Southern Leyte needs 600 PCOS machines; demonstration slated March 8-13
By Bong Pedalino
Maasin City (12 February) -- There are 574 clustered precincts around Southern Leyte province for the May 10 computerized elections, so with one Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) allotted for every clustered precinct, there should also be 574 PCOS machines to be sent here for the province.
But considering that in every delivery there will also be corresponding PCOS units included as spare, the total number would be more than 574, even as number could not be ascertained just how many, said Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Antonio Gulay.
There are 500 barangays all over Southern Leyte province.
PCOS machines will be used at the precinct level for the first-ever, technology-driven elections in the country, in which voters, after shading proper spaces in the ballots for their preferred candidates for various posts, insert these ballots in the PCOS, which would automatically count the votes cast.
For Maasin City where there are 89 clustered precincts, every barangay out of 70 barangays in the city will have one PCOS unit, although other big barangays will have more than one, plus those set aside as extra units, said Lawrence Gelsano, City COMELEC Officer.
In the entire country, there are 76,000 clustered precincts, but the COMELEC contract with Smartmatic-TIM, the winning IT contractor for the automated polls, called for the delivery of more than 82,000 PCOS units, Atty. Gulay said.
Asked when these machines would be delivered to the province, Gulay could not indicate any specified date, saying only that these will be in at least three days before the elections to give time for procedural matters, particularly on pre-election testing of the machines.
As for the demonstration on how to operate the PCOS unit, Gulay said the schedule for Southern Leyte will be from March 8 to 13 using one actual machine used for sample demo purpose throughout Region 8.
The demo process will be for the city and eighteen municipalities, but Gulay said they have to skip Limasawa for lack of time, adding that they had requested a special schedule for the six barangays of Limasawa on March 30, in time for the First Mass anniversary, but he has not received a go signal yet as of this writing. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]