prepare for retake as they stood firmly against it--even rejecting an offered budget in the process-- retake looks remote now because it has lost steam and it seems too late to implement it.

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