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Retake to usher RP's bid to host State Board exam

Retake to usher RP's bid to host State Board exam
By Erwin Ambo S. Delilan

THINK of the benefit of the many and not of the few.

Representative Jose Carlos "Kako" Lacson (3rd District, Negros Occidental) made this appeal to all nursing board passers last June, as he stressed that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's retake order of the controversial June exam was for the benefit of the many and of the entire country.

Another benefit, Lacson said, is that President Arroyo and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) are thinking of the possibility that the US Government will decide to hold the US's National College Licensure Exam (NCLEX) or State Board exam in the country instead of Hongkong.

The initial US plan will be January next year, said Lacson quoting reports from PRC Commissioner Dante Ang.

"Imagine the benefit that Filipino nurses could avail if we can redeem our national credibility, tainted by the scandalous June nursing exams, in the US market," the lawmaker said.

Lacson, currently chair of the House committee on basic education, also lamented that the more than 17,300 board passers last June will retake the exam despite their invested hardships, sacrifices, and even financial expenses.

"I can feel the burden that lies upon their parents' shoulders...the expenses.. the overnight reviews...the worries, among other anxious feelings. But let's also think of our national integrity and credibility, which is being questioned now because of the June exam brouhaha. We started losing credibility in the US market," he said.

"Some of our Filipino nurses even those who had passed the previous exams have started suffering from discrimination and doubts. I think we need to redeem this before us Filipinos, not just nurses but other professionals, will be branded cheaters or liars in the future," added Lacson.

That's why if we can sacrifice just a little bit, we need to do it now before everything will be too late for us, Lacson appealed.

As to the expenses, he said, "I think examinees won't pay for the exam anymore because Malacañang had already vowed to subsidize the testing fees except only for their review, traveling, and lodging expenses where they will be getting the test."

Based on normal and conservative estimates, a nursing examinee has to spend about P30,000 for the review, travel, food and lodging expenses in taking the exam, which are usually administered in Cebu, Iloilo, Baguio, Davao, and Manila.

The Palace has announced though that the government will fork out P52 million to subsidize the examinations.

"We will not let them pay exam fees anymore. The President ordered that we take care of the funds," Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said.

At least 17,821 students passed the June 2006 board exams, out of 42,000 examinees.


Latest report from Malacañang Friday, however, said it is deferring action on a retake of the leakage-marred nursing board exams to wait for the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) on the case regarding the oath taking of those who passed the test.

Ermita said Labor Secretary Arturo Brion was reminded by the PRC of the pending case before the CA, which could bear on the decision to have the examinees retake the examinations.

Fair and square

In Bacolod City, however, the June nursing board passers from various colleges and universities held a protest rally at the public plaza Friday morning, dramatizing their vehement objection on the President's order through Executive Order 565.

"We oppose the retake because we passed the examination with clean consciences, fair and square," Jet Ong, leader of the protesters told mediamen.

He then hoped that the CA will soon lift the Temporary Restraining Order preventing all June passers to avail of themselves their licenses.

They also drafted a manifesto with specified reasons why they object EO 565 and asked Presidential Adviser for Western Visayas Rafael "Lito" Coscolluela to bring it personally to President Arroyo in Malacañang.

In a telephone interview Friday, Coscolluela said he has to see the manifesto yet.

"I want to read it first before I make any recommendation or action but definitely, I will personally carry and give it to President Arroyo on Monday next week when I go to Malacañang for another official business," Coscolluela said, adding that he will find out if there will chance for a making any compromise on the situation."

He, though, explained that the country's integrity is at stake.

Best decision

From Malacañang, the President said, "It's the best decision for now," assuring a small group of examinees she met with in the Palace Thursday.

"There is no way to determine who did not participate in the leakage...That's why to make the burden lighter, government will subsidize the next regular exams," she added.

Bacolod Lone District Representative Monico Puentevella, who is also one of the prospects to be asked for a mediation on the issue, however, said in a text message sent to Sun.Star Bacolod Thursday night that President Arroyo had already spoken and this should be respected.

Puentevella said the best thing to hope from the President is for her to reconsider her decision in ordering for the retake of the nursing exam.

But as to the reason, he said, "The President has probably the very reason why she issued the EO 565."

"Think of the benefit of the many...."

