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Soon-Ruiz appeals to GMA: Spare Cebu’s examinees

Soon-Ruiz appeals to GMA: Spare Cebu’s examinees

ONLY those who had access to the alleged leakage in the nursing board exam should retake it, Cebu City Rep. Raul del Mar said.

It would be unfair, he added, for those who reviewed on their own or those in the provinces who had no idea about the leakage to take the tests once again.

While he admitted that the integrity of the nursing profession should be upheld, “a more determined effort should be made to identify those who had access to the leakage from those who did not.”

The Cebu City Disaster Coordinating Council (CCDC) will determine if the predicament of the Cebuano nursing graduates, who may have to retake the board exams, fall within the guidelines on the use of the calamity funds.

This way, the body will be able to tackle the matter with Mayor Tomas Osmeña, who promised a subsidy of P5,000 for each examinee in Cebu City.

Councilor Gerardo Carillo, action officer of the CCDC and head of the City Council committee on social services, said he will study the mayor’s offer and discuss with him the guidelines on the use of the calamity funds or other sources of funds that can be tapped.


City Hall, Carillo said, may also use the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) funds, depending on the nature of the beneficiaries’ needs and the applicable guidelines.

Del Mar, however, said the government must first try all means to distinguish those who passed the test honestly from those who might have cheated.

Told that Rep. Nerissa Soon-Ruiz (Cebu, sixth district) intends to write President Arroyo and request her to exempt Cebu passers from retaking the exams, del Mar said there is a danger to doing that.

The source of the leakage, allegedly a review center in Luzon, might have branches even in Cebu that could have distributed the leak, he pointed out.

President Arroyo ordered during a Cabinet meeting last Tuesday an across-the-board retake of the June 2006 board exams, which provoked opposition from the board passers and their parents here.

Malacañang, though, is now deferring action on the retake, and will instead wait for the Court of Appeals to decide on the case filed over the oath-taking of those who passed the exams.


Like the National Government, Osmeña has announced that the City plans to give P5,000 each as a subsidy to the examinees—at least those who are registered Cebu City voters or whose parents are such.

Del Mar said it will be difficult to isolate those who had access to but did not take advantage of the leakage, from those who could have cheated.

But the Cebu City north district congressman also pointed out that only tests three and five, from which some questions were leaked, should be re-administered.

Both Councilors Carillo and Jocelyn Pesquera agree with the mayor that the Cebuano nursing students should be given financial help.

“I have read in the papers that the National Government will give assistance to the examinees, though we never believed that the Cebuanos cheated in the exams. I cannot comment as to where we should get the funds,” Pesquera said in a phone interview.

For his part, Carillo said the nursing students are in distress and their circumstance may be classified as a manmade disaster.

Both manmade and natural disasters fall within the guidelines on the use of the local calamity funds, as provided for under the Local Government Code, he said. (RHM/GAC)


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