THE ONGOING controversy about the leaked answers to two parts of the nursing board exams given last June is threatening the reputation of Filipino nurses both at home and abroad. As such, both the government and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) should exert the utmost effort at restoring the tarnished reputation of the nursing profession.
The PRC has been resolute in refusing to invalidate the exams and ask those who took it to sit again for new exams. Instead it has decided to cancel the grades from tests III and V, whose answers were leaked before the examination by two review centers in Manila, and recalibrate the rest of the grading to take this into account. Not only do I fail to see the logic in doing this, but it is still unfair to all of those exam-sitters who did not cheat.
To say that it is too daunting to have new exams, or that nursing students are too tired and stressed to sit through the whole thing again is ridiculous. If I were a nursing student in this current batch of tainted-exams I would want to secure my reputation by taking new exams.
Under the new formula of the PRC, even more students (499 to be exact) will pass the examination, whether they cheated or not, which to my mind is ridiculous. Why should cheaters be rewarded in the end for something immoral that they have done? It just doesn’t make sense.
Dante Ang, the head of the government’s inter-agency task force investigating the cheating, has already said the recomputation of the nursing board exam results is a violation of the Nursing Act of 2002.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has finished its investigation of this fiasco and was expected to submit its results on Aug. 31 detailing who should be criminally charged and identifying the testing centers where the leakage occurred.
Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla has called for the whole PRC board to resign in order to help the investigation. The board has refused to do so, and created more confusion when it went ahead and released the results of the nursing board exams despite requests from Congress and the government to hold off until the investigation into the cheating was finished.
This was an act of bad faith, designed to create a fait accompli situation that the government would find hard to reverse once examinees found out their scores. The PRC should be punished for this attempt at short-circuiting the whole probe.
The NBI needs to file criminal charges against those guilty of leaking the results and also against those who benefited from them. After that, the PRC should at the very least cancel the results of exams III and V and ask that all students retake those two exams. That is the only fair solution to a situation that can only be described as being foul and stinky.
Since nurses are one of the main exports of Philippine manpower, it behooves everyone involved in this noble profession to keep the highest standards of integrity and respectability. OFW nurses send home millions of dollars ever year, and jeopardizing this hard-earned revenue because a few nursing students are too “stressed” to retake part of the exam is frankly idiotic.
The Commission on Elections on Thursday denied the petition of the Sigaw ng Bayan (Cry of the People) petition for a people’s initiative to amend the constitution to change the presidential form of government into a parliamentary one.
It did so purely for legal reasons, citing a Supreme Court decision that Comelec does not have the right to entertain such a request as there is no enabling law for a people’s initiative.
If this people’s initiative had been granted, a nationwide referendum would then be held to decide whether or not the constitution should be amended.
Anti-cha-cha groups are now preparing for a battle with pro-charter change groups in the Supreme Court. The Arroyo administration is of course pushing for the change as a way to enable President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to hang to power for many more years.
Reports that some GMA supporters allegedly went around the country tricking Filipinos into signing the people’s initiative by offering them free food in return, or even in some cases completely and maliciously misrepresenting themselves as opponents of the president, should be reason enough for the Supreme Court to invalidate this current people’s initiative.
When obviously biased people go around gathering signatures for charter change, the authenticity of the signatures should be in question.