REQUEST FOR OFFICIAL POSITION OF THE SCHOOL’S EXAMINEES
ON THE PURSUANCE OF THE LEGAL CASE AND ON
AGREEMENT OF AN OPTIONAL-RETAKE
CIVIL ENGINEERING LICENSURE EXAMINATION NOVEMBER 2007
The Civil Engineering Against Retake Students’ Union (CE AGRESSION), representatives of the examinees of the Civil Engineering Licensure Examination November 2007, filed a petition last Monday, December 3, 2007, as a response to the official announcement released by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) last November 26, 2007. The Commission nullified the two subjects in the said exam, namely Hydraulics and Geotechnical Engineering, and Structural Engineering and Construction due to some “irregularities”.
According to PRC, in the subject Hydraulics and Geotechnical Engineering, the results were “statistically improbable” due to the unusually high grades obtained by the examinees in the said exam. In the subject Structural Engineering and Construction, two (2) examinees were caught in possession of mobile phones, one of which contains answers to thirty (30) questions wherein twenty one (21) were found to be correct.
The following is the timeline of the CE retake controversy:
27 November – the examinees first learned of the alleged irregularities and retake through TV news program.
28 November – they obtained a copy of the official announcement from the Professional Regulation Commission which was officially released on November 26, 2007. Neil Erich Galicia, a graduate of Ateneo de Naga University, initiated to call a meeting to discuss the necessary actions to be taken. Petitioners wrote an open letter to the Commission seeking reconsideration of its decision to nullify the examination results of the two (2) subjects.
29 November – CE AGRESSION called the attention of the media and requested for a press conference. Unfortunately, the said conference was cancelled because of the The Peninsula Standoff incident. The group, instead, discussed the next planned actions including a mobilization and seeking of legal assistance.
30 November – the group continued the meeting and finalized the preparations of the first mobilization scheduled on December 3, 2007.
01 December – Dianne May Casimiro, head of the campaign committee, requested for the support of the other student groups of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP).
02 December – Rachel Ann Apuan, head of the Legal committee met Atty. Jobert Pahilga of the National Union Lawyers’ of the Philippines (NULP) to personally discuss and finalize the petition.
03 December – At 10:00 AM, the CE AGRESSION held a rally marching from P. Noval Street Sampaloc Manila to the PRC. Along with the mobilization, the group officially filed the petition to the Office of the Chairperson of the PRC and requested for a dialogue/ meeting with all concerned officials.
04 December – the group received a confirmation of dialogue/ meeting with the PRC scheduled on December 6, 2007, at 10:00AM at the Conference Room of PRC. Representatives from different colleges and universities met to prepare for the said dialogue/ meeting. Galicia and Atty. Pahilga were invited for a live news interview with Ces Drilon of ANC “PrimeNews” to discuss the issue.
05 December – Atty. Pahilga met the representatives to orient them with the dialogue. They also reevaluated the details of the petition and of the issue itself.
06 December – the dialogue/ meeting. The following concerns and issues were raised during the two-hour deliberation:
1. The Commission will decide on the petition of the examinees before the ordered retake on January 12, 2008.
2. The Commission will not withdraw the ordered retake but suggested an OPTIONAL RETAKE to the examinees. The optional retake can be taken by the examinees while the investigation is still on-going. If an examinee passed the retake examination, PRC will recognize the result regardless of the result of the investigation in the petition. But if an examinee failed on the retake examination but passed the November 2007 Board Exam, he/she will still get a passing rate if the petition of the Union succeeds.
3. CE AGRESSION will not withdraw its petition filed to PRC. In this connection, CE AGRESSION will file a motion to speed up the investigation and their decision regarding the issue.
4. PRC Resolution No. 07-12 states that the examination result in the subject Hydraulics and Geotechnical Engineering is “statistically improbable” because of the unusually high grades/ratings obtained by 461 of the 4782 examinees who got a perfect score.
5. Dr. Milagros Ibe, the Consultant of the Commission on Test Construction and Statistics, recommended for the nullification of the examination result in Hydraulics and Geotechnical Engineering because of its statically improbability. CE AGRESSION is not convinced on the conclusion made by Dr. Ibe because the only basis is statistics. She did not include the level of difficulty of the questions as a primary basis.
6. PRC confirmed that there are no irregularities in Hydraulics and Geotechnical Engineering but stated that the unusual high grade is an irregularity by itself.
7. The Commission also attested that there is an incident of cheating happened in Cagayan de Oro testing center. According to them, these are already investigated and there will still be further investigation.
8. PRC stated that they are open to ideas of postponement of the date of retake examination and retake for all subjects.
9. Dr. Lazaro confirmed that there is no leakage on the November 2007 Civil Engineering Board Exam.
By this, the Secretariat and the lawyers of CE AGRESSION are officially requesting the position of the 4,782 examinees through their schools on their consensus of:
1. CE AGRESSION shall pursue the case and shall stand firm to “No Retake” until the investigation is completed. It will petition the courts to stop/enjoin the retake on January 12, 2008;
2. CE AGRESSION shall pursue the case and shall accept the optional retake as explained in dialogue number 2 of 06 December.
Due to time constraint, CE AGRESSION is hereby requesting all schools to coordinate and contact their graduates/ examinees to decide on the abovementioned options. Deadline for this shall be on or before December 12, 2007 through an official statement stating your position with the signatures of the examinees and the school officials. Please send the position through fax, number (02) 309-7486.
Done on this 7th day of December, 2007 in Metro Manila Philippines.
Neil Erich Galicia
Dianne May Casimiro Rachel Ann Apuan
Head-Campaign/Propaganda Committee Head-Legal Committee
Gregory Gabelo Eloyd Selda
Head-Media and Communications Committee Head-Finance Committee
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers
Atty. Jobert I. Pahilga
Deputy Secretary General
Campaign and Advocacy