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PIA Press Release
2006/10/16

Palace orders PRC to suspend nurses’ oath-taking

Quezon City (16 October) -- MALACAÑANG has ordered the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to suspend administering the oath to new nurses after the Court of Appeals ruled a “selective retake” on the June licensure exams.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the court decision would become final and executory only 15 days after it has been received by the PRC.

At the same time, Ermita said Labor Secretary Arturo Brion would "try to exert effort at conciliation" with stakeholders who might appeal the court decision.

Ermita said these decisions were firmed up in a meeting with Brion and Solicitor General Antonio Eduardo Nachura in Malacañang.

"While the Court of Appeals decision was handed down October 13, it has not been served yet to PRC, and even if it has been served it would take another 15 days to become final and executory, so DoLE thought it prudent to instruct PRC not to administer the oath today [Monday]," Ermita said in a news briefing Monday.

Ermita also said that the National Bureau of Investigation has been asked to submit to DoLE a list of those who enrolled in the review centers of Gapuz, Inress, and Pentagon so that this could be matched with the list of those who passed.

The three centers are being investigated after being linked to the leakage in the board exam.

Amid the investigation, Ermita said the 1,687 students whom the court had ordered to retake tests 3 and 5, where the alleged leaked questions came from, could go higher.

"We are trying to identify who attended the last session in these three review centers who may have passed and therefore if it is determined that they are not yet in that 1,687 then they will also be ordered to retake only on tests 3 and 5," Ermita said.

Ermita also said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would accept the resignation of the members of the Board of Nursing of the PRC, which had supervised the tests. He said Brion had a list of replacements for the board.

He said the new members of the board would supervise the retake and the regular nursing exams when they are given on December 2 and 3.

Brion will try the conciliatory approach to persuade stakeholders not to proceed with filing of a motion for reconsideration, which could prolong the case, said Ermita.

“He [Brion] said he would sort of persuade them [the Appellate Court] to try conciliation efforts should there be a motion for reconsideration submitted to them. Secretary Brion is asking the CA to allow conciliation efforts to prevent the issue from being blown out of proportion and so that we can put finis to it,” said Ermita in Filipino.

Ermita said that even those who have taken their oaths as nurses and have gotten their licenses could lose them if they would be found to have been involved in the leakage.

As to PRC chairperson Leonor Rosero, Ermita called on her anew to stop issuing statements so as not to muddle the situation.

He said Brion has yet to recommend on what action to take against Rosero.

Meanwhile, groups advocating a total retake of the June nursing licensure examinations last June asked the Court of Appeals (CA) on Monday to reconsider its ruling for 1,697 nursing graduates to undergo a partial retake of the leak-tainted board exam.

The 15-page motion for reconsideration filed by Rene Luis Tadle, president of the University of Sto. Tomas Faculty of Nursing, the League of Concerned Nursing and the Binuklod na Samahan ng mga Student Nurses called the appellate court’s decision “partly unacceptable” because it supposedly does not directly address the issue of the leakage of test questions. (PIA) [top]

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