Actually, we can also obtain that benefit without retake if only Dante Ang and others defended the 17,000 passers the way the Arroyo Administrsation defends the human rights violation before the international community. THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS--OR KILLINGS BY MILITARY--ARE REAL, WHICH IS WHY IT CANNOT BE PROVEN AS REAL!!!

Come again?

The killings by military are real, and because these are real, witnesses are afraid to come out and talk because in much the same way that others were actually killed earlier, they as witnesses will also be killed later!!!!

In the case of the nursing scandal, sa halip na sabihin ni Dante Ang sa CGFNS na yung passers hurdled VALID QUESTIONS exclusive of the effect of leakage, at saka parurusahan namin ang may kasalanan, and we will reform the exam system, so huwag kayong mag-alala, ay hindi--tiyak inayunan pa ang concern ng CGFNS. Kaya nga nagkaroon ng concern abroad ay dahil sa winalanghiya nila at siniraan ang mga passers. Kung hindi nila ginawa yun, hindi naman masyadong sasama ang impression sa labas. Siyempre, kung mga Pilipino mismo ay ganun ang sinasabi, sino namang foreigners ang hindi maniniwala, common sense lang yan.

Ngayon, dahil they created a wrong impression against the nurses, they want to cure it by requiring retake even of the innocent passers in as far away as Mindanao.

Dr. Dante Ang, dahil hindi ka marunong mag-isip kaya ang ginagawa mo ay evil. You can serve the nation by resigning from your post. Total ni hindi mo yata alam ang ibig sabihin ng SUB JUDICE.

Saka kaya ka lang naman na-appoint ay dahil publicist ka ni GMA.

Ikaw naman Cong. Lacson, mag-isip ka rin bago ka pumutak.

Para maghold dito ng NCLEX exams, hindi kailangan ang retake. Puro kayo retake--dahil hindi kayo ang magre-retake, ay hindi naman yan ang key solution para sa NCLEX-- dahil hindi sila concerned dito, hindi nila required ang passing PRC exam. Kailangan lang nila ay diploma at transcript of record.
Kaya sa NCLEX, ang ipakita lang ay parurusahan ang may kasalanan because we don't condone cheating, at saka we will reform the PRC exam system. It depends on how we talk to them. For NCLEX, what we should harp on is exam reform. That is what they want. That we value an honest exam system so that if NCLEX exams are held here, Filipinos will not throw a monkey wrench at it. That they will be safe here and can conduct exams with integrity.

In fact, because NCLEX people themselves will administer the exam with their own staff and in their own venue, the conduct of PRC exams is of no moment to them--kaya katangahan lang ang sabihin na ang retake ay may significance sa kanila--WALA PO, yan ang totoo diyan!!! Kaya kung naloko man kayo, huwag nyo kaming idamay sa pagkaloko sa inyo.

Kahit magretake, kung walang exam reform, bale wala. So that is the important one, and that is what we should point out to them, not retake na useless naman sa NCLEX.

I believe that GMA and PRC Chair Leonor Tripon-Rosero are acting out a poorly written script.

Just imagine the scene: GMA orders a retake of the leaked portions of the June 2006 board exam for nursing. Immediately, her personal dentist Rosero announces to the nation that she would listen to no one but the court. The always combative GMA lets the comment pass. She does not castigate her dentist who is her alter ego under the PRC Modernization Law. Is this a dream? Where is the GMA who publicly berated Dep Ed Secretary Fe Hidalgo for claiming that our public school system is suffering from acute dearth of classrooms and facilities?

GMA has been soft on the PRC head since day one. The leakage issue was a manageable one, but Rosero’s mishandling caused it to metamorphose into a scandal of international magnitude. It embarrassed the nation. It spawned untold turmoil on the examinees and their families. There is no doubt that Rosero’s head must roll. It should have rolled a long time ago.

But then again, one should not wonder why Hidalgo and Rosero were not similarly treated by GMA. Hidalgo was on the side of truth while Rosero was and still is on the opposite side. We know which side this administration will support as shown by recent events.

And because of the irresoluteness with which the government dealt with fraud and the personalities who started it and who aggravated its impact, we are still on a stalemate. The real victims here, aside from the nursing profession whose integrity has been shattered, are the innocent examinees. Whether it is retake or no retake, there is no “win-win” solution for them. It is unjust to require them to retake an examination where they did not cheat. It is also unjust to prevent a retake because retake is the only option that will result in the elimination of the stigma engendered by PRC’s mismanagement of the mess. A license clouded by doubt on the competence of the holder is a useless one. It will not put food on his/her table, as the employers made loud and clear.

