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CA allows oath-taking of nursing exam passers

CA allows oath-taking of nursing exam passers
By Jose Rodel Clapano
The Philippine Star 10/14/2006

http://www.philstar.com/philstar/News200610140401.htm

Most of the over 17,000 examinees who passed the leakage-tainted nursing licensure exams in June may now take their oaths as nurses because they did not appear to have benefited from the leakage, the Court of Appeals (CA) ruled yesterday.

The appellate court’s first division ordered the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to swear in the new nurses, almost two months after a restraining order from the tribunal stopped the oath-taking.

"In an attempt to flush out the poison brought about by the leakage, the respondents treated all the examinees as if they all profited from the leakage. This should never be countenanced," the CA said.

However, the CA ruled that 1,687 who passed the licensure examinations will have to retake the two portions of the five-part examination — tests III and V — where questions were leaked to examinees because the court believed they shouldn’t have passed.

Nearly 1,200 examinees who were initially among those who passed — but were later given failing scores by the PRC after it recomputed the licensure examination’s overall scores to negate the outcome of the leakage — may also join the over 17,000 who will be sworn in.

Malacañang praised the court decision. President Arroyo initially rejected calls for new exams, saying it would be unfair to those who did not cheat and passed.

She later made a turnaround and ordered a retake, only to change her mind and await a recommendation from Labor Secretary Arturo Brion, whom she had tasked to make a review after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had concluded its investigation.

In a 33-page ruling penned by Associate Justice Vicente Veloso, the CA’s first division conceded that questions from tests 3 and 5 were leaked to at least three review centers — Gapuz Review Center Inc., Inress Review Center Inc. and Pentagon Specialists Inc.

"As a result, respondents (PRC and its Board of Nursing), upon advice of experts, invalidated 20 questions in test 3 and credited the remaining 80 questions thereof with 100 points. For test 5, the respondents toned down its weight from 20 percent to 10 percent. The purpose, according to them, is to remove whatever advantage some examinees may have gained from the leakage," the ruling stated.

However, because of the recomputed scores, 1,687 examinees who initially failed got a boost and passed while 1,200 others who passed got failing scores.

"They recomputed the grades and came up with an increased passing percentage... from 41.24 percent 42.42 percent (of the over 42,000 who took the exam in June)," the CA said.

However, the appellate court took note of a resolution issued by the nursing board shortly after the leakage was discovered.

In its Resolution No. 31, the nursing board stated there were indications that the leakage was not widespread and was not of much use to the examinees.

The board found that the leaked questions were simply too many and were given only two days before examination day to nursing graduates who were most likely already overloaded from the reviewing.

Further, the actual test questions did not follow the order of the leaked questions "because of internal PRC security control measures."

The CA also cited the nursing board’s other findings.

"Such prefatory (whereas) clauses therefore inform us of the lack of need to wholly invalidate 20 questions of test 3 and to tone down the weight of test 5 from 20 percent to 10 percent (in computing the overall score). There was no need for the respondents to ignore the true results of tests 3 and 5 because as admitted by PRC and Board of Nursing in their memorandum: there was no unusual upward pull in tests 3 and 5, no clustering of scores, no remarkable rise in the performance of the regional examination sites, no widespread leakage and no preponderant evidence on who knowingly benefited from the 90 leaked questions based on the test results," the court ruling stated.

With that, the court said the PRC committed a grave abuse of discretion in recomputing the overall scores.

http://www.philstar.com/philstar/News200610140401.htm

"Grave abuse of discretion implies a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment that (is) tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. In this case, respondents’ acts of invalidating 20 questions in test 3 and recomputing the scores in test 5 indubitably constitute, therefore, grave abuse of discretion. If despite the leakage, the test results could still form a reliable basis for determining competency, reason dictates that the results, as they were, should have been respected by respondents. We thus find respondents’ employed scheme... illogical, arbitrary and patently erroneous."

Because of Resolution No. 31, about 1.18 percent or 1,687 examinees benefited from the recomputation and passed and nearly 1,200 who were among those who passed got failing marks.

"Such increase of 1.18 percent which benefited 1,687 examinees who actually failed, as their names did not appear in the unaltered results, but who resultantly passed when the Ibe Formula (used in the recomputation) was introduced, constitutes a clear case of grave abuse of discretion," the court stated.
‘Whimsical’
"It is whimsical and capricious as said 1,687 examinees were allowed to pass without their satisfying the standards set by the Nursing Act of 2002 on how examinees may be rated in a licensure examination," it said.

The PRC likewise "gravely abused its discretion" in flunking the 1,186 who had initially passed, the CA said.

"To emphasize, said list of 42.42 percent successful examinees no longer carried their names. Indeed, the act of failing 1,186 examinees who actually passed in the June 11 and 12, 2006 examination is a serious, if not gravest abuse of discretion one can imagine. Yet again, sans preponderant evidence on those examinees who particularly benefited from the leak, there clearly would be no basis for applying a unified formula of de-evaluating the scores of all examinees," the CA said.

The court added that the equal protection clause under the Constitution means that "no person or class of persons shall be deprived of the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in the same place and in like circumstances."

It emphasized that ordering a retake would not only be too costly for the government, but it would be costlier for the examinees who hardly have the financial means for another examination.

"Besides, the challenged nursing licensure examination is not supposed to address problems on credibility," it said.

The court order stemmed from a petition filed in August by faculty members of the University of Santo Tomas and two nursing associations, the League of Concerned Nurses and the Binuklod na Samahan ng mga Student Nurse.

They said the PRC and the nursing board should protect the integrity and competence of the profession "by ensuring that only those who have qualified in appropriate examinations are allowed into the profession."

