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>UI-PHINMA shocks and awes students


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UI-PHINMA’s decision to deny its nursing students graduation
questioned by King Araneta (center) and Marivic Pastolero (right),
graduating nursing students. On the left is host Peter Jimenea.  

ILOILO CITY, PHILIPPINES (April 16, 2011)  — Holy Week evokes “Calvary”, suffering and humanity’s redemption singlehandedly done by one man, the Carpenter from Nazareth, named Isa, Isaiah, Iesu, Jesus or what have you, who is written in the New Testament as the Christ.


In this  morning episode of “Kape kag Isyu”, where yours truly is a co-panelist, host Peter Jimenea associated “Calvary” and “Semana Santa” (Holy Week) to the plight of graduating nursing students of the University of Iloilo – PHINMA.


UI-PHINMA refuses to graduate 325 nursing students for their failure to pass the “Comprehensive Enhancement Program” (CEP), the long term for review and comprehensive test. The CEP is not sanctioned by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) whose regional director in W. Visayas had pleaded to UI-PHINMA to let the students graduate for “humanitarian reasons”. But UI-PHINMA refuses to heed much less remedy its mistake of forcing its students to take a course not sanctioned by CHED, exacted exorbitant fee for that, and compelled students to review in a private institution of its preference, the RGO Review Center, 

Panelist (L-R): The author, Neonita Gobuyan and Atty.
Dwight Trasadas

The University of Iloilo – PHINMA required its graduating nursing students to pay P15,000 in “registration fee” in the second semester. When that triggered an uproar, management changed the term to CEP (Comprehensive Enhancement Program) but still charged the same amount.


To add insult to injury, UI-PHINMA compelled the graduating nursing students to attend a two-day training on survival and rescue done by the ICER which stands for “Iloilo City Emergency Response” under the Iloilo City government. ICER trains for free and its officials were surpised when informed by the UI students that they were made to pay P1,000 each. It turned out, that the students were again robbed blind. The official receipt as proof of their compliance was issued by a private institution separate from ICER, the RGO Review Center, the same body tapped by UI-PHINMA for the  comprehensive review and test.


The resource perons and the panel. Kape kag Isyu is
shown live 9:30 am – 10:30 am, every Saturday and is
replayed Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 – 9 pm.


The CEP ended with a comprehensive examination, taken after the final exams, and management made its results whether or not a taker of the comprehensive test could graduate or not. 325 students failed and thus, did not march for graduation rites.

The parents and students who sacrificed and spent a fortune to complete the nursing course are aghast. They went to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and got a favorable ruling.

The CHED holds that the comprehensive exam is not part of an approved curriculum and therefore, is invalid as basis in determining whether or not a student has completed the course. Further, the cmprehensive examp is a forced review and therefore is prohibited by the CHED in Memorandum Order No. 13, series of 2006, dated 15 March 2006 and       signed by CHED chair Carlito S. Puno.

CHED Regional Director Virginia P. Resurrection, in a letter dated March 24, 2011 reiterates MO No. 13, s. 2006, that prohibits schools from committing the following three acts:

1. Forcing their graduates or graduating students to enroll in their own review centers and/or review centers of their preference;

2. Charging exorbitant rates; and

3. Withholding of grades and other school records of students and graduates who cannot review in these review centers.

Director Resurrection concludes in her letter:


“We hope that for humanitarian reason, the future of these graduating BS students of that University who complied (with) all the requirements prescribed in the Commission on Higher Education shall not be sacrificed on your good intention to produce quality nursing students.

The casualty figure that resulted to 325 students failing the comprehensive examination appeared to have been well thought of. Management raised the passing average from 75 to 77.

The correlation between passing the comprehensive test and passing the nursing board examination. One may pass one and fail in the other, and vice versa. The UI management refuses to consider that and with results disastrous also to its reputation.

Crossing the border of neutrality. Media cannot be neutral
in the face of injustice and oppression. Here, host Peter
Jimenea (with microphone) astigates UI-PHINMA for
unreasonably imposing heavy burdens on students on top of
exorbitant fees for the comprehensive test which the CHED
does not recognize.

I am thankful, they have not done the same in the UI College of Law. I have a lot of near “bagsak” grades, at 3.0 grades there. Yet, bragging aside, took the bar successfully in one shot, in 1999, reputedly the country’s hardest bar examination with only 16 percent of the candidates making it to the bar.
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