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Nursing board reviewer: ‘Leak was everywhere’ Reports also received from Davao, Tacloban

Nursing board reviewer: ‘Leak was everywhere’ Reports also received from Davao, Tacloban
By Juliet Labog-Javellana

Last updated 01:28am (Mla time) 10/08/2006

Published on page A1 of the October 8, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

A NURSING board reviewer from Davao City yesterday corroborated reports that cheating in the June nursing licensure examination (NLE) had occurred nationwide.

Daryl Joel “Butch” Dumdum, a registered nurse and former nursing professor, said he had received information that test questions were also leaked in the cities of Davao and Tacloban.

“The leakage is everywhere. It’s simple logic because the review centers in Luzon have branches in the Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.

Dumdum, now a freelance national reviewer for the NLE after quitting a teaching job at a college in Davao, said a certain review center with branches in the city and other parts of the country offered test questions to a dean of a Davao-based nursing school a day before the NLE was conducted.

“The dean, who is also teaching the subject [of the leaked questions] was offered a leakage by a review center. She refused to take it,” Dumdum told the Inquirer by phone.

He said some of his students relayed the information to him a week ago. He said the same review center, which he did not yet want to identify, could have also given the questions to its examinees in other areas.

He also said he learned yesterday from “an ally in Tacloban” of a leakage in that city.

Dumdum said he was convinced that the leak in the NLE had occurred not only Manila, Baguio and Davao but also other parts of Mindanao and the Visayas, as disclosed on Friday by Rene Luis Tadle, president of the faculty association of the University of Sto. Tomas College of Nursing.

Dumdum said that he was willing to help investigators, and that he was also in touch with fellow reviewers in the Visayas.

“I will disclose the information I have [to the National Bureau of Investigation],” he said.

Dumdum said he came forward to support the effort to restore the integrity of the nursing profession.

“And the only way to do that is to have a retake of the entire examination. The far-reaching effect of a no-retake [stance] is unemployment and shame to the country,” he said.

According to Dumdum, finger-pointing should take a back seat.

“How can we claim now that we can produce globally competitive nurses, [like the ones] we had before, if this issue is not resolved in a justifiable manner? I hope Malacañang would listen to this. Let not our sense of hopelessness and despair and vested interests cloud our duty to those people whom we have sworn to serve,” he said.

Wider in scope

A wider investigation of the cheating is what three senators and another government official are calling for.

Senators Richard Gordon and Edgardo Angara said the NBI should expand its probe on the actual scope of the leak.

Malacañang wants the NBI to wrap up its probe by Monday. UST’s Tadle said the five new witnesses from Baguio City had submitted their affidavits to the bureau.

Commission on Filipinos Overseas Chair Dante Ang said President Macapagal-Arroyo should order a retake of the entire NLE for all examinees if an Inquirer report on the widespread leak of test questions would be proved true.

“I thought the leakage was limited to Manila and Baguio, but it now appears that the Visayas and Mindanao also benefited from it. So if it is true that Tests I and II were also tainted, I might recommend to the President a retake of the whole exam for all examinees,” Ang said in a phone interview.

Ang is part of the Cabinet group involved in finding a solution to the scandal.

According to Tadle, the five examinees from Baguio had submitted affidavits saying that they received leaked questions for Tests I and II, covering fundamentals of nursing and maternal and child health care, respectively.

The NBI investigation has centered on testimony from other students from Baguio who said the leakage involved Tests III and V, covering medical/surgical nursing and psychiatric nursing, respectively.

Tadle had said the leakage was not confined to Luzon because the implicated review centers had branches not only in Luzon but also in the Visayas and Mindanao.

He had also said the leak of questions for Tests I and II came from two review centers that were not under investigation.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate civil service committee investigating the leak, said he would resume the hearing next week and would ask Tadle to testify.

Tadle said he was willing to appear at the Senate hearing.

Erasing the stigma

Angara and Gordon called for a retake of the entire exam to erase the stigma inflicted on batch 2006 and the Filipino nursing profession in general.

Gordon wants a retake only for those who were involved in the cheating, while Angara said it should be for all, provided the government shouldered all expenses, including the transportation costs of examinees from the provinces.

But Lacson said those who had benefited from the leak should not only be prosecuted but also barred from taking another exam.

He expressed strong opposition to a retake for all.

“While I appreciate the concern of the faculty association of the UST College of Nursing to preserve the integrity of the country’s nursing profession, the basic legal tenet of presumption of innocence should take the higher plane in the scheme of things,” he said.

Lacson said the government should first pinpoint those responsible for the leak and those who benefited from it, and “apply the full force of the law on them.”

He said the President should be sensitive to the sentiments of the poor parents of examinees who had nothing to do with the cheating.

“For all we know, they compose the big majority,” he said. “I was born to poor parents and I know exactly the personal sacrifices involved here.”

Whole or partial?

Angara said the claim of the five new witnesses that questions for Tests I and II were also leaked should necessitate a retake of the whole exam.

He said only this would redeem the integrity of the Filipino nurses before the international health care industry. Prior to the controversy, he said, Filipino nurses were the most sought-after in the world for being well trained and educated.

“My recommendation is that the expenses of the retake, including the transportation expenses of the nurses, should be shouldered by the government,” Angara said over dwIZ radio.

Gordon, who previously favored a retake of Tests III and V, said: “If all the subjects (questions) have been passed in various parts of the country, then we might have to do a retake of the whole thing. But my stand is, no evidence, no retake.”

But Gordon said the retake should only be for those who had benefited from the leak.

He said this could be determined by getting the names of all the students who reviewed at the Gapuz and Inress review centers, which were previously mentioned in the NBI and Senate inquiries, and other review centers that had obtained advance questions.

‘Really active’

Gordon said the Gapuz review center was found to have been “really active in reproducing” the leak, as indicated, he said, by the test results.

“If they ‘xeroxed’ [the document] in Baguio City, it is reasonable to assume that they can e-mail it to other areas around the country,” he said.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

We all know that these ALLEGATIONS can be FABRICATED just to make it appear that the leak was widespread & that other tests are involved.

One possible scenario:

Theres a lot of demand for past PRC examinations. They are catered to the schools (for review purposes), the vendors (outside PRC), the review centers (for analysis) & more.

AFTER the examination, ANY one person of the PRC personels & the friends & family members of the BON, MAY get hold of one of the test papers used & sell it.

I believe the likes of UST always get a hold of such "after exam test paper".

It is then possible for them to FABRICATE that there was leakage all over the entire examination.

Just think hard & remember that we live in the Philippines. It is not so hard to do.. :-)


cno b yang dumdum n yan? national reviewer eh ndi ko naman sya kilala!

I am not anymore suprised to hear this news that Davao had also a piece of "leakage". During the first day of our exam (June 11), that was after Tests I,II & III was already administered by the PRC, a certain examinee of GAPUZ-Davao reviewee boasted to my classmate that in test III, more than 50% came out from their pre-board exam. I just smile, maybe they are just lucky. This was prior to the scandal came out in Baguio where 92 students filed their complaint of massive leakage, if I'm not mistaken it was June 16. Since, I am a third hand receiver and don't have enough evidence I just keep silent. But I believed many students in Davao benifited on this leakage since it was also confirmed by other non Gapuz students that they have heard/witnessed, but afraid to come out.

In the age of modern technology, spreading of any information is a just a click away. Their are many sources, fax machine, cellphone cameras, email thru scanning, etc.

The point here, please dont belittle the possibilities. May the truth come out..


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