Malacañang hailed the ruling. "It is a vindication of the Palace position," presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor said. "We have been saying from the start that we have to wait for the final and conclusive report of the NBI."

Defensor said a decision on the leakage "has to be based on facts and evidence. It will not only strengthen and validate Palace position but this will also be fair to all those concerned."

Last Wednesday, the NBI bared that the leakage was limited only in Baguio City and Manila. The probe also found 17 officials of three review centers suspected of involvement.

The Department of Labor and Employment, which has supervision over the PRC, will decide on the issue. — With Aurea Calica

http://www.philstar.com/philstar/News200610140401.htm

Just shows that rosero was able to really out-smart everyone, including the CA and gloria, with the tried and tested divide and conquer scheme..the supreme court hands where tied, dahil nag-rarally na ang mga passer...and mga flunker naging walang karapatan to voice out... now we get kung bakit takot si gloria kay rosero, she more devious than her....

Instead of griping, just read the NBI Report and CA decision .Post script. The NBI and the CA actually found no leakage based on legal definition.Leakage is legally defined as the final test questions coming from BON/PRC. This is not the case. What happened is that the draft questions of two eaxaminers by ommission or commission found their way to the review centers. But you have to remember that each board examiners submitted 500 questions each for test 3 and 5.From this 20 out of 500 in test 3 and 100 out of 500 in test 5 of the draft questions were the one shown to the reviewees. Legally this is not a leakage because these are draft questions only and not the final questions. Besides only those reviewees who attended the final briefing were able to see it. Hence the CA ruled it insignificant. Also the reviewees are not assured if those questions are the final test questions. Hence it was ruled insignificant. The ruling further says yes, all those who are included in the first list of announced board passers can take their oath. But there is a caveat.For those where evidence can be shown they actually benefited, their license can be revoked says the CA but the NBI says its difficult and impractical.Unless somebody like a whistleblower says I benefited and points to his co examinees as benefiting too, then there will be cause for action.I told you so. You have to prove the guilt of cheating for each and every board passers before you can invalidate their passing.Thanks Ms. Rosero/PRC,BON, Congressman Puentebella, Cito Beltran, Randy David and many more who made a strong stand againts injustice. Let us forgive those with misleading and misplaced appreciation of what is just and fair. We do not care about, NCLEX etc. First things first? Let us first look ar ourselves as a people.Let us not rush into something that is nebulous and speculative such as this "stigma " talk foisted to us. Let us now move on.

Amen! Very well said, Indeed! Thanks God for good people that did their jobs and persevered. Good luck to all the nurses, passers and future passers, you are all special people!

THANKSGIVING MASS TODAY(SUN) AT 5:30PM AT LORETO CHURCH, EARNSHAW, SAMPALOC, MANILA...BRING FRIENDS AND FAMILIES..INGATZ

Ayoko ng comment No. 2 kasi parang OK lang saatin na may cheating. Bakit ganun? Siguro si Grace Pacleb iyan na ayaw ng karamihan sa no retakers kasi mayabang at gusto niya sa lagi ang nasa limelight. Tama yung nabasa ko sa isang post.

Maski ayaw natin ng retake, waga naman nating ipalabas a ok sa atin ang dayaan.

Simple lang ibig sabihin- PALPAK ang PRC. Noon pang simula, palpak na. Bakit kasi manipulate ng manipulate ng scores?

Ako mataas average ko at di naman borderline. Bakit ako pinaparetake? pakisabi sa mga kasam natin, wag si Grace Urquiaga Pacleb ang gawing spokesperson kasi mayabang siya at walang respeto at selfish magsalita. At saka matanda na siya. Halatang malapit nang mag50 years old. Marami sa atin na ayaw sa retake ang ayaw din sa kanya. Bat di rin tayo ang pagsalitain at baka maawa ang mga officials? Si Tita (Matanda, e) Grace kasi, nakakaturn-off ang dating. Parang ginagamit niya ang issue para sumikat. Laging siya ang nasa TV. Bakit siya e mas marami namang credible na magsalita.

NO to RETAKE even for the 1687!!! NO to GRACE PACLEB!!!
NO to PRC!!!

Posted by Anonymous | 4:39 PM

Anonymous said...
Mga kasama, nakuha ko ito sa ABS-CBN Forum. Maramin ang pro-retake doon. Di gaya dito, iilang tao lang nagpopost na anti-retake at parang maramin sila.

From ABS-CBN

This is good for humor DH but seriously, the cabinet used a simple Cost Benefit Analysis and had a look at statistics to justify the retake. This is how it probably went:

What is at stake here? The reputation and integrity of around 137,000 Filipino health care workers deployed worldwide, mostly in the middle east, north America, Europe (specially UK), Netherlands, high income asia, and future japan. These nurses remit an average of $ 2.2 Billion US Dollars per annum.

How much will is cost to fund the retake of 17,821 nurses? Inclusive of logistics, lunch and some pocket money to take home? Less than $ 2 Million US Dollars. That’s quite cheap isn’t it?

What can we further gain with a retake? The continued outflow of approximately 13,000 nurses per annum, in addition to the 137,000 who will get to keep their jobs after a retake. The Philippines will continue to enjoy an inflow of over 2$ Billion US Dollars, which is also increasing by approximately $200,000 Million US dollars per annum, at an accelerating rate. Most priceless of all is the peace of mind that Filipinos will continue to be the most trusted race to fill in the ever increasing demand of registered nurses in the future.

Considering these figures, seems like a retake is not such a bad deal for the Philippines after all?
I therefore propose that we change the title of this forum to "LET'S DO A RETAKE!!! - JUSTICE FOR ALL"""

4:30 PM

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