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PIA Press Release

Comelec takes suggestions to improve poll automation

Iloilo City (13 May) -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) regional office here acknowledged the glitches in the May 10 automated elections and welcomed suggestions to avoid them and improve future polls using the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine.

Comelec Regional Director lawyer Rene Ray Boac said they took note of the occurrence of the problems including the malfunctioning of some PCOS machine units and failure of some compact flash (CF) cards to transmit election returns from precincts to the consolidation and canvassing system centers.

He said these problems were acted upon immediately during the elections.

The PCOS machine units and CF cards were supplied by Smartmatic-TIM under a contract with the government through the Comelec.

Despite these glitches, Boac said the conduct of the country’s first-ever automated elections in the region was generally successful.

The elections also drew favorable remarks from the clergy here notwithstanding the inconvenience caused by missing names in voters’ lists and long queues at polling centers.

Jaro Archbishop and former Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Angel Lagdameo said the elections elicited the participation of more sectors especially the elderly who did not mind the sun’s heat and long lines of voters just to experience using the PCOS machine.

Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) Archdiocesan Coordinator Msgr. Meliton Oso noted that despite the glitches in some PCOS machines, voting proceeded in an orderly manner and the results came out faster than in the previous manual system.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Director Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas said the conduct of the elections was generally peaceful.

He said they deployed more PNP personnel especially in so-called areas of concern in the region.

The PNP worked hand in hand with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) through the Joint Security Coordinating Center (JSCC) to help ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections.

In terms of election results, Negros Occidental and Capiz have so far completed the consolidation and canvassing of election returns in their respective provincial and city canvassing centers.

The provinces of Aklan, Antique, Guimaras and Iloilo and its capital of Iloilo City were expected to wrap up their canvassing of returns anytime this week.

The region has 3,950,634 registered voters and 6,713 clustered precincts.

Preparations for the assumption of new officials are also being made in the region.

In Iloilo City in particular, Mayor Jerry Trenas, who will be ending his three consecutive terms as chief city executive on June 30, 2010, has signed an executive order creating a transition team that will prepare for the turnover to the incoming city officials.

The creation of the team is in compliance with Memorandum Circular 2010-26 of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) that calls on all local chief executives to create their respective Local Governance Transition Teams that will ensure the orderly and smooth turnover.

The automation of the electoral process is one of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s development thrusts in her Ten-Point Agenda. (PIA 6) [top]

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