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PIA Press Release

Smartmatic addresses electronic transmission problems in Kalinga

by L. Lopez

Tabuk, Kalinga (1 May) -- Two weeks before the May 10 automated elections, Smartmatic technicians are rushing the last-ditch moves to ensure that electronic transmission using the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines will work in the province.

Provincial Election Supervisor Thomas Uyam said some parts of the province, particularly in Upper Kalinga, may experience problem on electronic transmission of election results because of irregular broadband signal.

During the electronic transmission tests we conducted last week in various parts of the province, there was failure of transmission in Balbalan, Uyam said.

"But while, this maybe true in certain parts of the province, let it be assured that this will not affect the conduct of credible automated elections in Kalinga", Uyam stressed.

Uyam said technicians from Smartmatic are going around the province to address the problem. Among the areas to be checked are Balbalan, Tanudan and Tinglayan. Some municipalities like Pasil successfully made the transmission during the test.

The Commission on Election (Comelec) has anticipated this scenario in some parts of the country and has adapted measures to manage this situation, Uyam explained.

As move, Comelec can order the transfer of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine's memory pack from the polling center with no broadband signal and bring it to the canvassing center for transmission of the results, Uyam said.

Smartmatic has installed Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) stations at the provincial capitol and at the province's capital in Tabuk, where canvassing of election results are to be made.

Asked of the possible effect of the failure of transmission, Uyam said this may cause short delay in the proclamation of winners.

But what is important, he said, is the continued casting of votes and the automated count since we can always generate hard copies of the election returns. He allayed fears the problem will disrupt the automated elections in the province in May.

Uyam also announced the 239 PCOS machines and 132,910 ballots are now in the province ready for the May 10 elections. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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