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No to retake prayer rally set as final GMA ruling awaited

No to retake prayer rally set as final GMA ruling awaited


President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo listened to the position of those opposed to a retake of the nursing board examination, including those of Negrense passers and officials, at a luncheon meeting in MalacaƱang yesterday.

Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella and Board of Nursing chairperson Eufemia Octaviano, who were at the meeting, said the president was under the impression that there was not much opposition to the retake because the voices she had been hearing so far were those pushing for the retake due to an alleged leak of the test questions.

Puentevella and Octaviano called on the those who are against a retake to make their voices heard by sending position papers to the President, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Labor Secretary Arturo Bion, who has been tasked with making a recommendation on the controversy. The Bacolod solon, who aired the Negrenses' opposition to the retake, said he will also gather the signatures of all the solons opposed to the move to present to the president.

The Negros Occidental and Bacolod Sanggunains have passed resolutions asking the president not to order a retake of all the June nursing board passers.

Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra, Negros Occidental Gov. Joseph Maranon and Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia have also aired their opposition to the retake, especially for the passers from Bacolod and Negros Occidental.

Octaviano said the BON and PRC officials at the meeting yesterday informed the president that they were opposed to a retake because they had safeguarded the integrity of the examination.

They also said that claims that allegations of a leak would affect the chances of nurses seeking jobs in the United States were not true, she said.

The basis for Filipino nurses seeking jobs in the United States to be accepted is not the board examination given by the Philippine government, but the United States state boards that they have to pass, she said.


Board passers of the June nursing board examination from Negros Occiental are staging a prayer rally tonight in front of the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City for the President to permanently recall her retake order and allow them to get their nursing licenses.

The president had earlier announced that she would order a retake of tests 3 and 5 of the examination. On Wednesday, however, MalacaƱang withheld the release of an expected executive order on the matter.

"The complexity of the case compels us to subject it to a more thorough review and to take into consideration the prevailing circumstances to ensure that those who are guilty will bear the brunt of retribution while those who are innocent will be treated fairly," Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said in a statement.

The President will not falter on her resolve to settle this issue once and for all and redeem the integrity and good reputation of the nursing licensure system, he said, pointing out that concerned government agencies are now firming up their recommendations.

"We assure all stakeholders that justice will be served and the honor of the nursing profession upheld," Bunye said.

After the luncheon meeting yesterday, Puentevella said the president instructed Brion to asses the situation well and to coordinate with the National Bureau of Investigation to hasten its report on the alleged leak before she comes out with her final decision.


Jet Ong said he and his fellow nursing board passers, their parents, deans of nursing colleges and those who support their lobby against a retake will attend a mass at the San Sebastian Cathedral at 6:30 tonight to be followed by a prayer rally.

We will pray for the enlightenment and guidance of those tasked with deciding on the retake, he said.

Rodrigo Tinsay, a parent, said their call is for the President to permanently abandon the order for a retake and allow the board passers to get licenses as nurses so they can get on with their lives.*

The Visayan Daily Star

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