Press Release
August 18, 2006

Senator Gordon Condemns the PRC's Haste

Senator Richard Gordon yesterday denounced Philippine Regulations Chairman Leonor Tripon Rosero for directing PRC regional directors to permit the oath-taking of the nurses who allegedly passed the very controversial licensure examinations held last June.

"Chairman Rosero should resign," Gordon said. "PRC Chairman Rosero's memo directing that the various regional oath-takings be held starting August 17 is highly irresponsible, considering that the Senate Investigation as well as the NBI investigation, which Rosero herself requested, are still on-going."

This directive also goes against the original announcement of PRC that the oath-taking would be on August 22, 2006. "Why are they acting with such indecent, inexplicable and unjustifiable haste? This could only mean a cover-up."

In a letter dated July 13, 2006, Chairman Rosero herself requested Director Nestor Mantaring of the National Bureau of Investigation to help assist the PRC with the investigation of the leakage of examination questions in Tests III and V of the Nursing Licensure Examinations.

The letter says in part, "Our own investigation has established that there was such a leakage and that it was traced to the test questions manuscripts of two members of the Board of Nursing. Administrative charges for neglect of duty will be filed against these two Board members. Unfortunately, limited as we are in resources and expertise, we are unable to pursue our investigation to find out the exact extent of the irregularity and the identities of the culprits."

Senator Gordon added, "Senate investigations are on-going, and it has managed to ferret out new and valuable information on the culprits as well as the extent of the leakage. Why can't the PRC wait until both the Senate inquiry and the NBI investigation into the matter are concluded and the exact extent of this debacle is uncovered?"

The PRC is mandated under Sec. 5 of RA 8981, otherwise known as the PRC Modernization Act of 2000, to "establish and maintain a high standard of admission to the practice of all professions, and at all times ensure and safeguard the integrity of all licensure examinations."

"Under the circumstances, it is clear that the PRC is not ensuring and safeguarding the integrity of the licensure examination and that it has miserably failed to comply with its mandate.

"If in the process of both the senate and NBI investigations, the leakage is determined not to be limited to Tests III and V, that a larger number of students got hold of such leakage, what will happen now? Apparently, the PRC has lost its sense of values and has bolstered the culture where one is unanswerable to wrongdoing, never mind if the entire nursing profession is placed under a cloud of doubt. In that case, they should just resign," Gordon concluded.

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