The victims will retake. Some will do it gladly and are thankful for the decision. More will do it grudgingly and may even blame the Cordillera-based whistleblowers- who are actually unsung heroes though not everyone realizes this yet- for instituting the action that called attention to the cheating, the action that challenged this government to take either the side of righteousness or iniquity. These victims cry for what approximates justice- the guilty must be punished - and be punished soon. The PRC officials who exacerbated their woes should go- and go fast!

Counsel for the “Baguio Braves” who exposed the leakage
St. Louis University, Baguio City
E-mail address:

Reaction to Baguio Braves Counsel:

Ok, may leakage--ang first and foremost solution ay punish the guilty and reform the system.

As much as possible, retake should be avoided because it is unfair to innocent passers. Pero hindi ganito ang ginawa ninyo, sa halip, retake ang inyong first and foremost solution, which is not the key to the resolution of the problem. Retake does not solve at all the problem of cheating in FUTURE exams--so it should not be forced on the 17,000 passers!

Pero kung may retake man, bakit kailangang pati Test 3, gayung ang daming natirang valid questions dito, 80 out of 100? In fact, kung wala ngang leakage pati Test 5, yung 20 leaked questions in Test 3 will clearly not be a case for invalidating the exam--is it not? Try to visualize a situation like this and you will understand what I am saying.

Pero dahil nasamahan lang ng leakage ng Test 5, ipinagpipilitan na ninyo na isama pati Test 3, na mali naman. For example, retake of Test 3 is not absolutely correct because out of the 80 remaining valid questions, kung may 75 correct answers ay complied with pa rin yung normal requirement without leakage na 75% correct answers out of the original 100 questions--get it? Isipin mo ring mabuti ito, o magtanong ka sa mathematician, hindi sa nurse, para maintindihan mo ito.

Dahil yan ngang retake, PAKITANG TAO lang--JUST TO ERASE THE WRONG IMPRESSION created by Dante Ang et al, hindi ba? There are thousands of possible questions in Test 3, BON picked 100, and if it is passed, qualified na, fine. So thousands ang questions na hindi naitanong, pero kahit hindi naitanong ay sufficient basis na rin yung napili para ma-gauge ang competence ng examinees. Eh dahil ba nadagdagan ng 20 leaked questions yung thousands na hindi naitanong dahil excluded from Test 3 at na-leaked nga, naiba na ba ang resulta ng exam to the extent that retake of Test 3 is absolutely necessary? Eh bakit yung NCLEX, first 60 graded questions lang for ALL SUBJECTS, pag naipasa, pasado na ang entire exam. Tapos, yung 80 questions in Test 3 just for one subject, hindi pa puede. GA MUNDO na ba ang inyong COLONIAL MENTALITY at you think the remaining 80 PRC questions for one subject are no match to 60 NCLEX questions for ALL SUBJECTS in the same nursing profession? Come on.

Even if that is true--which is improbable because of the sheer superiority in number of questions in Test 3: 80 for one subject vs. 60 for all subjects in NCLEX--you know that in LAW you cannot make that presumption!

As a lawyer, you know the benefit of the doubt in favor of the accused, the letting of the guilty escape than the innocent punished, in spite of that you want to hit even the definitely innocent among the passers--those in Visayas and Mindanao and elsewhere--but if you are consciously violating democratic tenets, then, at the very least, it is incumbent upon you to as much as possible LIGHTEN THE INNOCENT PASSERS' LOAD AND PUNISHMENT by excluding Test 3 in the retake. This way, if only Test 5 will be retaken, the retake will not be too hard and unjust to the passers. First, they can concentrate on just one subject, which makes the review a lot less demanding--just half of effort needed if the retake is for two subjects. Second, if they fail in the retake of Test 5, they can be CONDITIONED, not total flunker, because they have already passed all other subjects. In which case, they will have a second chance to take again just one subject in the second repeat--Test 5 only. Is this not a more equitable and less painful way?

