ILIGAN CITY – Two collegiate institutions in the region denied reports that their nursing programs closed.

The schools, St. Michael’s College (SMC) in Iligan City and La Salle University in Ozamiz City, claimed they had already submitted their appeals to the Commission on Higher Education-Northern Mindanao (Ched-10) to reconsider the cancellation of their nursing program.

Dr. Romero Hermosilla, vice president for administration of SMC, said they admitted to have been part of the list of nursing schools that were supposed to be closed by Ched-10.

But, Hermosilla said, they did their part to file for reconsideration with all the necessary proofs and requirements and was allowed by CHEd-10 to still accept new enrollees this academic year.

Prof. Vincentino Librado, dean of college of nursing of SMC, said Ched-10 went to SMC to inspect their college on August 15, 2013 where various certifications and signings happened to confirm SMC’s compliance with the commission’s requirements.

At present, they are still waiting for Ched’s response regarding the matter.

Decline in enrolment

SMC’s enrolment of new students for their nursing program was greatly affected because of the false reports, the number of new enrollees declining steeply, said Librado.

“It became the talk of the town, in the internet. It has reached to Saudi and USA,” he said.

Aside from the nursing program being discouraged by Ched to be taken by incoming college students because of oversubscription, the reports have aggravated the problem with the lowering number of new enrollees, he added.

“Nahihirapan na ang College of Nursing na kumuha ng enrollees,” said Hermosilla.

SMC tried to clarify that their nursing program is still accepting new enrollees, some of which are through the college’s Facebook page.

“Smc #NURSING program will NOT be CLOSED and will still accept enrollees for SY 2014-2015. CHED region X has texted us today, 5/22/14, a positive response that SMC has satisfied its lacking requirements which the school has complied during the inspection visit last 2013. SMC has acted on it couple of months ago,” the post read.

“For now... SMC has 100 percent faculty with masters, and ranked #1 in Iligan city with its recent PNLE (Philippine Nursing Licensure Exam) results yet consistent also to be above sa national passing rate... but too bad Ched until now has not released yet its official decision.. Ched should do something for SMC regarding the news...” the post furthered.

La Salle University also posted on its FB page the status of its nursing program: “We have received different reactions and concerns about the two articles published on and regarding the cancellation of the Nursing program in the university. This is not true. In fact, we are accepting enrollees this academic year,” the post stated.

“On July 2013 (sic), the University complied with all the requirements and the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) gave positive feedback on the university’s appeal. A letter from the Ched Region X will be released soon to clarify the status of the program,” it added.

“May iilang nag-enroll when they heard our clarification. But those who only heard the reports and the radio did not hear our response, di na sila nagpa-enroll,” Hermosilla said.

Hermosilla admits that they did have deficiencies in the program but was they were corrected immediately.

“Nursing is a traditional course. Minsan in-demand. Minsan hindi... We would like to keep the program intact,” he said.

Based on national news

DxIC-Radyo Mo Nationwide in Iligan is one of the radio stations which reported about the closure of the some programs in the various schools in the region that included SMC.

A staff of the station said they based the report on what came out on the national news.

They also said that if SMC wanted to clear their name, they should have had a press release, had advertisements, or held a press conference.

Hermosilla said they did not elaborate their clarifications much because they wanted to have a proof of their claims through Ched’s statement regarding the matter.

“We’re giving Ched a chance to consider the report,” he added.

Still on appeal status

A source from Ched said that it has a regional quality assessment team (RQAT), an external consultant of the commission that inspected SMC’s nursing program and found the SMC’s appeal has a basis in favor of the college’s program.

La Salle University also got good feedbacks from the regional inspector after the school submitted its appeal, the source said.

However, even with the positive recommendation on the regional level, the reference passed by Ched-10 is still subject to the approval from Ched Central Office.

Without the final decision and declaration by the central office, the status of the schools’ nursing programs are still on appeal, the source added. “We’re all waiting for the decision.”