Nurses Petition GMA to Intervene in Nursing Board Leakage

Nurses and examinees who filed the complaint about the Nursing board exams leakage are gathering signatures to petition President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to create an independent fact-finding body.

Northern Dispatch

BAGUIO CITY – As the Professional Regulatory Commission failed to create an independent body that would investigate the June nursing board leakage, the professional nurses and the examinees who filed the complaint to the PRC for the investigation are now gathering signatures for a petition requesting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to create an independent body to investigate the leakage.

In a press conference here on August 3, Dean Ruth Tingda, governor of the Philippine Nursing Association (PNA) in Cordillera region, along with officers of the Cordillera and Baguio City chapters, said they had gathered thousands of signatures for the petition.

“It is our view that the only way we can reverse the effects of the leakage is for your administration to demonstrate unequivocally that it does not condone the anomaly. We are firmly convinced that the creation of a fact-finding body is a necessary step in that direction,” states the petition signed by Tingda and Dr. Mary Grace Lacanaria, dean of the College of Nursing of the Saint Louis University and president of the Association of Deans of the Philippine Nursing Colleges in the Cordillera.

They also asked in the petition the suspension of the commissioners of the PRC and liable members of the Board of Nursing while the investigation is pending.

Allegedly two members of the BON were involved in the leakage.

Tingda and Lacanaria claimed that the commissioners and BOB members are all appointees of the President.

No leakage

Leakage materials on Sets III and V of the June 11 -12 nursing board exam were distributed by the Gapuz Review Center to its reviewees in this city and there were later leakages in Metro Manila for at least 200 questions. This prompted 92 examinees in Baguio, joined later by more than 400 professional nurses, to file a complaint on June 21 to the PRC seeking the creation of an independent body and to investigate those involved in the leakage.

However, the complainants said the PRC failed to respond. The PRC instead created its own investigating body and issued statements that tend to say there was no leakage.

“The PRC failed to create the independent body that would clear all this mess,” claimed the complainants. They also hit the PRC for releasing the results without first determining the extent of the scam. Only 42% passed the board exam out of the 43,000 examinees.

Arroyo policy

The complainants gained broad support and attended congressional inquiry in relation with the leakage scam.

On August 1, Congressman Marcelino Libanan delivered a privilege speech urging the investigation of the scam. The controversy is “wreaking havoc to the integrity and credibility of the entire certification or licensure system of the country,” said Libanan in his speech.

That same day, Gabriela Party List Representative Liza Maza filed House Resolution 1323 calling for an investigation of the scam. In the Senate, Sen. Richard Gordon and Sen. Biazon also filed separate resolutions for an investigation.

Meanwhile, the nurses say their petition to the president will test whether the Arroyo administration’s policy is to allow nurses abroad for revenues, forsaking an investigation which could tarnish the image of the Philippines abroad. Northern Dispatch/Posted by Bulatlat

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