But beyond the issue of PAKITANG-TAO (just to erase the stigma) RETAKE is the issue of freedom. IN EVERY LIVING THING, THERE IS A SPIRIT TO BE FREE. Let each passer have his or her freedom. Those who want retake, they are not stopped from doing so. PRC already allowed voluntary retake. For those who do not want retake, why force them? If they will be discriminated by the outside world, so be it--that is their choice, that is their own look out. That is the risk that they have to take, they are well aware of it--so let them.

In the first place, the stigma against them came about because of what some people have said against them!!! But it is not necessarily true. NCLEX does not require passing a board exam, so those wanting to take NCLEX are not even affected by it. Unless wawalanghiyain din sila at sasabihin sa NCLEX na hoy, huwag nyo silang tanggapin!!!

Kung sino man ang gagawa niyan, dito pa lang sa mundo, siguradong susunugin na ang kanilang kaluluwa!!! Maka-karma din sila!!!

eh ikaw naman LACSON, what are you willing to sacrifice?

Ang galing mo, asking us to sacrifice, ULOLO MO!

At ikaw Yangot, lawyer ka pa naman, why are you favoring the punishing of the innocent beyond reasonable doubt? Where the hell is your personal, moral & professional integrity? Your a disgrace to your profession!

Yangot, you are the reason why this thing blew out of proportion. You have used the irresponsible media just to draw attention!

So stop blaming others without blaming yourself! You have to admit to yourself, YOU ARE TO BLAME!

To Atty. Yangot:

You have to justify the inclusion of Test 3 in your petition for retake submitted to the Court of Appeals.

You must overturn the PRECEDENT set in the 2003 bar exams where an entire subject, Mercantile Law, was totally excluded and yet there was no retake and the entire exam remained valid. You must justify and say that the Supreme Court Justices erred in totally excluding an entire subject, which is why in Test 3, even if only 20 questions out of 100 are tainted with leakage and there remained an array of 80 valid questions, it has to be retaken. You have to justify that even if somebody got 75 correct answers out of the remaining 80 valid questions and therefore met the 75% passing grade for Test 3 in a situation where there is no leakage, to hell with that passer, you do not give a damn to his property rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights because you do not give a hoot to punishing the innocent, to the trampling of their rights!!!

If you CANNOT do that, then as a self-respecting lawyer who is an officer of the law, the only honorable thing to do, at the very least, is to amend your petition by EXCLUDING Test 3 in your requested retake!!!

The reason is like this. We are assuming that you maintain your petition of retake on Test 5. Assuming that this finds favor to the Court of Appeals, then we will have a case of Tests 1, 2 4, and 5 all clean, with Test 5 being clean because of the retake. Now we go to Test 3. With all other tests considered clean, we have Test 3 with remaining 80 valid questions. Can't its EXCLUSION from retake not be given as a form of very mild consolation to the proposed retaking passers, who include among them many innocent examinees? And in the light of the 2003 scandal-rocked bar exams where one subject was totally excluded, there was no retake, and yet the entire exam remained valid, why can't we consider as valid this Test 3 with 80 remaining leakage-free questions, taken against the said backdrop of clean Tests 1, 2, 4 and 5 and the 2003 bar exams with totally excluded Mercantile Law? Justice emanates from fair and consistent application of laws, not compartmentalized one that ignores how others similarly situated are treated.

Is our judicial system an administration of LAW or of JUSTICE? The answer lies on you officers of the law--on how you make it.

Guys ganyan talaga ang mga defensive parang virus sinagot ng sinagot lahat ng articles =p tiyaka don't worry si atty. ku-yangot pagpasensiyahan niyo na alang magawa e, lahat ba naman ng article nung october 1 e na-virus..haha!!!! ang hangin =p go to hell

atty. ku-yangot!

e nakita niyo naman, kampi na nga si pgma sa kanila, galit pa =p gusto niya kasi sa kanya ang victory, siya yung saviour buwahahaha!!!

ang di niya alam the real Jesus Christ our saviour here are the victims... people na naghirap na walang leakage at gusto nilang mag-retake at yung mga taong ginamit ng mga hudas para makapag-retake sila =p

Just for the record: bago ka magNCLEX, kailangang ipasa mo ang local board exam. Wag tayong nagpopost ng comments na nagpapakitang di natin alam sinasabi natin. Para di nila sabihing tayong mga ayaw sa retake ay suffering from kabobohan. Dalawa lang states sa US ang di nagrerequire ng local board -Vermont at California lang.

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