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PIA Press Release

Arroyo to issue order for nursing board partial retake

Quezon City (2 October) -- PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remains convinced a partial retake of the June 2006 nursing licensure examination will restore the profession's integrity and is prepared to issue an executive order (EO) on this, Labor Secretary Arturo Brion said.

Arroyo "wants a retake of Tests 3 and 5 for all the examinees on or before the December licensure exams, that's 60 days from now," he said. Questions to these two portions of the exam were allegedly leaked.

Brion said he talked twice last week with PRC chair Leonor Tripon-Rosero about the President's decision. Rosero, he said, will seek an audience with Arroyo to try to dissuade her against issuing the order.

"But the President is firm on a retake. Expect an EO within the next two days, detailing the action that the President wants taken," Brion said.

He also said the government will shoulder the P900 examination fee for each of the more than 42,000 June 2006 examinees.

Should Arroyo issue the EO, it would go against the advice of lawmakers and other quarters to wait for the Court of Appeals to decide on a pending case seeking the nullification of the June nursing board exams and the oath-taking of board passers.

Brion, a former appeals court justice, defended the President's decision. He explained that Arroyo is not stepping on the judiciary's toes in this instance, but only "exercising her supervisory powers over the PRC."

Brion said: "We have to look at what is involved in this case; that is the integrity of the professional licensure exam in nursing. Integrity is not divisible, iisa 'yan (It's one). We're not questioning the integrity of the examinees, but the exam."

The alleged leak in the two nursing board exam subjects scandalized the entire nursing profession in the country and jeopardized Filipino nurses' preferred status around the world. (PIA) [top]

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