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Karma visits UI-PHINMA

Kape kag Isyu talk show takes cudgel for graduating nursing
students of UI-PHINMA (L-R: Larry Locara, this writer, Dwight
Trasadas, Peter Jimenea, resource person Darwin Joemel Papa,
and Neonita gobuyan.
ICER head Darwin Joemel Papa denies charging UI-PHINMA
students training fees. “We train people for free,” he says.
One with UI-PHINMA nursing students. This writer scores
UI-PHINMA for oppressing its students. Beside him is
retired government jounalis Neonita Gobuyan.

The University of Iloilo – PHINMA (UI-PHINMA) now reaps what it has sowed.

“Karma” is how Kape kag Isyu host Peter Jimenea says of the sharp drop in the summer enrolment of UI – PHINMA.

For his co-host Dwight Trasadas, it’s “estafa” because UI-PHINMA bilked its graduating nursing students, all 699 of them, P15,000 each to pay the “registration fee” later renamed “comprehensive review program” which it made compulsory, and later, to the shock of students, a requisite to graduation.

Co-host lawyer Pet Melliza regrets being an alumnus of the university. “I used to take pride having been its student but today, I am totally embarrassed: it is supposedly an educational institution but it shamelessly commits the acts of a mis-educated person,” he rues.

Co-host Larry Locara’s stand is softer but his words are clear: “UI is also my alma mater. As its alumnus, I ask its administration to correct its mistakes”.

Those are the statements issued at the Kape kag Isyu episode today, 19 April 2011. However, another case of illegal exaction, estafa or extortion if you may, comes out as resource person Darwin Joemel Papa, chief of the rescue group ICER, drops another bombshell.

To recall, UI-PHINMA bilked its graduating nursing students P1,000 each to take the emergency nursing course, a two-day training, done by the Iloilo City Emergency Response (ICER). Multiply that with 699 graduating nursing students and we have P699,000.

ICER chief Darwin Joemel Papa, resources person in today’s Kape kag Isyu episode denies having received the amount.

The graduating students say it was UI—PHINMA faculty members who collected the amount from them sans receipt. They later received the official receipt but it was not issued by the university but by the RGO Review Center, a separate entity which provides review course to graduated nurses taking the board examination.

UI-PHINMA told the graduating students that the training was needed for graduation, again, another deceitful statement because the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) did not approve of it as part of the curriculum.

The UI-PHINMA instructors misrepresented the training course as requisite to obtain the “basic life support” (BLS) which hospitals required of under-board nursing candidates for admission in on-the-job training experience.

Says Papa: “The RGO (Review Center) has no authority to issue BLS certificates. Neither can we in ICER issue it.”

Only one institution can issue the BLS certificate and that is the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC). “I wonder why UI-PHINMA, which is supposed to know, did not request the PNRC but instead, only the RGO which is not qualified to issue the BLS”.

The ICER is a new outfit of the Iloilo City government. It works as a rescue team staffed mostly by paramedic trained and certified by the PNRC.

The PNRC, the sole institution authorized to issue the BLS certificate, requires a one-week training course before it qualifies a person for the BLS certificate. It charges only P400 from a trainee, not P1,000 for a two-day training.

Papa explains that what they had provided to UI-PHINMA fourth year nursing students is a “mere emergency response course”.


UI- PHINMA bilked each of its graduating nursing students 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.

The CEP ended with a comprehensive examination, taken after the final exams, and management made its results as requisite to graduation.

325 students failed and thus, did not march for graduation rites. UI-PHINMA deliberately jacked up the number of flunkers with the trick of raising the passing average from 75 to 77.

The parents and students who 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 compehensive exam is not part of an approved curriculum and therefore, is not a basis in determining whether or not a student has completed the course. Further, the cmprehensive exam 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.”

There is little 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.

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, I took the bar successfully in one shot, in 1999, reputedly the country’s hardest examination with only 16 percent of the candidates making it to the bar.


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