Press Release
August 20, 2006


By invalidating the two portions of the exams that were allegedly leaked through Board Resolution 31, allowing some of the passers of the nursing exams to take their oaths in the light of the unresolved allegations of cheating surrounding this years exam, and failing to assiduously investigate and prosecute with determination the guilty parties in this fiasco, Senator Richard J. Gordon yesterday questioned the capability of the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) to protect the integrity of the nursing exams.

The PRC is supposed to protect the honesty, credibility, and integrity of all licensure exams but it seems to have failed in this case, causing the concerned members of the nursing profession to seek redress from the court, stated Gordon. The Court of Appeals has issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) last Friday to stop the enforcement of Board Resolution 31 and the oath-taking ceremonies for all new nurses.

Instead of getting to the bottom of the allegations of cheating in the nursing exams which taint or impugn its integrity and the authenticity of its results, the PRC, in its rashness and impatience in making such decisions, appears to be covering-up this controversy, instead of punishing the guilty parties involved and assuring the nursing profession, as well as the general public, of the integrity of the exams, declared Gordon.

Under Republic Act No. 8981 or the PRC Modernization Act of 2000, the PRC is mandated to ensure and safeguard the integrity of all licensure exams, said Gordon. According to Gordon, the PRC should exert every effort to determine the areas where cheating occurred and if only tests three and five were exclusively affected, then perhaps nursing aspirants should retake these tests for the protection of the nursing profession.

He added that the law has also vested the PRC with the power to investigate the commission of irregularities in the licensure exams, which taint or impugn the integrity and authenticity of its results. Aside from the revocation or suspension of the certificates of registration and professional licenses/identification cards and recommended suspension or removal from office of the guilty parties, they can also be punished by imprisonment from 6 years and 1 day to 12 years, or a fine from P50,000 to P100,000, or both, for making known licensure exam questions prior to the conduct of the examination.

Gordon expressed disappointment with the PRCs irresponsible handling of this controversy by readily allowing some of the passers to take their oaths without prior due diligence and closure in the investigation of the alleged cheating which only puts the integrity of the nursing profession into question.

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