Poll glitches will not happen next year, Comelec assures

Posted on May 31, 2012

THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) assured the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms that problems with the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used in the 2010 poll automation will not happen in the 2013 elections.

In a committee hearing yesterday, Comelec Chairperson Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr. gave his word to lawmakers after Deputy Speaker Pablo P. Garcia and representatives from the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) asserted that the PCOS machines used in the last national elections did not satisfy the efficiency and reliability requirements of the law.

Comelec spokesperson James Arthur B. Jimenez, reiterated that the commission expects the next election to be free from technical issues. "We don’t expect these problems to resurface," Mr. Jimenez said in a text message.

Mr. Brillantes also said that they will add more modems after Maria Corazon M. Akol, a council member of the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections, said that there are too many PCOS machines sharing one modem for the transmission.

Meanwhile, the committee approved the move to file a resolution urging the Supreme Court (SC) to come up with the decision whether to allow them to purchase the PCOS machines used in the 2010 elections or not.

Based on earlier reports, the Comelec will have to start immediately a new purchase cycle starting with bidding for new machines if they will not be allowed to exercise their right to buy the machines leased in the last elections. -- Monica Joy O. Cantilero