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Palace freezes test retake order

Palace freezes test retake order
By Sam Mediavilla, Reporter

MALACAÑANG on Wednesday deferred the issuance of an executive order that would serve as the basis for the retaking of June’s leak-tainted nursing licensure examination.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the Palace decided to recall the draft order presented by Labor Secretary Arturo Brion to President Arroyo because the President wanted Brion to incorporate the inputs from his meetings last Saturday with the Professional Regulatory Commission, the Board of Nursing, the Philippine Nurses’ Association, the deans of nursing schools, officials of review centers and nursing experts.

Ermita said there would be a second special Cabinet meeting on the leak on Tuesday.

In the draft executive order he submitted, Brion suggested that the 42,000 nursing graduates who took the June exam should retake Tests 3 and 5 because the results of these two subjects have been invalidated.

Ermita also announced the National Bureau of Investigation has promised to issue on or before October 15 the result of its inquiry into review centers where the reported leak came from.

Mrs. Arroyo also ordered the NBI to reconstruct the list of nursing students in five review centers in Luzon where test questions were reportedly distributed to their reviewees.

The NBI has filed charges against Anisia Dionisio and Virginia Madeja, two examiners of the nursing board who allegedly released the questionnaires for Tests 3 and 5 to the Inress Review Center, owned by George Cordero, head of the Philippine Nurses’ Association.

Ermita said the five centers are in Luzon and have branches in provinces in the north including Pangasinan and Baguio City, as well as in Manila.

“We have to determine who passed the exams and who among them were enrolled in review centers where the questions were leaked,” Ermita said. He said the NBI’s findings could lead to certain causes of action that would later be considered by Malacañang in drafting the executive order.

Ermita also assured students that the government would incur the P52-million expenses for the retake of nursing exams. Malacañang has already instructed Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya to prepare the amount right in time for the December retake.

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